Recently on Facebook I was having a discussion with someone about Islam, the anti-christ and the expected Mahdi’s return within Islamic eschatology. The conversation was very interesting and led me to do a little bit of research on this topic. First point of call was watching a series of an ex-muslim whose wife told him to read the bible and try to find out for himself if his radical hatred towards the Jews in Israel was warranted and also to find out for himself if the prophecies concerning Jesus, the Jews and the Church are completely unfounded. He purchased a ten dollar bible and was shocked to read that not only was he wrong about Jesus and the Jews but he saw something written in the bible that really concerned him
Now, back to my conversation with this guy on Facebook. He was talking about the Mahdi and how he is meant to rule for seven years, coming to conquer on a white horse, make peace with the world and have supernatural powers. Well for me anyway, this fit into the many biblical prophecies that I have been reading about for so many years. So I did a bit more research on this Mahdi and found a series from the “Answering Islam” site.
The following is from chapter four and I thought I would share my find with you. I am yet to read the other chapters and intend doing so this week. Now, be sure to know that I am NOT saying that this Mahdi WILL be the anti-christ, as only time will either deny this or confirm this scenario. But rather I post this so that we can all learn a little bit more about the eschatology behind certain despots and tyrants in the middle-east. One such man who believes this is the President of Iran who really does want to wipe Israel off the map and cause world havoc so that the Mahdi can come and secure a peaceful world under Islamic rule.
So… as promised here is just one small part of a puzzle that millions of Muslims believe, and if nothing else we should be prepared if this eventuates…
The Timing of The Mahdi’s Reign While there is more than one tradition regarding the nature and timing of the Mahdi’s ascendancy to power, there is one particular hadith that places this event at the time of a final peace agreement between the Arabs and the Romans (“Romans” should be interpreted as referring to Christians, or more generally, the West). Although this peace agreement is made with the “Romans”, it is said to be mediated specifically through a Jew from the priestly lineage of Aaron. The peace agreement will be made for a period of seven years. Rasulullah [Muhammad] said: “There will be four peace agreements between you and the Romans [Christians]. The fourth agreement will be mediated through a person who will be from the progeny of Hadrat Haroon [Honorable Aaron – Moses’ brother] and will be upheld for seven years. (Emphasis mine) It appears that the period of this seven year peace agreement will likewise be the period of the Mahdi’s reign. While there are a few traditions that specify that the Mahdi will reign on the earth for as much as eight or possibly even nine years, most traditions state that the time of his reign will be seven years. The Prophet said… He will divide the property, and will govern the people by the Sunnah of their Prophet and establish Islam on Earth. He will remain seven years, then die, and the Muslims will pray over him. (Emphasis mine) The Prophet said: The Mahdi… will fill the earth with equity and justice as it was filled with oppression and tyranny, and he will rule for seven years. (Emphasis mine) Al-Mahdi, The Rider On A White Horse The Mahdi is believed to ride on a white horse. Whether or not this is symbolic or literal is hard to say. Quite interestingly, this tradition is based on the Muslim interpretation of Christian Scriptures. Despite the fact that Muslims view the Bible as having been changed and corrupted by Jews and Christians, they still claim to believe that some portions of the “original” inspired books are still to be found within the “corrupted” Bible. As such there exists a tradition within Islamic scholarship that seeks to extract those portions of the Bible that Muslims feel may be untainted by the corrupting influence of Jews and Christians. These Judeo-Christian traditions are called by Muslims, isra’iliyyat. One such transmitter of biblical traditions is Muslim scholar Ka’b al-Ahbar. He is viewed among Muslims as a trustworthy transmitter of Hadith as well as isra’iliyyat. Ka’b al-Ahbar is supported in his view that this description of the rider on the white horse as found in the Book of Revelation is indeed the Mahdi by two well known Egyptian authors, Muhammad Ibn ‘Izzat and Muhammad ‘Arif in their book Al Mahdi and the End of Time. ‘Izzat and Arif quote Ka’b al Ahbar as saying: I find the Mahdi recorded in the books of the Prophets… For instance, the Book of Revelation says: “And I saw and behold a white horse. He that sat on him…went forth conquering and to conquer.” ‘Izzat and ‘Arif then go on to say: It is clear that this man is the Mahdi who will ride the white horse and judge by the Qur’an (with justice) and with whom will be men with marks of prostration on their foreheads [Marks on their foreheads from bowing in prayer with their head to the ground five times daily]. It is said by some that it was for this reason that Saddam Hussein had numerous murals painted all over Baghdad portraying himself as a Muslim Knight on a white horse with sword drawn doing valiant battle against the infidels. [source]
Rev 6:2 And I saw, and behold, a white horse, and he that sat thereon had a bow; and there was given unto him a crown: and he came forth conquering, and to conquer.