27. Eschatological Fever, the Place of Manipulations?

The immense majority of texts in Muslim eschatological literature is represented by the hadiths. One of these explains that Muḥammad (~) placed the false messiah at the summit of importance of the forces of Evil to be fought: “From Adam to the resurrection of the dead, there is no question greater than that of the Charlatan (the impostor, the Antichrist)” [1]

In our days, an eschatological fever is spreading across the Muslim people. Among the Shiites, the chief liberator of the end-times would be the twelfth Imam, also named Al-Mahdi, who disappeared in 940 but is still mysteriously present to believers. The American “Great Satan” clearly designates an enemy assimilated to the Antichrist. For some, Khomeyni himself would have been the awaited Mahdi. Yet closer to us, President Ahmedinejad suggests that the coming of the Mahdi is very close.

In the lands of the Sunnis, among the Islamist militants, the eschatological fever is doubtless even more intense. In his work The Day of Wrath, the Palestinian Safar ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman rereads recent events (like the Second Intifada) according to the framework of Koranic eschatology. The black banner of the Islamic State refers to eschatological doctrine, for the Prophet said: “If it is given to you to perceive black banners coming from Khorasan, go to their encounter: among them will be found the Caliph of Allah, al-Mahdi” (Ahmad). [2]

It is said that the Sunni tradition distinguishes the great signs and the little signs. The great signs are “the smoke, the Antichrist, the Beast, the rising of the sun in the West, the return of ‘Issa ibn Maryam, the unfurling of Gog and Magog, three earthquakes, a fire starting from Yemen which will oblige people to be reunited in the same place.” The little signs are first the disappearance of Muḥammad ibn ‘Adb Allah, the Prophet, and last the coming of his descendant Muḥammad ibn ‘Adb Alllah, the Mahdi. The other small signs are the amoral conduct of man: corruption, adultery, pornography, violence, technical prowess, proliferation of conflicts [3].

It is interesting to note that Islam does not confound the return of ‘Issa Al-Massih with the end of time, nor the Antichrist, nor the Mahdi: these are only precursory signs. But of what precisely are they the precursory signs? Of a Caliphate that lasts only 7 to 9 years?

According to Christianity, we can resist the Antichrist (the impostor messiah). We can prepare the kingdom. But the idea of operating oneself the judgment of the world is the object of manipulations. Is it sufficiently known that the Muslim Brotherhood was organized almost a century ago, thanks to M15, the British secret service, and that the Taliban was founded in Afghanistan by the CIA, the U.S. secret service? And we could also evoke the recent financing of the Islamic State.

According to the Gospel, the return of Jesus (‘Issa) is not a regional event operating an ephemeral political change. It is a universal event that replies to the question of evil in the world by the judgment of the Antichrist (Ad-Dajjal). It is an event of incommensurable weight since it will bring the realization of the goal for which the world has been created and will reestablish man at the rank and the nobility where the Creator has wanted him to live.


[1] N 1812 in the collection of Sheikh Sobhi Saleh “Manhal al Waridin.”
[2] Mohamed BENCHILI, La venue du Mahdi selon la tradition musulmane, editions Tawhid, 2009, p. 44.
[3] Mohamed BENCHILI, ibid., p. 56.