There are many beliefs about eschatology in the different faiths of the world.
Islam has two main sects: Sunni and Shia, and Christianity has two main sects as well: Catholic and Protestant, with Protestant covering a varied assortment of varying customs and instructions. There is one thing that the religious faiths of Islam and Christianity have in common. They both believe that Jesus will play a part in the end of days. In Islam Jesus is referred to as Isa who was a prophet.
A Christian who studies Islamic eschatology will marvel why Jesus is positioned into the role of conqueror.Why wasn’t Muhammad or a different Muslim prophet? Jesus is distinctive among the prophets since he was elevated up to Allah’s company without dying. The Quran forecasts Jesus’ reappearance as a indication of the ultimate judgment (Sura 43:61). Jesus’ ministry was short-lived and unfinished; therefore, his reappearance will allow him to complete his ministry to Allah. Jesus’s role in Muslim eschatology is comparable to the Christian belief that he will come another time to judge individuals. He will be preceded by the Mahdi, who will come to the world to demonstrate and get ready for another teacher’s coming, Jesus.
Eschatology is defined as the study of "last things," or the conclusion of human history. While exact understandings differ generally, most Christian eschatologies center on the belief that the just will be compensated when God conquests over Satan in the last days. Compared to eastern religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism, the final reality or aim of Islam and Christianity is to live always in Heaven with God. Buddhism, Hinduism, and other eastern religions think that the final reality is one-ness with environment or with you. Islamic eschatology is not well-defined mostly by happenings. These happenings are ignificant but the key players are more important.
There are three main people in the Islamic account of the end times. They are the Mahdi, the Dajjal, and Isa. The Mahdi is the key person though the Quran does not mention him. (1) His primary title means “the Guided One” but he is given various other titles in the hadiths: Twelfth Iman, Lost Iman, Lord of Command, Lord of the Age, He Who Will Arise, Authoritative Source, The Awaited Imam, and The Remnant of God. He is described as a man of average height with an attractive and brilliant face with long, stunning black hair that flows onto his shoulders.He will have a wide forehead and high nose and he will stammer.
(2) It is the belief of Muslims that the Mahdi will come as a Great Imam or divine leader to the world and fill the world with justice, peace, and change the world to Islam, together with Jesus. Jesus will break the cross which means that Jesus will destroy the idea that he died as the Son of God on the cross. He will defeat al-Dajjal or false Messiah. The Mahdi will create an Islamic world by changing all Christians and Jews or by killing them. It is the belief of the Shia Muslims that the Mahdi has been born.
The Ithna-asheri or Twelvers of the Shia faith drew information from several Shia Hadiths. Mohammed said there would be Twelve Great Imams and then the Mahdi would come. Mohammed ibn Hasan ibn Ali was born in 869 A. D.
but he vanished at the age of five years old. It is believed that he has been hidden by God and that the Mahdi will reappear when the time is right for him to complete his task of making the world ready for judgment. Mahdi tradition in Sunni Islam is much the same as in Shia Islam, with the major point of difference being the belief that the Mahdi was born and taken by God to be hidden.The Sunnis do not believe that Mohammed ibn Hasan is the Mahdi. They say that he could not have been the Mahdi because according to the Hadiths, the Mahdi will bear the prophet Mohammed’s name.
There are other Hadiths that say the Mahdi will be of Mohammed’s family. This has led to fewer Sunni Muslims actually following a belief in the Mahdi. The Mahdi does not rule without conflict. An challenger called Dajjal or “the Deceiver” ascends and clashes with him. The Dajjal plays the part of the antichrist in Islamic eschatology. The Quran does not name the Dajjal.
Some Islam intellectuals have faith in the Quranic references to the mortal turmoil essentially refer to the Dajjal’s wickedness. (3) He will be Jewish. (9] In contrast to the beauty of the Mahdi, it is believed that the Dajjal is sightless in one eye, does not have eyebrows, has curling hair, walks with a limp, and have the word “infidel” written on his forehead. (4) People might marvel how a man who looks like that could start a rebellion against the world’s “savior” but Muslims are certain that the brand is only noticeable to true believers. The Dajjal comes prepared to betray. He accomplishes many false wonders.
He will ride a magical donkey, create rain and grass at will and heal the sick. (5) He will not be satisfied to let people make their own choices about the foundation of his astonishing powers. According to Islamic scholars, he will claim to be a God, certainly, Jesus Christ. (6) He will try to mislead the world, but he will not be able to enter the three cities of shelter which are Mecca, Medina, and Damascus. But this treacherous opponent will not go without punishment. The Dajjal’s rise to rule will be taken to an end by a man called Isa or Jesus.
He will descend from heaven and kill the Dajjal. 7) Islamic eschatology has foretold numerous symbols that come first and become known at the same time as with the apocalyptic players and happenings.These symbols are separated into two groups: major signs and minor signs. There are a wide variety of these major signs such as a pro-Islam fighter named Yamani, an associate of the Dajjal called Sofyani, the announcement by Gabriel of Mahdi’s leadership, the defeat of Sofyani, and the demise of a untainted holy man called Muhamman bin Hassan. The disagreement of Islamic eschatological prophecies stand in severe contrast to the harmony of Christian eschatology as the Scripture states it.
Christian eschatology refers to the premillennial and pretribulational understanding of the end times. The minor signs are more common than the major signs and therefore the various lists or minor signs show better agreement with one another. These signs include indications of moral decay such as dishonesty, wickedness, murder, insurgence, gluttony, defiance, homosexuality, and drunkenness. At first glimpse, the moral decay foretold in this tradition compares to the Bible’s lists in 1 Timothy chapter 4 and 2 Timothy chapter 3.The two heroes and one adversary make a paralleled contrast to Christian eschatology’s single hero and its two adversaries.
In Islamic eschatology it is a military-political head that rises and is aided by an influential evangelist-prophet. They defeat a miracle-working opponent who claims to be divine. The Bible presents a miracle-working Savior who is divine. He defeats a military-political-religious adversary who is assisted by an influential evangelist-prophet. The main people of Christian and Islamic eschatology fit together exactly.
They predict the same people from different perspectives.In Christianity, belief in the end days has diverse meanings. The Catholic Church believes that since the Incarnation of Jesus, we’ve been in the midst of the end times. The Church teaches that these "end times," were ushered in by the birth of Jesus Christ.
Christians have faith in that Jesus will come again to judge the living and the dead, but only after numerous wonders and catastrophes occur, along with revolt, unruliness, and persecution, in a period some Christians call ‘Tribulations. ’ The Holy Bible or Christian Scripture says that “there will be terrifying times in the last days.People will be self-centered and lovers of money, proud, haughty, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, irreligious, callous, implacable, slanderous, licentious, brutal, hating what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, as they make a pretense of religion but deny its power”(2 Timothy3:1-5). Many Christian sects try to predict when Jesus’ second coming will be even though there are passages in the Christian Bible that say to do so is useless.In one Bible passage, Jesus says, “no one but the Father knows the day and the hour” (Matthew 24:36.
After the period of ‘trials and tribulations? Jesus will appear suddenly without warning, ‘as lightning comes from the east and is seen as far as the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be.? (Matthew 24:27) The physical world will be devastated, the dead will be resurrected, and the living and the dead will be tried and found guilty. The just will go to Heaven and the damned will be sent to Hell. As with belief in the end times, the organizational assemblies also have differences and similarities. A Muslim community or ‘ummah? is led by a Caliph.The split between Sunni and Shia Muslims started over a dispute about who should succeed Mohammed after his death.
For a time following the death of Mohammed, Islam went through several caliphs known as the Patriarchal Caliphs. For many Muslims, this was the wonderful age of Islamic rule when a true Islamic organization was in existence; from certain Muslims, such as Shiite Muslims, this was the only period when there was authentic Islamic government?. The term “Imam” means leader and leaders of countries have been called Imam but generally this term is reserved for the person who leads an assembly of faithful in prayer.The sects of Islam have their own terms for their leaders as well. In Shia Islam, the ayatollahs (meaning ‘sign of God? ) are in charge for teaching the faith and matters of the faith in schools of Islamic disciplines. It takes years of study, in addition to delivering lectures and original writings for somebody to be allowed the designation of ayatollah.
The procedure for becoming a grand ayatollah requires that leaders of several Islamic schools agree that the ayatollah possesses the understanding and has gained the respect of the leaders before the title is officially bestowed.Sunni Muslims use the term ‘mufti’ which is a rough equivalent of ayatollah. A mufti is someone who is well-grounded in Islamic law. To reach this rank one must study the legal decisions and doctrines of jurisprudence and be able to study and provide foundations in reference books in the matters of Islamic law. The title of Grand Mufti is set aside for the chief official of religious law in a Sunni Muslim country.
In Christianity, it is very rare for there to be a ‘Christian state? as there is in the Muslim world.The laws of a country may have been created on the doctrines and principles of Christianity, and references to God may even be contained within in the official papers that are the basis of a political civilization, such as the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution of the United States of America. It is unlikely that the laws and politics are strictly governed by the clergy. The spiritual structures in Christian religions vary according to what faith is being observed.
In Catholicism, the individual leading an assembly of faithful in prayer is called a priest.The priest has a superior who is called a bishop. The bishop normally supervises the management of several community churches called a diocese. The diocese is usually part of a larger archdiocese, managed by an archbishop. In the Protestant faiths, separate churches can be part of an association. The intent of association is customarily to group assets for the spreading of their ministries in activities such as evangelist work and civic outreach.
One such organization is the American Baptist Association which is ‘an association of nearly 2,000 theologically conservative churches’.Different churches are governed by boards chosen by the qualified followers of the congregation. These boards make choices on matters such as appointment of pastors, teachers and main economic matters about the church. In regarding the history of people claiming to be Messiah in both Islam and Christian sects it is easy to see that the right set of conditions can advance great influence to charismatic individuals such as David Koresh, Jim Jones, and Mohammed Ahmad from the Sudanese conflicts of the1880s.
The closeness that exists between Muslim and Christian eschatology go beyond that, however.They both believe that Jesus will come again. What part he will play will be determined by whether the follower is a Muslim or Christian, but both faiths come to an understanding that he will play a significant role. The organization and management differs significantly between the two faiths and also within the groups of the separate faiths.
Islam demands that the followers are faithful, but there does not seem to be considerable real organization to the religion. Muslims have never established a clear chain of command and have fought over questions of succession ever since the death of the prophet.He goes on to say that even the limited chain of command has fragmented in the wake of fanatics claiming titles that the more moderate Muslims do not agree that they have claim to. Christian religions vary in their view for a historical/religious reason.
Protestants did not believe in the importance of the Pope in Roman Catholicism and have evaded establishing a comparable system for centuries. The system that they have created with regard to their organization and association works for them as well as the Roman Catholic hierarchy has worked for the purposes it was intended. Islamic eschatology is not only about religious guidelines.It has the influence to energize the most terrifying kind of politics. Shi’ite Muslims anticipate the reappearance of the Mahdi, the rebellion of the Dajjal, and the victory and rule of Isa. They do not sit idly by, however, watching the sky and waiting for signs.
They believein fighting for what they think is right. The Middle East and the entire world may soon stand in jeopardy of atomic endeavors to expedite the end. In contrast to this powerful eschatology, the Gospel of Christ gleams brilliantly through Christians who live “lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God” (II Peter 3:11-12).