Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):

Islam's Much Awaited World Leader — The False Prophet of Revelation?

Muslims today are eagerly awaiting the appearance of a Muslim leader known as al-Mahdi. The entire landscape of the Muslim world and the rest of the world will dramatically change as a result of his appearance. We will examine this character in detail based on Islamic sources, and compare him with a character in the Bible that is very similar.

by HOIM Staff

Muslims' Eager Expectation For Al-Mahdi

There is no doubt that Muslims are eagerly awaiting the appearance of a Muslim leader (known as Caliph in Arabic), who is to be a faithful representative of Allah. Consider this report on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech to the United Nations General Assembly in September 2006:

WASHINGTON -- While most of the reporting and analysis of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech at the U.N. focused on what he had to say about the West and specifically the U.S., his chilling closing remarks were lost on most listeners -- and apparently all reporters...

The last two paragraphs of his remarks revealed his steadfast and driving conviction, as previously reported in WND, that a messianic figure, known as the "Mahdi" to Muslims, is poised to reveal himself after an apocalyptic holocaust on Earth that leaves most of the world's population dead. (Iran leader's U.N. finale reveals apocalyptic view, World Net Daily, Sept 21, 2006)

Or consider the statement by the Mujahideen Shura Council in Iraq, a collection of eight mujahideen (jihad fighters) groups fighting the United States:

Sep. 26, 2006. Both you and the Romans, await the defeat as you see what happens everyday in Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya and elsewhere as we are awaiting victory, martyrdom, triumph, enabling the Caliphate (Islamic state) that judges by the law of Allah. Then we will break the cross, shed the wine and we wont accept Jiziya (Islam or Death), Allah will give Muslims the victory in their war against the Romans and their final capital Rome like his Prophet Mohammed, peace upon him, has promised in the authentic Hadith and just as we were the victorious when we conquered Istanbul in the past. (MSC Iraq Issues Statement In Rebuttal To Pope's Remarks On Islam)

Many similar reports about can be cited. Who is this Mahdi mentioned in President Ahmadinejad's speech? And what is the Islamic Caliphate mentioned by the Mujahideen Shura Council? Why is there such anticipation among the 1.3 billion Muslims for the coming of al-Mahdi? What will he do when he appears on the scene? What effects will his appearance bring to the whole world? How will the world react to this person? Did the Bible also prophesy about al-Mahdi? If so, which character in the Bible prophecies fits?

These are all questions that this article tries to answer as we search the hadiths (Muslim record of Muhammad's words or deeds) and the teachings of Muslim scholars. Apart from the Qur'an, the hadiths form the next most important source of Islamic Law. We also compare these expectations with what is contained in the Bible to gain a more complete understanding of the End Times. While most non-Muslims are probably clueless about al-Mahdi, many Muslims are eagerly expecting his coming. Some Muslims are even said to be trying to create the enviroment conducive for this coming, and are actively working towards his Caliphate.

The importance of al-Mahdi to Muslims and non-Muslims alike is that his appearance will have dramatic effects on the Muslims and the non-Muslims. As and when he appears, the entire dynamics of this world will change as a result. We encourage you to carefully read this article to understand the impact it will have on the Muslim psyche and how it will steer world events.

The Importance of Qiyamah in Islam

Islamic teaching is that all created things at an appointed time will be annihilated, and then resurrected for judgment before Allah. The exact date and time of this event, known as Yawm al-Qiyamah (literally Day of Resurrection), is known to Allah alone (Qur'an Surah 7:187, 31:34, 33:63), but the Qur'an says it will come suddenly (Surah 7:187; 12:107; 21:40; 22:55; 29:53; 39:55; 43:66; 47:18). Belief in the Last Days, in particular the Day of Judgment, is listed as the fifth Article of Faith in Islam, and therefore an essential element of the Islamic faith. All Muslims are expected to believe in it. Islam considers that all the prophets since the time of Noah have taught about the Qiyamah to their followers, but that Muhammad told his followers in much greater details about it. In particular, Muhammad said that the prophets have warned their followers about ad-Dajjal (Muslim version of the Antichrist, not to be confused with the Antichrist in the Bible). For example, we read in the hadiths:

Narrated AbuUbaydah ibn al-Jarrah:

I heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) say: There has been no Prophet after Noah who has not warned his people about the antichrist (Dajjal), and I warn you of him. The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) described him to us, saying: Perhaps some who have seen me and heard my words will live till his time. The people asked: Apostle of Allah! what will be the condition of our hearts on that day? Like what we are today? He replied: Or better. (Sunan Abu Dawud 40.4738)

Even though Muhammad speculated that some Muslim believers might live till the last days when ad-Dajjal appears, this was not to be the case. The hadiths recorded that Muhammad sometimes preached sermons on the Qiyamah for many hours. It is also said that the Companions of Muhammad also taught the hadiths to their children and instructed them to also teach their children. Thus, teachings about Qiyamah is something that is taught and passed down by Muslims from generation to generation, reflecting its importance in the Islamic faith. As such, many Muslims will be familiar with the teachings on Qiyamah, about the coming of al-Mahdi, about the coming of Isa (Islamic name for Jesus) and the coming of ad-Dajjal.

Muslim scholars tell us that the signs of the Qiyamah can be divided into two types: Major (Greater) and Minor (Lesser) Signs. The Minor Signs can be categorized into Immediate or Later, where Immediate Signs refers to those supposedly fulfilled in the earlier era of Islam, while the Later Signs are supposed to happen as Qiyamah draws near. We will not deal with the Minor Signs in this article, but concentrate on the first of the Major Signs -- the coming of Al-Mahdi.

Descriptions of Al-Mahdi in Islam

In this section, we will consider the various hadith reports (plural. ahadith) and Muslim teachings concerning al-Mahdi to get a good idea of this End Times personality in Islam. The hadiths are the records of words or deeds of Muhammad, and is second in importance as the source of inspiration after the Qur'an. As such, the hadiths play a very important part in the doctrine and practice of Islam. However, not all the hadiths are equal, in that some of the them, especially the Sahih (authentic or sound) hadiths, are considered to be most authentic and beyond dispute. The Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim are considered the most authentic.

Al-Mahdi is considered a Major Sign of the Qiyamah. This title means "the Guided One," i.e., he will be guided by Allah. It can also mean "the Gifted One," obviously in reference to the various gifts he will possess. There are many hadiths recording Muhammad's teachings about al-Mahdi. Many Muslims have also written about al-Mahdi and the accompanying signs of his coming. On the internet, one can find many articles related to his coming.

In essense, the hadiths speak of al-Mahdi as a character that is expected to appear in the Last Days from out of the earth (a well in Qom, Iran), unite the Muslims and with the help of Isa (Muslim version of Jesus), conduct jihad (lit. struggle, more commonly, referring to warfare in Allah's cause) against the rest of the world. He is expected to be victorious and to usher in a new era of Islamic Caliphate. The Caliphate is the jurisdiction of the Caliph. Muslims expect this Islamic Caliphate to eventually cover the entire world as the entire world comes under Islam. He will rule for seven years, bringing in an era of "justice and equity". This is an age that many Muslims look fondly towards:

The final times represents an age that contains all of these "better" concepts. They will be a holy age, when shortages are replaced by plenty and abundance, injustice by justice, immorality by morality, conflict by peace and security, and the Islamic morality that all believers have yearned for down the centuries comes to prevail...the world will experience that period of great peace, security, happiness, and well-being known as the Golden Age. (Harun Yahyah, The End Times and Signs of the Mahdi)

The Mahdi in Shi'ite and Sunni (the two main sects of Islam) traditions are somewhat different as to the exact identity of al-Mahdi. The Shi'ites believe that al-Mahdi was the 12th Imam (leader) of the Shi'ite sect (the fourth Caliph, Ali, was considered the first Shi'ite Imam, followed by his sons Hasan, Hussein, and their descendents, etc). This 12th Imam, who was then a small boy, was said to have disappeared and went into occultation around 260 A.H. (874 A.D.). The Shi'ites believed that in the Last Days, he will reappear and rule the earth. In contrast, the Sunnis believe al-Mahdi to be someone to appear in the future, and do not necessarily have any special connection to the 12th Imam of the Shi'ites. Nevertheless, this is not important in our study, as our focus is on the Mahdi that is to appear and his characteristics and exploits. In this respect, there is essentially no difference in Sunni and Shi'ite versions of what he will be and what he will do.

Historically, there have been many Muslims who have claimed to be al-Mahdi. However, we do not dwell on these claimants, but rather on the apocalyptic character that Muslims believe will come before the End of Times. OK. So let's sit tight and see what the hadiths and Muslim scholars have to say about al-Mahdi.

Conditions at the Emergence of Al-Mahdi

According to the hadiths, just prior to the emergence of Al-Mahdi, "Christian rule will be dominant". (Note that Muslims often equate Western with Christian). A descendent of Abu Sufyan (a Meccan who converted to Islam under threat of beheading) is supposed to emerge in Syria (Sham) and kill many of Muhammad's descendents and rule over Syria and Egypt. There is then supposed to be a battle between the ruler and the Christians, after which, one group of the Christians will enter into a treaty with the Muslims while the other group will attack and conquer Constantinople (Istanbul). The Muslims and their Christian allies will then attack the other Christians and win over them. Then the Muslims and the Christians will argue over if the battle had been won with the Cross or Islam, until a full-scale battle ensued, resulting in the killing of the Muslim ruler. These Christians are supposed to conquer Syria and reconcile with the other group of Christians, and will exercise their rule till Khaybar.

At this point, it is said that this turmoil will cause Muslims everywhere to be searching for Al-Mahdi to lead them and end all these trials. Given the current situation in the Middle East, it should be understandable why many Muslims look forward to the day al-Mahdi will appear.

Al-Mahdi -- A Descendent of Muhammad

The first thing we will notice about the Mahdi is that the hadiths say that he will be a direct descendent of Muhammad:

Narrated Umm Salamah, Ummul Mu'minin:

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: The Mahdi will be of my family, of the descendants of Fatimah. Abdullah ibn Ja'far said: I heard AbulMalih praising Ali ibn Nufayl and describing his good qualities. (Sunan Abu Dawud 36.4271)

The world will not come to pass until a man from among my family, whose name will be my name, rules over the Arabs. (Tirmidhi Sahih, Vol. 9, P. 74; Abu Dawud, Sahih, Vol. 5, P. 207; also narrated by Ali b. Abi Talib, Abu Sa'id, Umm Salma, Abu Hurayra, quoted by Idara Dawat-o-Irshad, "Identification of the Prophesied Imam Mahdi")

Many similar hadiths were also recorded by other Muslims like Ahmad ibn Hanbal, ibn Majar, etc. Thus al-Mahdi is supposed to be a descendent of Muhammad, and will have the same name as Muhammad, but some Muslims also think that names that are variants of Muhammad, like Mahmoud or Ahmad, might be acceptable. Fatimah, Ali's wife, was the only child of Muhammad to have descendents, as the rest of Muhammad's children either died young or did not have offsprings. Thus, al-Mahdi is supposed to be a descendent of Fatimah and Ali. Muhammad's descendants are numerous. The royal family of Jordan, for example, are descended from Hasan, eldest son of Fatimah and Ali.

In another hadith, we read:

Narrated Abdullah ibn Mas'ud:

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: If only one day of this world remained. Allah would lengthen that day (according to the version of Za'idah), till He raised up in it a man who belongs to me or to my family whose father's name is the same as my father's, who will fill the earth with equity and justice as it has been filled with oppression and tyranny (according to the version of Fitr). Sufyan's version says: The world will not pass away before the Arabs are ruled by a man of my family whose name will be the same as mine. (Sunan Abu Dawud 36.4269)

This hadith seem to say that al-Mahdi's father will also have the same name as Muhammad's father (i.e., Abdullah). If so, then al-Mahdi's name should be Muhammad ibn Abdullah. However, some Muslims dispute the authenticity of these hadiths. Shi`ites believed that his name is Muhammad ibn Hasan. There are also other hadiths that give the name of al-Mahdi's mother to be the same as Muhammad's mother (i.e., Amina).

Al-Mahdi's Looks

From the hadiths, we gather that al-Mahdi will have a broad forehead and a prominent nose.

Narrated Abu Sa'id al-Khudri:

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: The Mahdi will be of my stock, and will have a broad forehead a prominent nose. He will fill the earth will equity and justice as it was filled with oppression and tyranny, and he will rule for seven years. (Sunan Abu Dawud 36.4272)

He will also supposedly look like "Bani Israel" (children of Israel):

Then, Hudhayfah asked: 'O Messenger of Allah, how shall we know him?' He replied: "He is a man from my children, he looks like the men from the children of Israel, (quoted by Shaykh Abdullah ben Sadek, late Grand Muhaddith of Morocco, AL MAHDI, JESUS and DAJJAL [Moshaikh -- the ANTI-CHRIST], tr. Shaykh Ahmad Darwish)

This could mean he will look like a Jew, or as some Muslims speculate, like one of the "lost tribes of Israel." For example, some claim that the Pathans (or Pashtuns) of Afghanistan and Pakistan were descended from the lost tribes of Israel (actually only from King Saul, from the tribe of Benjamin), who later converted to Islam. They identify themselves as Bani Israel, but not Jews. (The relationship between Jews and Muslims have been extremely tumultous since the days of Muhammad, something we shall see also in other hadiths regarding the End Times).

However, the above reference as refering to the Jews is the most likely interpretation, since Muhammad dealt with many Jews in Arabia during his time, and the Qur'an and he consistently used Bani Israel to refer to the Jewish people in Arabia (See Qur'an, Surah 2:40, 2:47, for example).

Other hadiths ascribe to him a regular height, an Arab complexion, a glittering face, about the age of 40, and has a black mole on his right cheek. He will be wearing two cloaks (similar to Jewish tallits or Afghan Qutwani cloaks).

An Army Bearing Black Flags Coming From Khorasan (Or The East)

Several hadiths tell of the coming of an army bearing black flags (or banners) prior to the revealing of al-Mahdi. A man from Khorasan by the name of al-Harith ibn Harrath will be preparing the people for the appearance of the Mahdi, and at the front of this army is a man by the name of Mansur. On their way to Jerusalem, they will kill many infidels (kuffars, i.e., non-Muslims).

Narrated Ali ibn AbuTalib:

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: A man called al-Harith ibn Harrath will come forth from Ma Wara an-Nahr. His army will be led by a man called Mansur who will establish or consolidate things for Muhammad's family as Quraysh consolidated them for the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him). Every believer must help him, or he said: respond to his sermons. (Sunan Abu Dawud 36.4277)

Hadhrat Buraidah (R.A.) says that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: "There will be many armies after me. You must join that army [that] [sic] will come from Khurasaan". (Ibn Adi, as quoted by Mufti A.H. Elias and Mohammad Ali ibn Zubair Ali, "Imam Mahdi (Descendent of Prophet Muhammad PBUH)")

"Rasulullah" means "Messenger of Allah", a title Muslims used to refer to Muhammad. Khorasan today is a province in north eastern Iran, but in ancient times, Greater Khorasan refers to a region that extends over north eastern Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Thus, out of this central Asian region is supposed to arise an army carrying black flags. At one time, it was speculated that Osama bin Laden or his lieutenants, then based in Afghanistan, could have been leading this army.

As Muhammad commanded all Muslims to give this army their support when they see it appear, this army, though not necessarily very well equpped, will be very formidable. The army is said to be very successful on its journey to Jerusalem.

Abu Hurairah (R.A.) says that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: "(Armies carrying) black flags will come from khurasaan. No power will be able to stop them and they will finally reach Eela (Baitul Maqdas) where they will erect their flags". (Tirmidhi, as quoted by Mufti A.H. Elias and Mohammad Ali ibn Zubair Ali, "Imam Mahdi (Descendent of Prophet Muhammad PBUH)")

Baitul Maqdas (literally Holy House) came from the Hebrew term for the Jewish Temple, Bait HaMiqdash, and is used to refer to Jerusalem, or more specifically, to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock on the so-called Temple Mount (the compound is known as al-Haram al-Sharif). This army will kill many infidels on the way, and finally on reaching Jerusalem, will plant the black flags on the Al-Aqsa Mosque. It is said that when the black flags appear, the appearance of al-Mahdi will be imminent.

The black flags have been a prominent sign in Islam's army since Muhammad's days.

In Islam there are two flags. One is white and one is black. Written across both flags in Arabic are the words, "There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his Messenger". The white flag is called Al-Liwaa and serves as the sign for the leader of the Muslim army and is the flag of the Islamic State. The black flag is called Ar-Raya and is used by the Muslim army. It is also called the flag of jihad, and is carried into battle. One flag is governmental and the other is a military flag. When Muhammad returned to his home city of Mecca after being exiled for eight years, he returned as a conqueror. With him were ten thousand Muslim soldiers. They carried with them black flags. On the flags was one word written in Arabic: punishment. (Joel Richardson, Antichrist, Islam's Awaited Messiah, 2006.)

In modern days, the black flags have been used by Muslims in several places during demonstrations, eg. a demonstration against the Pope in Palestine, in another demonstration in Cairo, etc. This imagery is of course an invocation of the desire for al-Mahdi to arrive on the world scene. It is clear that many Muslims understand the significance behind this flag: a coming retribution against those who defy Islam (whether it be non-Muslims or non-devout Muslims).

In summary, when the army of black flags appears in Khorasan, the emergence of al-Mahdi is supposedly imminent.

Al-Mahdi's Ascension to Rule

As we study the hadiths on al-Mahdi, we come to some very interesting developments. This very important person may not be some prominent person that is already ruling over some country in the world. Instead, Muslims believe al-Mahdi to be a person living in obscurity before his emergence, and that his heart will be changed overnight to take up this responsibility:

Al Mahdi is from the family of the House Allah will 'yuslihu' him in a night. (Shaykh Abdullah ben Sadek, late Grand Muhaddith of Morocco, AL MAHDI, JESUS and DAJJAL [Moshaikh -- the ANTI-CHRIST], tr. Shaykh Ahmad Darwish)

Since al-Mahdi's heart is supposed to be changed overnight, it is well-nigh impossible to say what kind of person he currently is, if he exist today. He will suddenly burst into the world scene. He will be recognized as the Mahdi by a group of Muslims known as abdals and will be suddenly thrusted into the limelight. The hadiths say:

Narrated Umm Salamah, Ummul Mu'minin:

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Disagreement will occur at the death of a caliph and a man of the people of Medina will come flying forth to Mecca. Some of the people of Mecca will come to him, bring him out against his will and swear allegiance to him between the Corner and the Maqam. (Sunan Abu Dawud 36.4273)

From this hadith, we can see that al-Mahdi is said to escape from Medina to Mecca (the two holiest cities in Islam) possibly due to the fear of the responsibilities on him. This must indicate that he will know he is to be al-Mahdi. Note that it is not indicated whether he actually is a Medinan. Some Muslims speculated that al-Mahdi will be Meccan, just like Muhammad. However, given the ease of travel in the world today, there is no telling where he will be, or what nationality he will be.

During the Haj, while performing the tawaf between Hajrul Aswad and Maqam Ibrahim, some people known as the abdals are said to approach him and forcefully pledge their allegiance (bayah) to him. The tawaf is the ritual of circumambulation around the Ka'aba (the holiest building in Mecca) performed by Muslims during the pilgrimage to Mecca (known as the Haj). Hajrul Aswad refers to the Black Stone at a corner of the Ka'aba, whereas Maqam Ibrahim (the Station of Abraham) is located in front of the only door to the Ka'aba. Thus, people will suddenly pledge allegiance to al-Mahdi at this vicinity. Other hadiths say that at this time a voice from heaven will tell the people there that he is the khalifah (Caliph, meaning viceroy) of Allah (Mufti A.H. Elias and Mohammad Ali ibn Zubair Ali, Imam Mahdi (Descendent of Prophet Muhammad PBUH)). News of this unveiling of al-Mahdi will then travel quickly around the world to the Muslims.

The same hadith continues:

An expeditionary force will then be sent against him from Syria but will be swallowed up in the desert between Mecca and Medina. When the people see that, the eminent saints of Syria and the best people of Iraq will come to him and swear allegiance to him between the Corner and the Maqam. (Sunan Abu Dawud 36.4273)

So, the above hadith tells us that a huge army from Syria ("expeditionary force") is said to come and attack him, but will be swallowed up in the desert between Medina and Mecca. When the surrounding people see or hear about this event, leaders of Syria and Iraq will come to pledge their allegiance to him. At this point, al-Mahdi would have gained the allegiance of quite a number of influential Muslim leaders.

Narrated Ali ibn AbuTalib:

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: A man called al-Harith ibn Harrath will come forth from Ma Wara an-Nahr. His army will be led by a man called Mansur who will establish or consolidate things for Muhammad's family as Quraysh consolidated them for the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him). Every believer must help him, or he said: respond to his sermons. (Sunan Abu Dawud 36.4277)

Thawban (R.A) reported that the Propet [sic] Muhammad said, 'In your old age three men will be killed. Each of them will be the son of a Khalifah (caliph -- a Muslim ruler). Then the black banners will come out of the east, and they will slaughter you in a way that no Nation has ever done before. Then the Dear Prophet said something that I didn't remember. Then again the Dear Prophet said if you see him give him your allegiance, even if you have to crawl over ice, because he is the Khalifah of Allah, the Mahdi.' (Ibn Majah Page 300, Also Ahmad's Musnad, al-Haakim's Mustadrak and others).

There is also the Hadith narrated by Thawban (may Allah be pleased with him) in which the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: "If you see the black banners emerging from Khurasan, seek to join their supporters even if creeping, because among them will be caliph Al-Mahdi." That Hadith was reported by Al-Hakim and Ahmad. But the chains of narration of that hadith were all unauthentic, though some Hadith scholars rendered it sound in general. (Islam Online)

What the last sentence in the quote above means is that the content of the hadith is sound, and fits other data available, but the specific isnad (chain of narrators) is weak. The phrase "even if creeping" has also been translated to "even if crawl over ice", and Muslims said that some mountainous regions in Khorasan area are often covered with ice and snow. Basically, what this means is that Muslims are told to go and join them when they appear, even if it means a great deal of hardship to get there. This is not difficult to imagine since many foreign Muslims have gone to the difficult mountainous region to train with al-Qaida.

Notice, however, that this hadith says that "among them will be caliph Al-Mahdi". That is, al-Mahdi will be one of those among the army, and then later he will be revealed. Other hadiths seem to indicate that he is revealed and then this army will join him. Whatever the case, al-Mahdi and the army are certainly intertwined.

Thus far, we see that al-Mahdi will suddenly be recognized, and then some leaders will pledge allegiance to him, and due to a miraculous event, many more leaders will then come and follow to him. This news will spread very quickly among the Muslims and many more Muslims will then come and pledge allegiance to him. This meteoric rise to power of a leader will be unprecendented in the history of mankind.

Let's pause a moment and consider the implications of this event. Today, there are an estimated 1.3 to 1.5 billion Muslims in the world. And if only 10% of all Muslims were to join this army, we will see 130 to 150 million Muslim mujahideens (those who participate in jihad). Given that Muhammad exhorted all Muslims to join and support them (and assuming only the able-bodied and adult ones can actually join), the size of this coming Muslim army is still considerable, running in the hundreds of millions. No nation in this world has such a large army. One can easily imagine that very very few nations can stand against this large army.

Al-Mahdi The World Leader

We have seen the expected meteoric and sudden rise to power of al-Mahdi, but this is not the end. The aim of al-Mahdi is not just the Muslim world, but the entire world. The title for Book 36 of Sunan Abu Dawud, one of the six Sahih Sunni collections of hadiths, is "The Promised Deliverer (Kitab Al-Mahdi)". This is a collection of hadiths related to the coming of al-Mahdi. Thus, early Muslims saw al-Mahdi as a coming deliverer of the Muslims.

Jews are waiting for the Messiah, Christians are waiting for Jesus, and Muslims are waiting for both the Mahdi and Jesus. All religions describe them as men coming to save the world. (Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani, "The Approach of Armageddon? An Islamic Perspective", Canada, Supreme Muslim Council of America, 2003, p. 229, as quoted by Joel Richardson, Antichrist, Islam's Awaited Messiah, 2006)

The hadiths tell us:

Even if the entire duration of the world's existence has already been exhausted and only one day is left before the Day of Judgment, Allah will expand that day to such a length of time, as to accommodate the kingdom of a person out of my Ahl al-Bayt who will be called by my name. He will then fill the Earth with peace and justice as it will have been filled with injustice and tyranny before then. (Sahih Tirmidhi, vol. 2, p. 86, vol. 9, p. 74-75)

Narrated Abdullah ibn Mas'ud: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: If only one day of this world remained. Allah would lengthen that day (according to the version of Za'idah), till He raised up in it a man who belongs to me or to my family whose father's name is the same as my father's, who will fill the earth with equity and justice as it has been filled with oppression and tyranny (according to the version of Fitr). Sufyan's version says: The world will not pass away before the Arabs are ruled by a man of my family whose name will be the same as mine. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 36, #4269, Also #4270, #4272, #4276A)

Then there will arise a man of Quraysh whose maternal uncles belong to Kalb and send against them an expeditionary force which will be overcome by them, and that is the expedition of Kalb. Disappointed will be the one who does not receive the booty of Kalb. He will divide the property, and will govern the people by the Sunnah of their Prophet (peace be upon him) and establish Islam on Earth. He will remain seven years, then die, and the Muslims will pray over him. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 36, #4273)

As the expected rule of al-Mahdi is to cover the whole earth and not just the Muslim countries today, non-Muslims will also be affected by this turn of events. In order to bring about a world of "peace and justice", al-Mahdi will rely on a number of means. Muslims tell us:

Allah (c.c.) will sow love of him in the hearts of all people. (Harun Yahya quoting El-Kavlu'l Muhtasar Fi Alamet-il Mehdiyy-il Muntazar, 42) ...

So, Allah will sow love of him in the chests of the people (Shaykh Abdullah ben Sadek, late Grand Muhaddith of Morocco, AL MAHDI, JESUS and DAJJAL [Moshaikh -- the ANTI-CHRIST], tr. Shaykh Ahmad Darwish)

There will remain no individual not pleased with the Muslims. (Harun Yahya quoting Signs of the Judgment Day, 163) ...

Al Mahdi appears, everyone only talks about Him, drinks the love of Him, and never talks about anything other than Him. (Harun Yahya quoting Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir al-Zaman, 33)

The dwellers of Heaven and Earth, even the birds in the sky, will be pleased with his Caliphate. (Harun Yahya quoting El-Kavlu'l Muhtasar Fi Alamet-il Mehdiyy-il Muntazar, 29)

The above quotations paint a picture where Allah will cause the people of this world to admire and love him. As such, al-Mahdi will exude a charisma, charm, and as we shall also see, persuasiveness, that many will find difficult to resist. As a result, many people will willingly come under his rule and become Muslims as al-Mahdi and Isa make Islam the only religion in this world.

Under his authority, al-Mahdi will send out invitations to Islam to the rest of the world, starting with the states around his own jurisdiction, according to the stipulation of Muhammad. After these are passed, then according to Muhammad's sunnah (lit. path, i.e. Muhammad's example), Al-Mahdi is free to conduct warfare against these nations and subdue them. He is expected to bring about a new era of "peace and justice" over the entire world. Muslims tell us about his success in conducting jihad:

Nafi' b. Utba reported: ...I repeat (on the fingers of my hand) that he (Allah's Messenger) said: You will attack Arabia and Allah will enable you to conquer it, then you would attack Persia and He would make you to Conquer it. Then you would attack Rome and AllgLh [sic] will enable you to conquer it, then you would attack the Dajjal and Allah will enable you to conquer him. Nafi' said: Jabir, we thought that the Dajjal would appear after Rome (Syrian territory) would be conquered. (Sahih Muslim 41.6930)

A jamaat of Muslims wages Jihaad on India and be successful.

Imam Mahdi returns to Syria and establishes Muslim rule over the lands he passes. (Mufti Afzal Hoosen Elias, MAJOR SIGNS OF QIYAMAT)

So we see that first of all, people will love al-Mahdi and come willingly to submit to him, some will become persuaded by his message and be amazed at his military success, and the rest of the world who refuse to follow him will be conquered, and "he will then fill the Earth with peace and justice".

Al-Mahdi And The Laws Of His Government

Having seen al-Mahdi's rise to power and how he will establish his Caliphate over the whole world, we now explore the nature of his government. According to the hadiths, al-Mahdi will govern according to the Sunnah of Muhammad. The word sunnah literally means "trodden path" and refers to the words and acts of Muhammad, and these are recorded in the hadiths. The Sunnah of Muhammad refers to the precedents set by Muhammad. All Muslims try to emulate Muhammad, and some go to the extent of emulating everything he did, including the beard, the turban, the sequence of putting on clothes, and other acts. As to matters of law, the Sunnah is codified into the Shari'a (Islamic Law).

Narrated Umm Salamah, Ummul Mu'minin:

...Then there will arise a man of Quraysh whose maternal uncles belong to Kalb and send against them an expeditionary force which will be overcome by them, and that is the expedition of Kalb. Disappointed will be the one who does not receive the booty of Kalb. He will divide the property, and will govern the people by the Sunnah of their Prophet (peace be upon him) and establish Islam on Earth. He will remain seven years, then die, and the Muslims will pray over him. (Sunan Abu Dawud 36.4273)

So, we see that al-Mahdi will make Islam the religion across the entire world. And he will also govern using the Shari'a Law. That means, he and Isa will institute Shari'a Law over all the world. Even though the different Sunni schools have some disagreements over the actual implementation of Shari'a (the different schools have about 75% of Shar'ia that are in complete agreement), al-Mahdi will probably not have any problems since the Muslims have already pledged allegiance to him and also believed that he is rightly guided by Allah (hence, his title of al-Mahdi). This means all those legal disputes will probably be resolved under his direction.

In the world today, whenever Muslims become the majority of the land, the law is often changed to Shari'a. You can see this happening in Somalia, Sudan. Even in more "moderate" countries where Muslims are already under Shar'ia Law,, (eg. Malaysia and Indonesia), the call for complete Shar'ia, even over non-Muslims, is regularly heard. In places were the Muslims are minority, Shar'ia Law is practiced among Muslims, and often recognized by the government (e.g., England, Singapore, etc).

Another important aspect of Shar'ia relates to the calendar. Muslim nations use the Islamic calendar that dates from the Hijra (the escape of Muhammad from Mecca to Medina). Thus, Islamic dates are labelled as A.H. (after Hijra) instead of A.D. (Ano Domini, latin for "in the Lord"). The Islamic Calendar is totally lunar in nature and has no intercalation to synchronize with the solar year (unlike the Jewish or Chinese luni-solar calendar). When al-Mahdi implements the Shari'a Law over his empire, it is a given that he will also use the Islamic calendar.

Length Of Al-Mahdi's Reign

A number of sahih or hasan (good) hadiths say that the reign of al-Mahdi will be about seven years. We have seen it mentioned in Sunan Abu Dawud 36.4273. Here is another one:

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: The Mahdi will be of my stock, and will have a broad forehead a prominent nose. He will fill the earth will equity and justice as it was filled with oppression and tyranny, and he will rule for seven years. (Sunan Abu Dawud 36.4272)

There are some other hadiths that gives his length of rule as 5, 7, 9 or 10. There is even one that says 20 years. However, the hadith with seven years seems to be the most authentic (Sahih). There is some doubt in the authenticity of the other hadiths.

The Treaty of Seven Years

We also read of a peace treaty that the Muslims will enter into:

Hadhrat Abu Umamah radhiyallahu anhu says that Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam said: "There will be four peace agreements between you and the Romans. The fourth agreement will be mediated through a person who will be from the progeny of Hadhrat Haroon alayhis salaam and will be upheld for seven years."

The people asked: "O Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam , who will be the Imaam of the people at the time?"

Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam said: "He will be from my progeny and will be forty years of age. His face will shine like a star and he will have a black spot on his left cheek. He will don two "Qutwaani" cloaks and will appear exactly as a person from the Bani Israeel..." (Tabrani, as quoted by Mufti A.H. Elias and Mohammad Ali ibn Zubair Ali, "Imam Mahdi (Descendent of Prophet Muhammad PBUH)")

The Romans are often equated with the Christians or the West (as the Romans Empire that came in contact with the Muslims at that time was the Eastern Roman Empire, known also as the Byzantine Empire). The above quotation tells us that the agreement will be with a descendent of Aaron (Harun or Haroon), i.e., a person from the priestly family. The Aaronites have been entrusted with the job of taking care of the daily sacrifices and only the Chief Priest may enter into the "Holy of Holies". Exactly what the treaty is about, the hadiths did not specify.

Al-Mahdi's Seat of Authority -- Jerusalem and/or Kufa

Another important characteristic of al-Mahdi is his seat of authority. We have already seen this hadith above:

Abu Hurairah (R.A.) says that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: "(Armies carrying) black flags will come from khurasaan. No power will be able to stop them and they will finally reach Eela (Baitul Maqdas) where they will erect their flags". (Tirmidhi, as quoted by Mufti A.H. Elias and Mohammad Ali ibn Zubair Ali, "Imam Mahdi (Descendent of Prophet Muhammad PBUH)")

We can see that the hadiths say that Jerusalem will be captured by the Muslims. Muhammad ibn Izzat and Muhammad 'Arif, commenting on the above tradition, said:

The Mahdi will be victorious and eradicate those pigs and dogs and the idols of this time so that there will once more be a caliphate based on prophethood as the hadith states...Jerusalem will be the location of the rightly guided caliphate and the center of Islamic rule, which will be headed by Imam al-Mahdi...That will abolish the leadership of the Jews...and put an end to the domination of the Satans who spit evil into people and cause corruption in the earth, making them slaves of false idols and ruling the world by laws other than the Shari'a [Islamic Law] of the Lord of the worlds. (Muhammad ibn Izzat and Muhammad 'Arif, as quoted by Joel Richardson, Antichrist, Islam's Awaited Messiah, 2006)

In other words, Muslims believe that Israel will be defeated and the nation of Israel wiped out. Muslims consider that Jerusalem will be the future headquarters of al-Mahdi's caliphate. For example:

Head of the northern faction of the Islamic Movement Sheikh Raed Salah said Friday that "soon Jerusalem will be the capital of the new Muslim caliphate, and the caliph's seat will be there." (Salah: Caliph will sit in Jerusalem, Ynet News, Sep 15, 2006.)

A. Hijazi explains:

The flourishing of Jerusalem will happen by the hands of Muslims, by the will of Allah, after it will be retrieved from the Jews.

The Holy Land will be the seat of the Caliphate because the Messenger of Allah sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam said to Ibn Hawalah,

"O Ibn Hawalah! If you live to see the seat of the Caliphate of the Holy Land, then earthquakes, disasters and great calamities are imminent. Then, the Hour will be closer to people than this hand of mine to your head!" (Al-Hakim in Al-Mustadrak, vol. 4, p. 420, and he says, "Sahih", as quoted by A. Hijazi, Signs of the Appearance of the Dajjal and His Destruction. Major Signs of the Last Hour)

The fact that al-Mahdi will choose to rule from Jerusalem sometime into his reign (not explicitly stated when) means there has to be a conflict with the Israelis currently ruling Jerusalem, in order to resolve this issue. In fact, as we have seen above, and we shall see next, the Jews will be defeated and slaughtered.

However, this does not mean that Jerusalem will be the seat of his throne throughout his entire reign. In fact, Shi`ite Muslims believe that he will rule from Kufa (in modern day Iraq) and also go to Jerusalem, whereas other Muslims believe that he will rule from Damascus in Syria. That said, this does not preclude al-Mahdi from first ruling in Damascus or Kufa, then ruling from Jerusalem after it was captured.

Al-Mahdi and the Jews

The relationship with the Jews is at a boiling point today, due especially to the establishment of the modern nation of Israel. Some Muslim nations do not recognize Israel, and some make no pretense about their desire to completely annihilate Israel from the world map. The Sahih Muslim contain a number of hadiths that describe what will happen to the Jews under al-Mahdi:

(Muhammad said:) The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; (Sahih Muslim 41.6985. Also, Sahih Muslim 41.6981, Sahih Muslim 41.6982, Sahih Muslim 41.6983, Sahih Muslim 41.6984)

This hadith paints a very dire picture of the Jews at the End Times. This particular hadith is often recalled by many terrorists like al-Qaida and others. It is also taught in Saudi school textbooks and in sermons in the mosques around the world. Given the strong sentiments against Jews in the Middle East, this hadith is a clear statement of what will happen to the Israelis the moment Israel lapses in her defenses. The recent war in Lebanon has also destroyed the myth of invincibility of the Israeli army, and so Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria, Iran and other groups will probably be even more emboldened in the future. This means a coordinated effort by the Muslims to destroy Israel is becoming more and more a not-too-distant reality.

Al-Mahdi and Prosperity -- A New Golden Age of Islam

Another aspect of the reign of al-Mahdi is the expectation that it will be a great time of wealth and peace, in other words, a new Golden Age of Islam. During the reign of Al-Mahdi, there will be a lot of wealth, rain in its season and good harvest of crops and cattle. It will be a very prosperous period of time.

Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The Last Hour will not come till wealth is abundant and overflowing, so much so that the owner of the property will think as to who will accept Sadaqa from him, and a person would be called to accept Sadaqa and he would say: I do not need it. (Sahih Muslim 5.2209)

According to a Hadeeth narrated by Abu Saeed Khudri (R.A.) Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: "...(regarding the rule of Imaam Mahdi) the skies will rain down in abundance and the earth will yield forth its crop in abundance, and those alive will desire that those who have already passed away should have been alive to enjoy this prosperity.)" (Mustadrak, as quoted by Mohammed All Ibn Moulana Zubair Ali, "Signs of Qiyamah".)

"At the end of my nation Al Mahdi will come for whom Allah will send rain so that the earth produces its plants. He will give wealth equally; cattle will increase and the nation will be great. He will live for seven or eight." (Shaykh Abdullah ben Sadek, late Grand Muhaddith of Morocco, AL MAHDI, JESUS and DAJJAL [Moshaikh -- the ANTI-CHRIST], tr. Shaykh Ahmad Darwish)

Al-Mahdi will also be so wealthy that he will have at his disposal plenty of wealth to distribute to his followers, without even counting.

Abu Nadra reported: "...He (Jabir b. Abdullab) kept quiet for a while and then reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) having said There would be a caliph in the last (period) of my Ummah who would freely give handfuls of wealth to thd [sic] people without counting it. I said to Abu Nadra and Abu al-'Ala: DO you mean 'Umarb. 'Abd al-Aziz? They said: No (he would be Imam Mahdi.). (Sahih Muslim 41.6961)

The late Grand Muhaddith of Morocco, Shaykh Abdullah ben Sadek, Ph.D., said:

"He will fill the earth with fairness and justice
just as it had been filled by oppression and injustice.
The inhabitants of the heavens and earth will be pleased with him.
He will distribute wealth equally."
At this point a companion asked what 'equally' meant so the Prophet replied:
"Equally, between the people, and Allah will fill the hearts
of the nation of Muhammad with richness
and his justice will satisfy them
until he sends a messenger saying:
'Who is in need of wealth?'
None except one man will stand and say, 'Me'.
So he will say: 'Go to the treasurer and tell him
that Al Mahdi orders you to give me wealth.'
So the treasurer will say to him:
'Fill with your hands!'
And he will put it in his clothing then tie it.
Then he will become contrite and say:
'I was the most greedy among the nation of Muhammad,
and he will attempt to return it but it will not be accepted,
and it will be said to him:
'We do not accept what we have given.'
And so he (Al Mahdi) will remain
seven, eight or nine years --
then, there is no goodness left in life
nor yet in living after him.

The preceding narrations were reported by Abi Said Al Khudri in the reference of Abi Dawood, Al Hakim, At-Tirmizi, Ahmad, ibn Hibban, Muslim, Al Tabarani (in his middle dictionary), Al Barudi and Abu Nuaym in his forty Hadith concerning Al Mahdi.

(Narrated by the late Grand Muhaddith of Morocco Shaykh Abdullah ben Sadek, Ph.D., AL MAHDI, JESUS and DAJJAL [Moshaikh -- the ANTI-CHRIST], tr. Shaykh Ahmad Darwish)

Consider for a moment, the jurisdiction of al-Mahdi. Once he united all the Muslim states, consider the map of his empire. This region contains more than three quarters of the world's known oil reserves (the only significant one outside this is Canada, in the form of tar sands that are very expensive to extract). At the record high price of oil today, a lot of wealth is already going into the oil-producing countries. Without oil, the world's economy will grind to a halt and so the entire world will become very dependent on al-Mahdi's Caliphate. Al-Mahdi will have much greater clout than Saudi Arabia in the 1970s (during the Oil Crisis). There will be no need for OPEC meetings to determine the amount of oil to produce. Al-Mahdi will be able to unilaterally set the price of oil, and therefore hold the world's nations hostage.

Muslims invading Arabia

The hadiths tell of an invasion of Arabia by a group of Muslims:

Nafi' b. Utba reported: ...I repeat (on the fingers of my hand) that he (Allah's Messenger) said: You will attack Arabia and Allah will enable you to conquer it, then you would attack Persia and He would make you to Conquer it. Then you would attack Rome and AllgLh [sic] will enable you to conquer it, then you would attack the Dajjal and Allah will enable you to conquer him. Nafi' said: Jabir, we thought that the Dajjal would appear after Rome (Syrian territory) would be conquered. (Sahih Muslim 41.6930)

Under Muhammad, Arabia has already been conquered by the Muslims. Due to the reference to the Dajjal, which Muslims expect will appear in the End Times, this hadith appears to refer to the End Times. Could the reference to "you will attack Arabia" be a reference to the Muslims invading to topple the Saudi government which many feel are not real Muslims (many Muslims think the Saudi government is corrupt and not a real Islamic government)? It is not insignificant that Al-Qaida often singled out Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt accusing them of collusion with the west.

There is another apocalyptic predication concerning Arabia, where Arabia will be destroyed (although it is not clear if they are the same event):

Zainab bint Jahsh reported that Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) got up from sleep saying: There is no god but Allah; there is a destruction in store for Arabia because of turmoil which is at hand, the barrier of Gog and Magog has opened so much. And Sufyan made a sign of ten with the help of his hand (in order to indicate the width of the gap) and I said: Allah's Messenger, would we be perished in spite of the fact that there would be good people amongst us? Thereupon he said: Of course, but only when the evil predominates. (Sahih Muslim 41.6881. Also Sahih Muslim 41.6883)

Al-Mahdi the Archaeologist

Muslims also tell us of an interesting bit of information about al-Mahdi:

I said, "O Messenger of Allah, praise and peace be upon him, I have never seen a Roman city like the city of Antioch and I have never seen more rain than it has." Whereupon the Messenger of Allah, praise and peace be upon him, said: "Yes, that is because the Torah, Staff of Moses, Tablets, and the Table of Solomon, the son of David are in its caves. There is not a single cloud that comes from any direction to it that does not pour its blessing in that valley. And the days and night will not pass until a man from my musked children live in it. His name is like my name and his father's name is like my father's name; his manners are like my manners. He will fill the world with fairness and justice just as it had been filled by harm and transgressions." Reported by Tamin Ad-Dari, in the reference of Ibn Hibban Ad-Du'fa. (quoted by Shaykh Abdullah ben Sadek, late Grand Muhaddith of Morocco, AL MAHDI, JESUS and DAJJAL [Moshaikh - the ANTI-CHRIST], tr. Shaykh Ahmad Darwish)

Ka'b al-Ahbar says "He will be called 'Mahdi" because he will guide (yahdi) to something hidden and will bring out the Torah and Gospel from a town called Antioch." (Izzat and Arif, p. 40, as quoted by Joel Richardson, Antichrist, Islam's Awaited Messiah, 2006)

As-Suyuti mentioned in al-Hawi that the messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "he is called the Mahdi because he will guide the people to a mountain in Syria from which he will bring out the volumes of the Torah to refute the Jews. At the hands of the Mahdi the Ark of the Covenant will be brought forth from the Lake of Tiberias and taken and placed in Jerusalem." (Izzat and Arif, p. 16, as quoted by Joel Richardson, Antichrist, Islam's Awaited Messiah, 2006)

Ad-Dani said that he is called the Mahdi because he will be guided to a mountain in Syria from which he will bring forth the volumes of the Torah with which to argue against the Jews and at his hands a group of them will become Muslim. (Izzat and Arif, p. 16, as quoted by Joel Richardson, Antichrist, Islam's Awaited Messiah, 2006)

Basically, we see a picture of al-Mahdi going to some caves in Antioch (in modern-day Turkey) and he will bring out a version of the Torah and the Gospel. And he will use it to refute the Jews and the Christians, thereby convincing some of them to become Muslims. As to the actual contents of these manuscripts, we can only speculate. However, it is clearly implied that this version will be different from what is in the Bible today. Since it is with these manuscripts that many will be convinced to become Muslims, we can speculate reasonably as follows: since many Muslims believe that the Torah and the Gospels have been corrupted, supposedly, this version of the Torah and the Gospel will contain the kind of message that is the same as the Qur'an, and maybe explicit prophecies of Muhammad which is missing from the Bible today. For example, the Qur'an says:

Those who follow the messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write, whom they will find described in the Torah and the Gospel (which are) with them. He will enjoin on them that which is right and forbid them that which is wrong. He will make lawful for them all good things and prohibit for them only the foul; and he will relieve them of their burden and the fetters that they used to wear. Then those who believe in him, and honour him, and help him, and follow the light which is sent down with him: they are the successful. (Surah 5:157)

No such prophecies exist in the Bible, of course, despite some Muslim claims to have found them. However, it might be that the new Torah and Gospel will contain such explicit statements, much like the fraudulent Gospel of Barnabas did. That way, some Jews and Christians will believe him and become Muslims. Of course, those who refuse to believe him and submit to Islam will face the consequences as we have mentioned.

Summary — Characteristics Of Al-Mahdi

Having examined the hadiths and teachings about Al-Madhi, we now summarize what we know about al-Mahdi from the above discussion.

At this point, we have a pretty good picture of who al-Mahdi will be, and what he will do. Is there a personality in the Bible that is similar to al-Mahdi? The answer, not surprisingly, is yes. However, this personality may not be what a Muslim expects. So, please carefully read the next section in order to understand the implications.

Muhammad: The False Prophet and Teacher

When Islam’s defenders challenge Christianity and other faiths, their dialogue is based upon their assumption that Muhammad was the "Seal of the Prophets." According to them, this would give him the authority to supersede and refute the teachings in the Bible with his writings in the Qur'an.

So, how can we determine whether Muhammad (or the coming Mahdi) is a false prophet or, as all Moslems believe, Islam's righteous deliverer who will be loved by the entire world? The necessary guidance is found in the Old Testament -- Deuteronomy 18:18.

In order for Muhammad -- or the coming Mahdi -- to qualify to be the Prophet of Deuteronomy 18:18, it will become necessary for him to satisfy the unique attributes that belonged to Moses. The following seven categories will provide the necessary proof that not only is he to be considered ineligible as the Prophet like Moses, but declared as a false prophet and teacher:

1). During the time of Moses' birth, Exodus 1:22 reveals that the Pharaoh of Egypt had made a decree that all newly born male children of Israel would be killed. When Muhammad was born, a decree of this nature and magnitude was never made.

2). In order to rescue the newborn Moses from Pharaoh's decree, Exodus 2:2-6, 10 reveals that his mother sent him into Egypt when he was three months of age. It was there where he was kept safe. This never happened to Muhammad!

3). Moses was a descendent of the tribe of Levi, one of the twelve sons of Jacob, who was renamed Israel. Unlike Moses, though Muhammad’s genealogy is not mentioned in the Qur'an, he is said to be a descendent of Ishmael, NOT Israel.

This last fact may not seem important, but it is! According to Deuteronomy 18:15, Moses told the children of Israel that YEHOVAH God would raise up a Prophet who will be like him "of thy brethren." Therefore, he must be a descendent of Abraham’s promised son Jacob, not Ishmael:

“The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken.”

According to the Qur'an, Muhammad was not a prophet since there are no proven prophecies that are recorded. Many Muslims, however, are taught that Sura 30:2-4 is the "Great Prophecy of Muhammad." It states:

“The Romans are vanquished, In a near land, and they, after being vanquished, shall overcome, Within a few years. Allah’s is the command before and after; and on that day the believers shall rejoice.”

During Muhammad’s lifetime the Romans, who were also called the Byzantines, were at war with the Persians. As Muhammad predicted, they eventually became victorious over the Persians who had first defeated them. Does this citation in the Qur'an prove that Muhammad was a Prophet like Moses? What is a near land? Where is it? Is it near Mecca, Medina, or Jerusalem? How many years are a few years? Seemingly, this quote from the Qur'an lacks detail and is extremely vague!

It is also important to remember that, considering that YEHOVAH God is all knowing, providing a precise time frame should be expected. For YEHOVAH God to be unspecific that the Romans would become victorious within “a few years” is inconsistent with His profile and the notion that He is an Omniscient Being who knows all things.

Unlike Muhammad, when the prophets of the Bible provide their prophecies, there are times when the exact number of years that a specific event would take place is recorded. As an example, in Genesis 15:13 YEHOVAH told Abraham exactly how long the children of Israel would be in captivity in Egypt, four hundred years. Also, according to Jeremiah 25:11, the prophet successfully foretells that the children of Israel would be captive in Babylon for seventy years. To the exact year, this happened! The applicable verses follow:

Genesis 15:13: “And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years.”

Jeremiah 25:11: “And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.”

Since Sura 30:2-4 is quite vague, accepting it as the "Great Prophecy of Muhammad" could result in a serious mistake. It may be more appropriate to consider it not a prophecy at all! Therefore, since Muhammad was not a descendent of Jacob like Moses, and the Qur'an fails to uncover any fulfilled prophecies, he cannot be the Prophet like Moses that was prophesied in Deuteronomy 18:18.

4). As we have seen, the LORD advised Aaron and Miriam that Moses was allowed to see His appearance. The proof that Moses actually saw YEHOVAH God can be found in Exodus 34:29-30, 35. This passage testifies that after Moses saw YEHOVAH God on Mount Sinai, and he returned to the children of Israel with the Ten Commandments, his face glowed from being in YEHOVAH’s presence.

Unlike Moses, the Qur'an teaches that Muhammad did not get his revelation directly from "God" Himself, he received it from the angel Gabriel:

“Say: Whoever is an enemy to Gabriel -- for he brings down the [revelation] to thy heart by Allah’s will, a confirmation of what went before, and guidance and glad tidings for those who believe.” Sura 2:97

Therefore, unlike Moses, Muhammad was never in YEHOVAH God’s presence. His face never shined with YEHOVAH’s glory. Therefore, with respect to this requirement, Muhammad must be disqualified!

5). According to Deuteronomy 9:10-11, Moses introduced a covenant relationship between YEHOVAH God and the children of Israel when he brought the Ten Commandments down from the mount. Exodus 24:4-8 reveals that his covenant was sealed by blood.

Since the Scriptures teach that the children of Israel broke this covenant that was made, a new and better covenant was required. This was established through Yeshua the Messiah when he shed his blood at his crucifixion on the Mount of Olives.

Not only did Muhammad fail to establish any type of a covenant between Allah and his people, he taught against such beliefs. In the Qur'an, Sura 4:157 states:

“And their saying: Surely we have killed the Messiah, Isa [Jesus] son of Marium, the apostle of Allah; and they did not kill him nor did they crucify him, but it appeared to them so.”

According to this Sura, Muhammad taught that the Messiah was never crucified. However, the Bible teaches that he was. John 19:16-20 states:

“Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away. (17) And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: (18) Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst. (19) And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. (20) This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin.”

In order for the Islamic faith to be true, that Muhammad is the "Seal of the Prophets," there must be some type of evidence that a prophecy that is written in the Qur'an was fulfilled. However, there is not! The best illustration of a prophecy that the Muslims can provide is located in Sura 30:2-4. This has already been addressed.

Since there is no prophecy in the Qur'an, Muhammad had absolutely no authority to challenge and supersede the writings and teachings of Moses and the prophets. Furthermore, he had no authority to refute the crucifixion that is clearly taught in the New Testament Scriptures. Islam’s defenders use the teachings in the Qur'an and the so-called authority of Muhammad to justify their beliefs. However, it must be noted that many Muslims are innocent and unaware of the fact that Muhammad himself failed to establish his own credibility as a prophet of YEHOVAH God. As a result, everything that is written in the Qur'an must stand on its own merits and should not be seriously considered unless it is supported by other sources that have credibility.

6). Through Moses, the LORD God of the Bible displayed miraculous signs and wonders. The Qur'an reports no signs and wonders that Allah demonstrated through his prophet Muhammad.

7). As we have seen, Moses offered himself to YEHOVAH God to be slain so that his people could live. He also made intercession for the people. Likewise, so did the Messiah! By giving himself up as the final sacrifice for sin so that all can obtain everlasting life, the Messiah satisfied all seven requirements to be the Prophet of Deuteronomy 18:15, 18.

Muhammad failed to meet this final requirement, and all other qualifications to be the Prophet of Deuteronomy 18:15, 18.

The Hadiths

Muhammad’s birthplace was in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Most sources support the fact that he was born in approximately AD 570 and died in AD 632. As previously mentioned, though he is the acclaimed Prophet of the Islamic religion, the Qur'an does not contain any prophecy which was fulfilled that was written by him. However, contained within Islam is another sacred source, called the sunnah (what the Prophet Muhammad said, did or approved of). The sunnah is comprised of hadiths, which are considered to be reliably transmitted reports by Muhammad’s companions of what he said, did, or approved of during his lifetime. Belief in the sunnah is foundational within the Islamic faith. The hadiths were recorded approximately two centuries after Muhammad died. Since then, they have been used as a source of inspiration and guidance for Muslims throughout the world.

Many religions such as rabbinical Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism contain some wonderful teachings that are universally accepted by mankind in general. For example in the Bible, Exodus 20:13 states, “Thou shalt not kill.” This is a universal principle that is shared by all religions except Islam!  According to YEHOVAH, it is against His law!

Christians and Jews refer to the teachings in the Bible as written by Moses and the prophets. Meanwhile, Muslims refer to the Qur'an. Though the Bible contains numerous proven and supported prophecies, the Qur'an does not contain any. Just like any other religion, many teachings that were written by Muhammad in the Qur'an may be noteworthy, while some may not. To investigate the possibility of Muhammad being a great teacher, it is necessary to refer to the hadiths and find out what some of Muhammad’s friends wrote about him, the things he said, and what he taught.

1). In a certain hadith, Muhammad prescribes a remedy for those of a certain tribe who traveled to Medina. They became ill because the climate did not suit them:

Sahih Al-Bukhari: Volume 1, Book 4, Number 234

Narrated Abu Qilaba: Anas said, “Some people of ‘Ukl or ‘Uraina tribe came to Medina and its climate did not suit them. So the Prophet ordered them to go to the herd of [Milch] camels and to drink their milk and urine [as a medicine]. So they went as directed and after they became healthy, they killed the shepherd of the Prophet and drove away all the camels.”

Contrary to Muhammad’s prescription, those in today’s medical profession believe that the combination of camel milk and urine for consumption will not result in curing any sicknesses.

2). In another hadith, Abdullah bin Salam asks Muhammad three questions. The third question is quite interesting. He asks Muhammad why a child resembles its father or its maternal uncle? This was Muhammad’s response:

Sahih Al-Bukhari: Volume 4, Book 55, Number 546:

Narrated Anas: When ‘Abdullah bin Salam heard the arrival of the Prophet at Medina, he came to him and said, “I am going to ask you about three things which nobody knows except a prophet: What is the first portent of the Hour? What will be the first meal taken by the people of Paradise? Why does a child resemble its father, and why does it resemble its maternal uncle” Allah’s apostle said, “Gabriel has just now told me of their answers.” ‘Abdullah said, “He [i.e. Gabriel], from amongst all the angels, is the enemy of the Jews.” Allah’s Apostle said, “The first portent of the Hour will be a fire that will bring together the people from the east to the west; the first meal of the people of Paradise will be Extra-lobe [caudate lobe] of fish-liver. As for the resemblance of the child to its parents: If a man has sexual intercourse with his wife and gets discharge first, the child will resemble the father, and if a woman gets discharge first, the child will resemble her.” On that ‘Abdullah bin Salaam said, “I testify that you are the Apostle of Allah.”

Contrary to Muhammad’s teachings of how a child resembles either parent, modern day Biology scholars disagree! According to them, the order in which the parent discharges during sexual intercourse is quite irrelevant!

In conclusion, using these two hadiths as illustrations, Muhammad must be considered a false teacher!

Muhammad: a Prophet?

Muhammad allegedly claimed that the Antichrist, called the Dajjal, was to appear shortly after the Muslim conquest of Constantinople. The following traditions are taken from the Sunan Abu Dawud:

Book 37, Number 4281:

Narrated Mu'adh ibn Jabal: The Prophet [peace be upon him] said, "The flourishing state of Jerusalem will be when Yathrib [Medina] is in ruins, the ruined state of Yathrib will be when the great war comes, the outbreak of the great war will be at the conquest of Constantinople and the conquest of Constantinople when the Dajjal [Antichrist] comes forth." He [the Prophet] struck his thigh or his shoulder with his hand and said, "This is as true as you are here or as you are sitting.

Book 37, Number 4282:

Narrated Mu'adh ibn Jabal: The Prophet [peace be upon him] said, "The greatest war, the conquest of Constantinople and the coming forth of the Dajjal [Antichrist] will take place within a period of seven months."

Accordingly, the Muslims conquered Jerusalem in AD 636 and Constantinople was taken over by the Muslims in May of AD 1453. Based on the preceding traditions, the antichrist should have manifested himself in December of AD 1453. This never happened! The only possible conclusion that can be made with respect to this matter is as follows: The prophecies regarding Yathrib (Medina) being in ruins and the Antichrist's arrival to take place seven months after the conquest of Constantinople never materialized. Therefore, Muhammad was a false prophet!

Consequently, the Holy Scriptures provide a warning to all people regarding those who prophesy falsely in the name of the LORD. Deuteronomy 18:22 states:

“When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.”

Regarding Muhammad, this was certainly the case as he prophesied falsely in the name of the LORD. Finally, assuming that Muhammad lived today and that the world submitted to the laws written in the Bible, Deuteronomy 18:20 decrees the death penalty upon Muhammad:

“But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.”

Is Muhammad -- Or a Descendant of His -- the False Prophet of Revelation?

Now that we have determined that the historical Muhammad was a false prophet, is he -- or a descendant of his -- THE False Prophet of Revelation?

The book of Revelation foretells that at the time of the end, in the last few years of Satan's dominion over the earth, a religious personality will arise and deceive the whole world by means of miraculous signs. This individual is referred to as "another beast" (Revelation 13:11), as well as "the false prophet" (Revelation 16:13; 19:20; 20:10). The False Prophet is given supernatural power to do things like calling fire down from heaven (Revelation 13:13), and the signs he performs, combined with the demonic words he speaks (Revelation 16:13-14), will cause people to give their allegiance to -- and even worship -- the Beast (Revelation 13:14). This man will wield tremendous religious influence, and inspired by Satan, he will successfully convince most of the world to commit idolatry (Revelation 13:12).

The Bible does not reveal the False Prophet's name or even the number of his name, as it does for the Beast. Instead, we will have to recognize him by his fruits -- by what he says and does (Matthew 7:15-20).

Let's take a look at Revelation 13 in more detail -- 

"Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon. He exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. And he performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men. Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth. He ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name" (Revelation 13:11-17, NIV).

Turning to Revelation 16:13, we learn a few more attributes of the False Prophet:

"And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty" (NKJ).

What nations will be aligned with the False Prophet and will be led by him into conflict with the returning YEHOVAH God? Notice Psalm 83 --

"They have taken crafty counsel against Your people, and consulted together against Your sheltered ones. They have said, 'Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more.' For they have consulted together with one consent; they form a confederacy against you: the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites; Moab and the Hagarites; Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek; Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assyria also has joined with them; they have helped the children of Lot" (verses 3-8).

The territories occupied by the nations/tribes named in Psalm 83 are roughly as follows: Edom in modern Jordan: Ishmaelites in modern Saudi Arabia; Moab in modern Jordan; Hagrites -- the territory bordering modern Jordan and Saudi Arabia; Gebal -- probably modern Golan Heights and nearby in Syria; Ammon in modern Jordan; Amalek in the modern Sinai peninsula and the Negev; Philistia -- modern Gaza Strip, part of the Palestinian authority; Tyre in modern Lebanon; Assyria -- modern Syria and Iraq.

It's significant that the nations described above are all ISLAMIC NATIONS (led by the False Prophet of Revelation). It's also interesting that the only list of 10 confederate nations or tribes anywhere in Scripture is in Psalm 83. These are probably the ten heads or ten horns mentioned elsewhere.

We see from these passages that this beast (the False Prophet) has a number of characteristics similar to what Islam believes about al-Mahdi. Notice the following chart:


False Prophet of Revelation

Islam's Al-Mahdi

Comes out of the earth Comes out of a well in Iran
Has two horns Represents Islam's two main subdivisions -- Sunni and Shi'ite
Performs miraculous signs Performs miraculous signs -- "discovers" Ark of the Covenant, etc.
Deceives the inhabitants of the earth Deceives the inhabitants of the earth -- causes many to follow him into Islam
With the help of Satan and the Beast he gathers the armies of the world to Armageddon Will gather the armies of the black flags to take Jerusalem
Satan gives him power and authority like the first beast He will be changed by Allah (Satan) to take up the responsibilities
He will direct people to "worship the first beast" and establish one religion in the world He will direct people to worship Allah and establish Islam as the only religion in the world
Beheading is one of the methods of execution -- it is a distinguishing mark of the False Prophet and his associates (Rev. 20:4) Islam is the only religion that continues to use beheading as a form of execution. The Qur'an says to cut off the head of unbelievers (Surah 47:4, 8:12).
He will deceive those who dwell on the earth and cause deceit to prosper According to the Sunnah of Muhammad lying is allowed under certain circumstances. Taqqiya is an established doctrine and practice in Islam
His initial jurisdiction will be 10 Muslim states in the Middle East -- see Psalm 83 Will initially control the Muslim states of the Middle East -- with the possible exception of Saudi Arabia
His final jurisdiction will be "the earth and its inhabitants" His final jurisdiction will be the entire world (after successful jihad)
The False Prophet will assemble a large army of at least 200 million in the area of Iraq -- see Rev. 9:14-16 Al-Mahdi will either lead a large army of Muslims (from Khorasan) or this army will join him. Easily in the hundreds of millions

Some people try to establish Al-Mahdi as the antichrist of Bible prophecy. This idea has many problems such as the use of Daniel 8 to describe the future man of sin, which clearly is speaking of historic fulfillment in Antiochus IV Epiphanes who performed the first abomination of desolation in 167BC. Also, the use of Daniel 11, prior to verse 35, to point to the future antichrist has an historic fulfillment in Antiochus IV. The same people associate Ezekiel 38 with the antichrist due to the attack on Israel and the previous look at the Muslim attack with black flags -- but this occurs AFTER the Millennium (see Revelation 20:7-9). So for the points supposedly supporting a link between the Mahdi and the antichrist, there are other possibilities that fit much better with current events.

The events in Europe are significant enough to show a Western political/religious infrastructure (the Roman Catholic Church) that will be the first beast's kingdom, a revived Roman Empire that will be closely associated with Islam. It is clear that the 12th Mahdi will be the False Prophet of Bible prophecy and will "correct" the interpretations when he arrives from a well in the earth to point all worship to the man of sin and bring Islam under him to be his hands and feet of enforcement of his policies. This could include a kind of Shar'ia law and it is clear that beheading is the method of execution the Bible stipulates for those that refuse to worship the beast.

Our main reason for believing this is that we hold the Bible as infallible, written by the holy spirit through the prophets, while everything else is best guesses at most. The Bible has a 100% accuracy to date and we don't see that changing. The Qur'an was derived from its text and that of the Torah, with some other doctrine included as well. There is no doubt external inspiration was involved in its writing too, but NOT from YEHOVAH God or the holy spirit! So we are led to accept what the Bible lays out and view what the hadiths and Qur'an describe as possibilities that must be put in the context of scripture. When the Mahdi appears suddenly, what he says will be accepted -- even if it is not what Muslim scholars have been interpreting all these years. We do believe Islam will have a large role in the end times under the kingdom of the man of sin, and any who refuse will be killed just like any Christians or Jews that refuse to worship him. He will be given power by Satan for a period of time and will not be stopped.

Is it possible that Islam and Europe could become integrated in some way so that the political/religious structure of a revived Roman Catholic Church would unite with Islam? The power of signs and wonders in today's world should not be underestimated, and these are a big part of the coming landscape. There is also a push for ecumenism in the name of peace among religions.

Our view of the 12th Mahdi being the False Prophet requires a future association of Islam with the Vatican, either through ecumenism or a change in Western times and laws to appease Muslim integration into the New World Order.

Is Muhammad Directly Mentioned in the Bible?

According to Israeli scholar Yair Davidy --

"A psychopathic vision-seeing Arab named Mohammed [Muhammad] (550-632 C.E.) decided that he had received a prophetic revelation superseding all others and proceeded to persuade his fellow countrymen to believe in him. Wars were fought against non-believers and the Arabian Jews were treacherously exterminated at Mohammed's direction and the presence of Jews in the Arabian Peninsula ultimately forbidden for all time, up to the present!

"Regarding the future, some type of ill-fated bond between Ephraim and the followers of Islam appears to be spoken of in the Biblical Book of Hosea. It is obvious that the same Biblical prophecies may legitimately often be understood in several entirely different ways -- as they were perhaps intended to be. The relevant verses discussed here do not necessarily contain any prophetical reference to Islam but nevertheless the possibility should be taken into account."

Davidy goes on to say that the verses should be seen in their context and that they have been rendered here as literally as possible and perhaps are hard to understand at first glance. "The overall message," states Davidy, "is that the prophet Hosea condemns Ephraim, uses a word which may be understood to be a FORM OF THE NAME 'MOHAMMED,' speaks of the region of Egypt and the east, and predicts a disaster which somehow involves a MAD PROPHET identified traditionally as 'Mohammed."

Here are the verses in question from Hosea 9:

Hosea 9:1: "Rejoice not, O Israel, neither make merry, as other nations: for thou hast gone a-whoring from thy God; thou hast loved gifts upon every threshing-floor."

Hosea 9:3: "They dwelt not in the Lord's land: Ephraim dwelt in Egypt, and they shall eat unclean things among the Assyrians."

Hosea 9:6: "Therefore, behold, they go forth from the troubles of Egypt, and Memphis shall receive them, and Machmas [Muhammad?] shall bury them: as for their silver, destruction shall inherit it; thorns shall be in their tents."

Hosea 9:7: "The days of vengeance are come, the days of thy recompense are come; and Israel shall be afflicted as the prophet that is mad, as a man deranged: by reason of the multitude of thine iniquities thy madness has abounded."

Hosea 9:8: "The watchman of Ephraim was with God: the prophet is a crooked snare in all his ways: thet have established madness in the house of God" (The Septuagint with Apocrypha: Greek and English).

The "mad prophet" mentioned above was considered by Maimonides (1135-1204), in his Letter to Teman, to be a reference to Muhammad and, as we have seen, the name of Muhammad ("Machmad" in Hebrew and Arabic) does appear in Hosea 9:6. Adds Yair Davidy --

"The desert sun, sparse diet, and seclusion (as well as the possible use of hashish and various weeds smoked by some of the Arabs) are liable to play tricks on the highly-strung spiritually inclined individuals. Historically, the Arabian Jews whom Mohammed massacred may have been an offshoot from the Lost Ten Tribes, i.e. 'Ephraim.'

"Regarding the future the message of Hosea may be a warning that the forces of Islam are a danger and association with them threatens disaster upon Ephraim which mainly means Great Britain though a portion of Ephraim is also to be found amongst the Jews and in North America, South Africa, and Australia. The said verses may well contain a hint that Ephraim will attempt some type of rapport with 'the god of the prophet' and this will not turn out well."

As a biographical note Davidy notes that Maimonides (also known as "Rambam") was born in Spain and was one of the greatest Jewish legal authorities and religious philosophers of his time. He served as a personal physician to Saladin, King of Egypt, and, according to legend, was offered a post by Richard I of England.

We have examined in detail what the Islamic hadiths say about the apocalyptic character of Al-Mahdi -- who will be the much-awaited Muslim Caliph and later world leader. We also compared Al-Mahdi with an apocalyptic character mentioned in the Bible, namely the second beast of Revelation 13, also nicknamed the "False Prophet." We see very important similarities between these two characters. In our view, the coming Al-Mahdi in Islam corresponds very clearly to the False Prophet in the Bible.

-- Edited By John D. Keyser.


Hope of Israel Ministries -- Preparing the Way for the Return of YEHOVAH God and His Messiah!

Hope of Israel Ministries
P.O. Box 853
Azusa, CA 91702, U.S.A.

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