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The headlines were riveting! Boston Globe reporting, Bloomberg News, March 12, 2007, “Halliburton Co., the world’s second-largest oilfield-services provider, will move chief executive David Lesar to a new corporate headquarters in Dubai to help the company expand in the Middle East and Asia. . .” I could not believe it. Why would Halliburton Co, the international, multi-billion dollar, energy services giant, move its corporate headquarters from Houston, Texas, to Dubai? To improve profits? Not so sure about that. Nowadays, a multinational corporation can be managed from almost any city in the world. Its one thing to open a corporate office in Dubai, but to move the company headquarters there? But then, if you think about it, maybe it does make sense. This once rugged, mostly barren, Middle Eastern region, happens to be the basin for the world’s largest petroleum reserves. No wonder Halliburton sees it as the preferable location for its corporate headquarters! There is something else this little corner of the world is known for - it is also the birth place of the world’s three largest religions – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Seems a little bit coincidental don’t you think? And not too far from Dubai, Halliburton’s new headquarter’s location, is Mecca, Islam’s holiest city, where Muslims believe that Abraham placed Ishmael on an altar as a sacrifice to Allah - only to be saved by Abraham’s obedience, and a ram caught in the thicket. This same area is the political and religious hotbed of the modern day. Our news every day is filled with the chaos and bloodshed of Iraq, Iran, the Gaza Strip, or the religious turmoil surrounding Jerusalem, her Temple Mount, and the people of Israel. This hasn’t just happened in the last 100 years or so as the world became dependent on Mideast crude. It has been that way since the beginning of time; and, it will be that way at the end of time. Seems a little too coincidental to me. How is it possible that a book, the Bible, written thousands of years ago could begin with a story on the origin of humanity, Adam and Eve, whose “Garden of Eden” just happens to be located in the very center of the modern world’s largest oil deposits? And, once again, the birthplace of the world’s three largest religions? Seems a little too coincidental to me; unless, the Bible is true. This book is an interpretation of the prophecies contained in the Bible for a specific period of time – the Last Days; that period in human history just before the return of Jesus Christ and the end of time; and, yes, as you might have guessed it already, the fulfillment of these prophecies take place in the locations where human history began – the Middle East; and, with religions that have predominated human history since the beginning of time – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. How can such a geographically small area of the modern world have the focus of the entire world, most all the time? Perhaps it is not a coincidence at all; perhaps it is because the Bible is not only historically accurate but its prophecies ring true as well. The Mideast is where God started it all; and, according to His plan, that will be where He ends it all. Seems like more than a coincidence to me. That’s because its true. This book is about God’s plan for the beginning of the End.
Chapter 1 Satan’s Masquerade - Islam Introduction. In the opening pages of the Bible, we find the drama of a cosmic battle that wages between two spiritual forces - God and satan. God is the Supreme Being, the Creator of the universe and all that it contains, the Father of all humanity who revealed Himself in human form as Jesus, the Son of God; and, in spirit form as the Holy Spirit. This supreme God is God of the Jews, the Christians, and, according to Islam, the God of the Muslims, who refer to Him as “Allah.” The other spiritual force involved in this cosmic battle is that of satan. In the 3rd chapter of Genesis, God, after having created the world and all it contains, places Adam, the first man, in the Garden of Eden to cultivate it. The man is commanded not to eat of the fruit of the tree in the center of the garden. If he does, he will “die.” It is satan that masquerades as the “crafty” serpent1 whose proclaimed intent is to give Eve the “real story” about the “forbidden fruit” (Genesis 2:17). The serpent’s deception of the woman is found in Genesis 3:4, “And the serpent said to the woman, "You surely shall not die! 5 "For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." The woman eats, and so does the man with her, . . ., and satan has landed his first blow – not directly upon God, but upon those God has created in His image – Adam and his mate, Eve, and, in turn, all of humanity. In this opening chapter, we will first provide an overview of the Biblical origin of satan and his fall from heaven. We will then address the Bible’s definition of the term “antichrist” and reveal the Biblical link between antichrist and satan. Finally, we will identify kings and kingdoms that have acted in ways the Bible would characterize as “antichrist.” The Biblical Origin of Satan and his “Fall from Heaven.” The Biblical information on the origin of satan is found in three primary passages. In the Old Testament book of Ezekiel, the King of Tyre is judged by God for holding himself out as “god” (Ezekiel 28:1, 9). What is unusual about the passage is that there are numerous references within the passage that, taken literally, have nothing to do with the King of Tyre. For example, the text states, “You were in Eden, the garden of God . . .” (v 28:13) Geographically, Tyre was located on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea (near modern day Beirut, Lebanon). Eden was thought to be located near the Euphrates River in what is now modern day Iraq or Iran.2 In fact, the text has far more in common with satan’s role in the Garden of Eden than the king of Tyre. Consider: Ezekiel 28:11 Again the word of the LORD came to me saying, 12 "Son of man, take up a lamentation over the king of Tyre, and say to him, 'Thus says the Lord God, "You had the seal of perfection, Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. 13 "You were in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was your covering: The ruby, the topaz, and the diamond; The beryl, the onyx, and the jasper; The lapis lazuli, the turquoise, and the emerald; And the gold, the workmanship of your settings and sockets, Was in you. On the day that you were created They were prepared. 14 "You were the anointed cherub who covers, And I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked in the midst of the stones of fire. 15 "You were blameless in your ways From the day you were created, Until unrighteousness was found in you. 16 "By the abundance of your trade You were internally filled with violence, And you sinned; Therefore I have cast you as profane From the mountain of God. And I have destroyed you, O covering cherub, From the midst of the stones of fire. Copyright © 2007. 1
17 "Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; . . .” Satan is not mentioned in the passage. However some interpreters believe he is the one being referred to in the text for several reasons:3 The verses state, “. . .you were in Eden, the garden of God. . . You were the anointed cherub who covers. . . And, you sinned; Therefore I cast you out from the mountain of God. . . And I have destroyed you, O covering cherub . . . I cast you to the ground.” These verses hardly refer to a human being, even one as arrogant as a king who believes himself to be god. Biblical scholar Lamar Cooper states, “Who then was the person whose character was like the king of Tyre that fulfilled the elements of vv 12-17? The serpent was known for his craftiness (Gen 3:1), his deceit, and his anti-God attitude (3:4), leading humanity to sin (3:6-7). Elsewhere he is presented as a deceiver (Rev 12:9; 20:2), an instigator of evil (John 13:2,27), one who seeks worship as a god (Luke 4:6-8, 2 Thess 2:3-4), and one who seeks to get others to renounce God (Job 2:4-5). He appears as an angel of God (2 Cor 11:14) . . . Therefore, the conclusion that the figure behind the poetic symbol is the serpent (also known as the adversary, the devil, Satan; Rev 12:9) is a logical one. . . The sinister character of the mastermind behind God’s enemies is not always recognized. The real motivating force behind the king of Tyre was the adversary, the satan, who opposed God and his people from the beginning.4 Isaiah 14 includes similar language, but this time the literal description is not for the “king of Tyre” as in Ezekiel, but for the king of Babylon, King Nebuchadnezzar (Isaiah 14:22; Daniel 4:30). Lamar Cooper compares Isaiah 14 with Ezekiel 28, and notes that out of the twenty characteristics included in Ezekiel 28, thirteen of the twenty are also included in Isaiah. Although neither passage directly refers to satan, Cooper sees satan as operating “behind” the individuals to accomplish his plan; that is, the individuals are satan’s instruments.5 Isaiah 14:12 "How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, You who have weakened the nations! 13 "But you said in your heart, 'I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, And I will sit on the mount of assembly In the recesses of the north. 14 'I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” Finally, Revelation 12 provides specific information about satan’s fall from heaven:
Revelation 12:3 And another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. 4 And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven, and threw them to the earth. . . . . 7 And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. And the dragon and his angels waged war, 8 and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.”
Other passages echo God’s judgment upon satan and his angels as having been “thrown down to earth.” This can be seen by the Bible’s use of terms referring to satan’s “earthly realm.” For example, John 12:31 and 14:30 both refer to satan as the “ruler of this world.” In Matthew 4:1-11, satan tempts Jesus in the wilderness prior to Christ’s beginning his earthly ministry. Matthew 4:8 provides, “Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world, and their glory; 9 and he said to Him, "All these things will I give You, if You fall down and worship me." Satan, having been thrown to earth, now appears to have authority over the earth – for how could satan offer to Christ what he did not possess?6 Ephesians 2:2 refers to satan as the “prince of the power of the air.” 2 Corinthians 4:4 provides, “in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” Finally, Jesus describes satan’s fall in this way, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning. "Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall injure you.” Luke 10:18-19. Conclusion. If we interpret Ezekiel and Isaiah as metaphorically referring to satan even though literal individuals of history are named, the conclusions we can reach are as follows: Satan is a spiritual being, created by God (Ezekiel 28:13), and best likened to an angel or spirit (Ezekiel 28:14; cf Ephesians 2:2). He was created by God as an angel of “perfection” (Ezekiel 28:12). He had free will and he exercised it against God (Ezekiel 28:16, Revelation 12:7f). His beauty and perfection corrupted his heart (Ezekiel 28:17), causing him to consider himself to be god (Ezekiel 28:1, 9; Isaiah 14:13-14). Therefore, he and 1/3 of the heavenly host of angels wage a heavenly war against Michael and his angels (Revelation 12:7). Satan and his angels lose. They are thrown out of heaven to earth (Ezekiel 28:16, 17; Isaiah 14:12; Revelation 12:9) where they reside until the day of their ultimate judgment by God (Revelation 12:9,17; 20:10), an eternal captivity in the “Lake of Fire” (Revelation 20:10, 14). The “Antichrist” in the Bible. Having laid foundational thoughts on satan, we will move now to a phrase specifically used in scripture to refer to activities waged against God. The term is “antichrist.” It is found in only two books of the Bible - 1st and 2nd John, but is used by interpreters in many other passages relative to the ongoing spiritual activities waged against God, His Christ, or His followers. The specific texts in 1st and 2nd John are as follows:
1 John 2:18 “Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have arisen; . . . 22 Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. 23 whoever does not have the Son does not have the Father. . . .” 1 John 4:1 “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; and this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.” 2 John 1:7 “For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist.” 3
Easton Bible Dictionary gives the following definition of the term: Antichrist, “against Christ, or an opposition Christ, a rival Christ. The word is used only by the apostle John. . . 1Jo 2:18, 22, 4:3; 2Jo 1:7 . . . (1.) This name has been applied to the "little horn" of the "king of fierce countenance," Da 7:24, 25; 8:23-25 (2.) It has been applied also to the "false Christs" spoken of by our Lord, Mt 24:5,23,24 (3.) To the "man of sin" described by Paul, 2 Th 2:3;4, 8-10 (4.) And to the "beast from the sea" Re 13:1, 17:1-18.”7 “Antichrist” has Two Primary Uses in the Bible. There are two meanings of “antichrist” found in 1st and 2nd John. 1. A “spirit.” The first meaning is that of a “spirit” that functions throughout human history in one of three ways, each of which denies some aspect of the nature of Jesus Christ and/or God His Father. A specific Individual. The second meaning is that of a specific Individual who appears in the Last Days who is able to perform the miraculous and lead many people away from God and away from the one Way to God, Jesus Christ, the Son.
Hereafter, when “antichrist” has the meaning of a specific individual, a capital “A” will be used, i.e., “Antichrist.” When “antichrist” has the meaning of a general spirit, a lower case “a” will be used, i.e, “antichrist.” We will look first at antichrist as spirit and then we will look at Antichrist as an individual in the Last Days. 1. Antichrist as spirit. Reviewing 1st and 2nd John, we see that the term “antichrist” actually refers, not to a single individual, but rather to every spirit that denies some aspect of the divine or human nature of Jesus Christ (or the Father).8 This “spirit” view is found in: 1. 2. 3. 1 John 2:18, “. . .you heard that antichrist is coming, even now, many antichrists have arisen. . .” 1 John 4:3, “and every spirit that does not confess Jesus. . . . this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.” 2 John 1:7, “For many deceivers have gone out . . . This is the deceiver and the antichrist.”
This “spirit” view is similarly found in Matthew 24:23f, and there referred to by Christ as “false Christs”: NAS Matthew 24:23 "Then if anyone says to you, 'Behold, here is the Christ,' or 'There He is,' do not believe him. 24 "For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. 25 "Behold, I have told you in advance.” 2. Antichrist as Individual. In addition, the term Antichrist has also been used by interpreters to refer to a single individual in history who will have supernatural-like qualities, who will function in the same way as antichrist as spirit, but will be personified in an individual who will deceive the world spiritually. The individual will appear in the Last Days for a final battle against God and His Christ and His followers. The key passages interpreted to designate Antichrist as individual are:
1. 2. 3. 4.
The “little horn” of the 4th beast of Daniel 7:20-22.9 The “man of lawlessness” of 2 Thessalonians 2:8-10.10 The beast from the earth of Revelation 13:11-15.11 The scarlet beast of Revelation 17:8, 11.12
Activities Considered to be “anti,” “against,” or in “rival to,” Christ. Having identified the antichrist as both “spirit” and as individual (appearing in the Last Days), we now return to 1st and 2nd John to determine the specific activities the Bible considers to be “antichrist.” In other words, what makes the “spirit,” whether many or one, “antichrist”? How does one recognize or “identify” one as antichrist(s)? According to Easton Bible Dictionary, “antichrist” literally means, “against Christ, or an opposition Christ, or a rival Christ.”13 We can see this in 1st and 2nd John where three types of antichrist identifiers are given: 1. The denial of Jesus as the “Messiah.” 1 John 2:22, “Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist. . . “ 14 This first antichrist identifier is the denial of the New Testament claim that Jesus is the “Anointed One,” i.e., the “Messiah,” prophesied in Old Testament scripture. To Judaism, “Messiah” is a title referring to an “earthly king and ruler, . . .endowed by God with special gifts and powers,”15 a descendant of King David who would come to rescue the Jewish people from a foreign power. He is therefore primarily seen as a political deliverer. At the time of Jesus’ appearing, the Jews were under control of the Roman Empire. We can see the Jewish view of the coming Messiah in New Testament references made by Jesus’ followers after His crucifixion: NAS Luke 24:19 “And He (Jesus) said to them, "What things?" And they said to Him, "The things about Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word in the sight of God and all the people, 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him up to the sentence of death, and crucified Him. 21 "But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, it is the third day since these things happened.” (See also Acts 1:6). Note, the reference to the Jewish belief concerning the Messiah: “. . .we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. . .” That is, “we were hoping that Jesus (as Messiah) would free us from Roman bondage.” To Christians, Jesus redefined the Jewish title “Messiah” from “deliverer from foreign oppression” to “deliverer from the oppression of sin.” Jesus, to Christianity, is the suffering servant referred to in Isaiah 53 who comes as savior to rescue humanity from sin; who died on the cross for the sins of humanity, and who rises from the grave on the third day, declaring Himself to be the Son of God ( 1 Peter 2:24). Passages such as Romans 1: 3- 4 clearly depict the view of Jesus as Savior, Son of God: Romans 1:3-4, “concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, 4 who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord,” This redefining of “Messiah” can be seen in Jesus’ response to the disciples’ statement of Luke 24:19. Jesus replies in the succeeding verses, “And He said to them, "O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 "Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?" 27 And beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.” (Luke 24:25-27). Further, the Apostle Paul preaches Christ as Messiah/Savior in verses such as: NAS Acts 17:2 “And according to Paul's custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and giving evidence that the Christ had 5
to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, "This Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you is the Christ." And, also: Acts 5:42, “And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.” It is the Christian view of Messiah as suffering servant and savior that is being referred to in 1 John 2:22, not the political deliverer view of Judaism. The writing of 1 John is clearly from a Christian perspective, not a Jewish perspective. Therefore, whenever Jesus is denied as Messiah, meaning savior of the world, who died for the sins of humanity and who rose on the third day, this action identifies the presence of the antichrist(s). 2. The denial of Jesus as “Divine,” i.e., the Son of God, or the denial of the Father as Divine. NAS 1 John 2:22, “. . . This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. 23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; . . .” The second type of antichrist identifier is the denial of the “divinity” of Jesus Christ. Before we can determine if this type of action has occurred, we must define the term, “divinity.” “Divinity,” according to the Bible, has the meaning of, pertaining to or proceeding from the One, True, Supreme Being. That is, the Supreme Being above all other beings (1 Corinthians 8:6); there is no God, but God; there is none equal to or greater than the Supreme God of the Bible. The Bible names Him, Yahweh, the Great “I Am.” (Exodus 8:10, 15;11; Deuteronomy 32:39, 33:26, 2 Samuel 7:22). Jesus is “divine” because He proceeds from God as His literal, only begotten, Son, who is conceived by the Holy Spirit of God, and therefore, by the seed of God (Luke 1:35). Jesus is divine by virtue of his divine conception, and scripture accords Him such status as the “exact representation and nature of God” (Hebrews 1:3). Jesus refers to Himself as the Great, “I AM” (John 8:58); to have seen Jesus was to have seen God, for Jesus is the “explanation” of God (John 1:18, 14:9). To deny Jesus’ divinity, then, is to render Jesus no different than any other “prophet” of God; than any other “good man” of human history. Such a denial includes the Bible’s claim that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit of God (Luke 1:35), the specific act that confers Jesus’ divinity through the seed of God. To Christians, it is the deity of Jesus Christ that raises Him above all human beings and renders him an “outshining” of God,” the “exact representation of the nature of God” (Hebrews 1:3). Such a denial would also include the denial of the Holy Spirit as the substance of God and His Christ (Romans 8:9, 11); in other words, this denial includes the denial of the “Trinity,” the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the “three in One” (John 15:26). Likewise, the denial of the divinity of the Son is a denial of the divinity of the “Father,” for the Bible says that they are One (John 17:11, 22). Therefore, whenever the divinity, the deity, of Jesus Christ is denied, this action identifies the presence of the antichrist(s). 3. The denial of Jesus as a human being, i.e., “fully human.” (1 John 4:2-3), NAS 1 John 4:2, “By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; and this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. “ 16 See also, 2 John 1:7. 6
This antichrist action denies Jesus’ claim to be fully human, i.e., it holds that Jesus only “appeared to be human,” but was not, in fact, human. The significance of this claim is that if Jesus was not fully human then He suffered no pain in his death on the cross. If He suffered no pain then He cannot fulfill the Old Testament prophecy of the “suffering Messiah” (Isaiah 53). If He suffered no pain then the sins of the world cannot have been paid for; not placed upon His back whereby “we are healed” (1 Peter 2:24). Therefore, whenever the humanity of Jesus Christ is denied, this action identifies the presence of the antichrist(s). Summary: The three types of antichrist identifiers are: 1 - the denial of the Messiahship of Jesus; 2 - the denial of the divinity of Jesus; and, 3 - the denial of the humanity of Jesus. When either of these three types of actions are present, we can say that the antichrist has been identified – whether as a general spirit or as a specific Individual. Does Human History Reveal Kings or Kingdoms Who Have Committed an “Antichrist Activity”? Let us look briefly to determine if history reveals “antichrists,” i.e., individuals, kings or otherwise, who have committed one of the three antichrist activities specified in 1 and 2nd John. Here are the most significant of those individuals, including the kings of Tyre and Babylon just described (see endnotes for full discussion of each of the first four): 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. King Ethbaal II of Tyre (585BC - 573BC).17 King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon (630BC - 561BC).18 Antiochus Epiphanies of Greece (215BC - 164BC).19 Roman Emperor Worship.20 Islam.
We will focus our present discussion on Islam’s satisfaction of antichrist criteria. The kings of Tyre, Babylon, and Antiochus Epiphanies of Greece all lost their dominion prior to the time of Christ and will only be considered through endnote discussion for interested readers. Similarly, Rome will be discussed only in endnote form since generally Christians were exempted from the requirement of Emperor worship (except for the time of Nero and Diocletian. See endnote 20). Islam. Islam as a religion originated in the 7th century AD when Muhammad b. Abdallah (hereafter “Muhammad”) professed to receiving divine revelations through the Angel Gabriel from Allah. These revelations were recorded after Muhammad’s death by his followers and compiled in the Qur’an. A summary of Islam, its origin, beliefs, and history will be covered in a later chapter. For now, we will only address whether or not Islam, based on the Qur’an itself, has committed antichrist acts as defined in 1 and 2nd John previously mentioned. 1. The Messiahship of Jesus. The Qur’an refers to Jesus by his proper name (“Isa” in the Qur’an) along with the title, Al-Masih (the Messiah).21 This title is sometimes accompanied by the name “Jesus” and sometimes used by itself. The Qur’anic title “Messiah” means 'anointed one,' in the 7
sense of a political-military leader who restores the kingdom to Israel.22 An example of this use is found in Surah 4:171 (the term “surah” in the Qur’an can be likened to a chapter in a book; hence, Surah 4:171 refers to chapter 4, verse 171): “O people of the Book, do not be fanatical in your faith, and say nothing but the truth about god. The Messiah, who is Jesus, son of Mary, was only an apostle of God, and a command of His which He sent to Mary, as a mercy from Him.” At first blush, it seems that Islam has not denied Jesus as Messiah since it refers to him as such. However, the correct answer can only be found by remembering that “Messiah” for this antichrist purpose does not refer to the Jewish view of Messiah as a “political military deliverer” but rather to the Christian view. The Christian view refers to Jesus as suffering servant and savior who was crucified for the sins of humanity and rose from the grave on the third day. This view is expressly denied by Islam by virtue of its denial that Jesus was actually crucified. The Qur’an states (4:157), “(That they said in boast) . . . We killed the Christ, Jesus, son of Mary, who was an apostle of God; but they neither killed nor crucified him, though it so appeared to them. Those who disagree in the matter are only lost in doubt. They have no knowledge about it other than conjecture, for surely they did not kill him.” 23 This belief is significant to determine if Islam has committed this antichrist action. If Christ is not crucified then He fails as Messiah for He cannot be savior of the world if He has not died on behalf of humanity (Isaiah 53:5, 1 Corinthians 1:22-23). Therefore, in this context, Islam does not accept Jesus as the Messiah,24 and it has committed this antichrist action, and the presence of antichrist is identified. 2. The Divinity of Jesus. The second antichrist identifier is the denial of the divinity of Jesus Christ, i.e., the denial that Jesus is the literal Son of God. The Qur'an is clear in this regard: it specifically denies that God has conceived a son. It states, "How can Allah have a son, when he hath no consort?" (Surah 6:101). Allah "has taken neither a wife nor a son." (Surah 72:3).25 The Qur’an says: “They are surely infidels who say: “God is the Christ, son of Mary.” But the Christ had only said: “O Children of Israel, worship God who is my Lord and your Lord.” Whoever associates a compeer with God, will have Paradise denied to him by God, and his abode shall be Hell; and the sinners will have none to help them. Disbelievers are they surely who say: “God is the third of the Trinity” (Surah 5:72-73). Again, the Qur’an states: “O people of the Book, do not be fanatical in your faith, and say nothing but the truth about God. The Messiah who is Jesus, son of Mary, was only an apostle of God, and a command of His which He sent to Mary, as a mercy from Him. So believe in God and His apostles, and do not call Him ‘Trinity.’ Abstain from this for your own good; for God is only one God, and far from His glory is it to beget a son. Surah 4:171
The Qur’an agrees with the Bible that Jesus was born of a virgin whose name was “Mary.” The Qur'an reveres Mary. She is the only woman who is specifically called by name in the Qur'an (Surah 3:42; cf. 21:91; 66:12; 23:50). Jesus is referred to in the Qur’an as the “son of Mary” (as opposed to the Bible’s designation, “Jesus, Son of God” (John 20:31). The Qur’an explains Jesus’ conception in Mary’s womb by God's spoken command, “Be,” not by God’s seed through the Holy Spirit. (Surah 3:47).26 The difference is significant because divinity, i.e., literal sonship, is only conferred by the uniting of the seed of God with the egg of woman. Birth by the command of God does not satisfy this requirement. The Qur’an states: She said: “How can I have a son, O Lord, when no man has touched me?” He said: “That is how God creates what He wills. When He decrees a thing, He says, “Be” and it is.” (Surah 3:47) Hence, to Muslims, Jesus is in the line of Adam, who, likewise, was created by the command of God (Genesis 1:26-27). This can also be seen when the Qur’an specifically refers to Jesus as a prophet, son of Mary (rather than son of God): The Christ, son of Mary, was but an apostle, and many apostles had (come and) gone before him; and his mother was a woman of truth. They both ate the (same) food (as men). Behold, how we show men clear signs, and behold, how they wander astray!” (Surah 5:75) The Jews say: “Ezra is the son of God;” the Christians say: “Christ is the Son of God.” That is what they say with their tongues following assertions made by unbelievers before them. May they be damned by God: how perverse are they!” (Surah 9:30). The Qur’an’s view that Jesus is a prophet (like Adam (and Moses, Noah, Abraham, etc.)) is contrary to the view outlined in the Bible. In the opening chapter of Luke’s gospel, the Angel Gabriel visits Mary, the virgin mother of Jesus, to announce the birth of Jesus. The text states,
Luke 1:26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee, called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. . . 30 And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. 31 "And behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. . . . " 34 And Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?" 35 And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy offspring shall be called the Son of God. The importance of verse 31 cannot be overlooked. The text states that the child was to be conceived in the womb of Mary. Luke uses this word four other times and in each use it refers to the conception of a child in the womb of its mother (Luke 1:24, 31, 36, 2:21).27 Clearly, what the text has in mind is the literal union of sperm and egg, the offspring being the result of a union of the Holy Spirit of God and the human person, Mary. The birth, then, is by conception – not by 9
God’s command. In this birth event, there is no sexual contact or sexual relations, for the text also states that Jesus was born of the virgin (Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:18, 25). In some mysterious way, insemination by the Holy Spirit has occurred, and, yet, the woman remains a virgin until after the birth of Jesus. The text makes certain that this is the correct interpretation by virtue of its inclusion of the birth of John the Baptist in the very next verse, his mother, Elizabeth, having conceived her son: NAS Luke 1:36 "And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. 37 "For nothing will be impossible with God." (Emphasis supplied). Therefore, Islam has also committed this second antichrist action – it has denied the divinity of Jesus Christ, and has once again been identified as antichrist. 3. The humanity of Jesus. Islam considers Jesus a human being just like all other humans. They consider him a prophet in a long line of prophets that includes Abraham, Moses, Jesus, among others. Islam also considers itself as a “correction” of the monotheistic faith of Jews and Christians. According to Islam, Jews and Christians “corrupted” the Bible. They changed it to exclude Ishmael (their patriarch) from the promised sonship of Abraham; and, Christians corrupted the New Testament by assigning divinity to Jesus, who Muslims believe never claimed to be the Son of God. Therefore, the Qur’an corrects these errors and continues the monotheistic faith of Abraham. Jesus is only a prophet, and since Muhammad came after Jesus, Muhammad is the greater of the two prophets. He is the “seal of the prophets,” and the last of all prophets. The Qur’an states, “Muhammad is not the father of any man among you, but a messenger of God, and the seal of the prophets” Surah 33:40. “Muhammad is the Prophet of God: and those who are with him are severe with the infidels but compassionate among themselves” Surah 48:29. Therefore, Islam accepts the humanity of Jesus since it considers Jesus as only a prophet. This action has not been committed and the antichrist has therefore not been identified in this context. Conclusion. We conclude that Islam has been identified as antichrist in two antichrist actions: 1 - it has denied Jesus as Messiah, Savior of the world; and, 2 - it has denied the divinity of Jesus Christ as Son of God. In addition, Islam has taken its antichrist activity one step beyond the others: it has not only denied the divinity of Jesus Christ, but in labeling Jesus as only a prophet, it has paved the way to proclaim Muhammad as the “greater”of the two individuals by virtue of his coming after Jesus, chronologically. Hence, as Islam’s “seal of the prophets,” Muhammad has sealed the blasphemy Islam has committed as it has exalted Muhammad above Jesus Christ. Our First and Second Pieces of the Puzzle. We have also laid our first and second pieces of the puzzle. Islam has satisfied the criteria of 1 John 2:21-22 by denying the divinity of Jesus Christ and by denying the Messiahship of Jesus. One might also say that this same piece could be laid down for Babylon, Greece and the Roman Empire for each has committed these antichrist actions and therefore been similarly identified as antichrist(s) of 1 John 2:22; and, this would be true. But we have only just now begun. In the pages that follow, Rome will satisfy other characteristics of Last Day’s prophecy, but they will be few. Islam, however, will satisfy many, many more - in fact, all of them. As we lay piece after piece, each piece 10
previously laid will be that much less likely to be removed, that much more secure; so that in the End, when all the pieces point to Islam we will be able to say – the puzzle is no more. It has been solved. Connecting Antichrist to Satan. We have described satan’s origin and his fall. We have defined the Biblical term “antichrist,” both as spirit and as Individual. We have identified Islam as having committed two of three separate and independent criteria, each of which identifies Islam as antichrist. However, we have not made the specific biblical connection that links antichrist to satan. We will do this now. 1. Revelation 12 introduces the red dragon that makes war against the woman and her offspring. 2. Verse 12:9 specifically identifies the red dragon as “the serpent of old who is called the devil and satan, who deceives the whole world. . .” 3. In the very next chapter, the scripture introduces the “beast from the sea” and the “beast from the earth.” Verse 13:2 states, “. . . and the dragon gave him (the beast from the sea) his power and his throne and great authority.” Verse 13:11-12, referring to the beast from the earth states, “. . .and he spoke as a dragon. . . 12 And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. . . .” Therefore, the beast from the sea and the beast from the earth are satan’s instruments that act on his behalf and with his power and his authority. They are each his “deputy.” The beast from the sea “blasphemes God.” (13:5); the beast from the earth causes deceives the whole world causing it to worship the beast from the sea. Together and individually they commit antichrist actions identified in 1 John 2:1822. They each are identified as antichrist by their actions; and since they stand and act on behalf of satan, since satan, in effect, acts behind them and gives them his power, they are satan. Satan is linked with the two. They are, in fact, satan’s disguise that conceals his true identity. 28
Chapter 1 Endnotes.
1Actually, the serpent is not identified as satan until much later in the Biblical context. See Revelation 12:9; 20:2 and the discussion that follows. 2Rose Book of Bible Charts, Maps & Time Lines, p. 20-21. 3Some interpreters against satan as the character being referred to include: John T. Bunn, Ezekiel, Broadman Bible Commentary, p. 317; Leslie C. Allen, Ezekiel, Word Biblical Commentary, Volume 29, Electronic Edition. 4Lamar Eugene Cooper, Sr., Ezekiel, New American Commentary, p. 268. 5Ibid., p. 269. 6It is important to note that Christ did not refute satan’s statement claiming authority and ownership over the kingdoms of the earth. Considering that Christ rebuked satan three times in the passage, Christ’s silence relative to this point is significant. Christ’s silence authenticates satan’s claim over the kingdoms of the earth. Matthew 4:10. 7Easton Bible Dictionary, electronic version included with BibleWorks6. 8Edward A. McDowell, The Broadman Bible Commentary, Hebrews - Revelation, p. 203-204. 9 NAS Daniel 7:20 “and the meaning of the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up, and before which three of them fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth uttering great boasts, and which was larger in appearance than its associates. 21 "I kept looking, and that horn was waging war with the saints and overpowering them.” 10 NAS 2 Thessalonians 2:8 “And then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; 9 that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, 10 and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.” 11 NAS Revelation 13:11 “And I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke as a dragon. 12 And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. 13 And he performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men. 14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life. 15 And there was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast might even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 16 And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand, or on their forehead, 17 and he provides that no one should be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six.” 12 NAS Revelation 17:8 "The beast that you saw was and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and to go to destruction. And those who dwell on the earth will wonder, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come. . . . 11 "And the beast which was and is not, is himself also an eighth, and is one of the seven, and he goes to destruction.” 13Ibid., Easton Bible Dictionary, electronic version included with BibleWorks6..
Chapter 1 Endnotes.
14 The “Messiah” for this purpose is a title describing the one who will appear in Jewish history as the long awaited, Anointed One for the Jewish people. Jesus claimed this title when he read the prophecy of Isaiah 61 and proclaimed its fulfillment in His coming (Luke 4:16-21). Edward A McDowell, p. 204 - 205. 15Emil Schurer, The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ, Volume II, p. 519. 16 According to McDowell, this aspect of antichrist was given to refute the 1 st century heresy offered by “Gnosticism” that held that Jesus was not actually human – He only appeared to be human. The gnostic believed the flesh was evil. They could not conceive that Jesus, the Son of God, could be human since the flesh was evil. Edward A. McDowell, p. 212-213 and p 227. 17 Tyre was a principal city of Phoenicia located on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea. Tyre was built in two parts, one on shore and the other on a rock outcropping one-half mile off shore. The Egyptians and the Assyrians sought to maintain control of Tyre because of its strategic importance as a port city and a military outpost. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon conquered Tyre in 587BC, but was unsuccessful in achieving victory over the rock outcropping portion of Tyre. The city was not completely overcome until the time of Alexander the Great. Its wealth knew no boundaries until Alexander’s conquest. Ethbaal II was the king, and through his success in leading the kingdom, he likened himself to god. See Lamar Eugene Cooper, Ezekiel, New American Commentary, p. 268f.
18 Nebuchadnezzar is considered to be the greatest of all Babylonian kings, defeating all of Palestine, including Israel. In the King’s dream of Daniel 2, he is described as “king of kings” (Daniel 2:37). In the 4 th chapter of Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar acknowledges the hand of God in bringing prosperity to his kingdom, including the conquest of all countries that he wages war against (Daniel 4:3); yet, in this same chapter, Nebuchadnezzar again has a dream, also translated by Daniel. In this dream, Nebuchadnezzar forgets the source of his power and prosperity, God, and likens himself to God by taking credit for what God has done. Daniel 4 records the King’s reflection: NAS Daniel 4:29 "Twelve months later he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon. 30 "The king reflected and said, 'Is this not Babylon the great, which I myself have built as a royal residence by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty?' 31 "While the word was in the king's mouth, a voice came from heaven, saying, 'King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is declared: sovereignty has been removed from you,” Daniel’s interpretation of the king’s dream twelve months before comes true: Nebuchadnezzar experienced a mental illness that lowered him to a beast in the field; and, his kingdom was removed until he king humbled himself before Almighty God (Daniel 4:24-27; 34-37). See Lamar Eugene Cooper, Ezekiel, New American Commentary, p. 251f. 19 The Biblical prophecy for Antiochus IV is found in the 8 th chapter of Daniel. The prophecy is so specific and so detailed and so fulfilled that some Biblical scholars can only interpret it as having been written after the event. In Daniel’s vision, there is a ram with two horns (8:3) and a shaggy goat with a horn between his eyes (8:5). Daniel 8:20 tells us that the ram with two horns symbolizes the nations, Media and Persia; Greece is symbolized by the shaggy goat (8:21). The ram butts to the North, South, and no one can stand before it, signifying that Media and Persia will combine to defeat Babylon (550BC). Then the goat rushes the ram and tramples him and destroys him (8:7). Then the single horn of the goat is broken and in its place arise four horns (8:8). The text tells us that the four horns represent the four kingdoms that will arise from the one. Scholars are in agreement here: the single horn symbolizes Alexander the Great, the first king of Grecian Empire. Alexander defeated the Persians in 333BC and within three years thereafter had defeated the entire Near East. After Alexander’s death in 323BC, his empire was divided between four generals, two of whom were his sons. In the latter period after these four kings “have run their course,” a king will arise from within this kingdom (8:23) who will be insolent and skilled in intrigue (8:23). This horn, a “small one,” will magnify itself to be equal with the commander of the host (8:11). This horn will remove the regular sacrifice from the Commander and will tear down the place of His sanctuary (8:11). He will have great power and will destroy to an extraordinary degree, and prosper and perform his own will. He will destroy mighty men and the holy people (8:24). This king will “magnify himself in his heart” and he will even oppose the “Prince of princes,” but he will be broken without human agency (8:25). This “small” horn symbolizes Antiochus Epiphanies IV (175BC - 163BC). Again, scholars are in agreement here. “Antiochus IV became king after his brother, Seleucus IV had been murdered by Heliodorus. On the death of Ptolemy Vi in
Chapter 1 Endnotes.
173BC, Antiochus laid claim to Palestine. In 167 BC, Antiochus is known to have slain thousands of the inhabitants of Jerusalem and robbed the temple of its treasures (1 Macc :20-24; 2 Macc 5:11-21). . . Antiochus forbade the observance of all Jewish laws, especially those relating to the observance of the Sabbath and to circumcision, under the penalty of death. The Jewish cultic practices were set aside and all were required to bring sacrifices to the pagan deities. In December, 168 BC, a pagan altar was built on the Great Altar of Burnt Sacrifices in the Temple – and on the 25 th of December, sacrifice was brought to this altar for the first time (1 Macc 1:54, 59). Historically, this event has become known as the “abomination of desolation” in the scriptures. The sacrifice was to Zeus, to whom the temple in Jerusalem had been dedicated. Antiochus IV also set himself up as God. He gave himself the name “Epiphanies,” which means “glorious one,” thereby making himself out to be God. It is important to note statements made by verses 8 and 25 regarding Antiochus: NAS Daniel 8:11, “It even magnified itself to be equal with the Commander of the host; and it removed the regular sacrifice from Him, and the place of His sanctuary was thrown down.” NAS Daniel 8:25 "And through his shrewdness He will cause deceit to succeed by his influence; And he will magnify himself in his heart, And he will destroy many while they are at ease. He will even oppose the Prince of princes, But he will be broken without human agency.” According to Miller, both of these verses refer to God: verse 8 - “Commander of the Host;” Verse 25, “Prince of princes.” See Stephen R. Miller, Daniel, New American Commentary, pp 222f; see notes 20 and 22 of Miller for additional references. 20 Encyclopedia Britannica offers the following regarding the practice of “emperor worship” that began under Augustus Caesar. “It was not so strange, then, that a freedman supporter of Caesar's erected a pillar over the ashes of the dead dictator in the Forum in April 44 BC and offered cult to him as a being now resident among the gods. Many citizens joined in. Within days Caesar's heir Octavia pressed for the declaration of Caesar as divine—which the Senate granted by its vote in 42. By 25 BC the city of Mytilene had organized annual cult acts honoring Augustus and communicated their forms and impulse to Tarraco in Spain as well as to other Eastern Greek cities; and by 12 BC divine honors to Caesar and Augustus' genius were established through the emperors' initiative both in the Gallic capital, Lugdunum, and in the neighborhood chapels to the crossroads gods in Rome. From these various points and models, emperor worship spread rapidly.” Available at http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-26678/ancient-Rome at March 7, 2007. In spite of the practice of emperor worship, the Jews were exempted from this practice by virtue of their religion. Emil Shurer reports: “Great deference was shown to Jewish religious sensitivity. Whereas in some provinces (Gaul and Britain) emperor-worship was instituted, and in others it was encouraged, no demands of this sort were ever made of the Jews except in Caligula’s time. Out of respect for Jewish customs, the Roman authorities exempted the Jews from appearing before a magistrate on a Sabbath or a Jewish holiday, not in Judea alone but in throughout the Empire. The Romans were satisfied with a sacrifice offered by the Jews daily in the Temple for Caesar and the Roman nation. . . Next to the worship of the emperor, the Jews took particular offence at portraits of him on coins and military standards. Here, too, their scruples were respected. The circulation I Judea of Roman denarii bearing the emperor’s image could not be avoided for gold and silver coins were not minted in the province. But the copper coins manufactured in the country carried no human portrait in the time of the Roman rule but only the emperor’s name and inoffensive emblems. Roman troops dispensed with their standards, which bore the emperor’s image, when entering Jerusalem.” See Emil Schurer, The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ, Volume 1, p 378-379. 21Timothy R. Furnish, Holiest Wars, Islamic Mahdis, Their Jihads, and Osama bin Laden, p. 2. 22Ibid. 23 Muslim Traditions have offered three views of who actually died on the cross in Christ’s place: 1 - Jesus hid while one of his companions died in his place; 2 - God made Judas Iscariot to appear like Jesus and to take his place; 3 - Simon of Cyrene replaced Jesus before the crucifixion. Regardless of which of the three Muslim views is held to the point remains: so far as Islam is concerned, Jesus was not crucified! See Ergun and Emir Caner, Unveiling Islam, p. 220. 24Furnish, Ibid. 25Available at http://www.itl.org.uk/Jesus/birth.html at March 7, 2007.
Chapter 1 Endnotes.
26Ibid. 27A T Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament, p. 12. 28 This is precisely the role that satan played in the very beginning chapters of the Bible. Satan is never named in his encounter in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve (Genesis 3); rather, the creature is only referred to as “the serpent.” It is only in later chapters of the Bible that the serpent is specifically identified as having been satan in disguise (Revelation 12:9, 20:2). It is also for this reason that we can more likely conclude that the passages in Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14 previously mentioned also describe satan; for this is how satan operates – in disguise, never revealing himself but always acting behind others to accomplish his will and work. In Ezekiel 28, Isaiah 14, and also Genesis 3, the “characters” named in each of the passages have one thing in common: they make themselves equal to or above God, or they tempt another to do likewise. This conclusion is also buttressed by another passage - Matthew 16:23. In the verses preceding this verse, Simon Peter has just professed Jesus to be the Messiah, the Son of God (Matthew 16:16). Jesus then renames Simon, “Peter,” the rock, upon which Christ will build His church. Christ then warns His disciples that He is going to experience persecution to the point of death at the hands of the religious leaders. Peter’s response to Christ is “God forbid that this should ever happen to you” (Matthew 16:22), whereupon Christ says to Peter: “. . ., Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God's interests, but man's." The point – satan always operates under cover. He always acts through another, thereby using the other as a cover. This occurred when he acted behind Peter to tempt Jesus so as not to fulfill His mission on earth; and, who more likely to do this to Jesus than the first disciple to profess Jesus as both Messiah and Son of God, Simon Peter. Hence, we see satan as the deceiver. His first deception is to cloak his presence. Then, he gives his lies (2 John 1:7, Revelation 12:9, 13:4).
Chapter 2 Holy War Introduction. In the opening chapter, we reviewed the Biblical passages regarding satan, his origin and his fall. We looked at the meaning of the term “antichrist,” and saw that the Bible uses the term to refer to any spirit, “opposed to,” or “anti,” Christ; and also, to refer to a specific individual appearing in the Last Days. Finally, we looked at kings and kingdoms throughout history who have committed “antichrist” activities, i.e., who have denied the Messiahship of Jesus Christ or His deity (1 John 2:18, 21-22). We identified Islam as having committed both of these antichrist activities. Our next step will be to look at Daniel 2, 7 and Revelation 12 and determine the type of battle that is being waged, i.e., is the battle a political battle or some other type of battle, for example, a spiritual battle? Once determining the type of battle being waged, we will next determine who, in scripture, the war is waged against, i.e., the oppressed. Finally, once determining the oppressed, we will be able to identify the Oppressor. In the process, the potential candidates that might qualify as antichrist will be reduced from many to One! . . . And, in so doing, we will place our third piece in our puzzle. The “Type” of Battle Waged in Biblical History. To begin our review of Biblical prophecy, we must go to the 2nd and 7th chapters of Daniel. In both chapters, we find battles described that have been going on since the late 6th century BC when Babylon enslaved the people of Judah. In the 2nd chapter of Daniel, King Nebuchadnezzar has a dream. A statue appears in his dream which has four parts. Daniel, an Israelite captive and soon to be prophet, comes forward to both reveal and interpret the dream. Daniel interprets the four parts of the statue to represent four kingdoms that will each destroy one another. Babylon is named in the text as the first part of the statue, the head of gold (Daniel 2:37). Each of the three kingdoms subsequent to Babylon is unnamed. Scholars have almost universally interpreted the other three parts of the statue to be the kingdoms of Media-Persia, Greece, and Rome, each of whom defeated the other, successively, in history.1 The 4th kingdom has historically been interpreted to be Rome (wrongly so). At present, our concern is not the identity of the 4th kingdom, but rather the type of war that is being waged by the 4th kingdom on the last kingdom included in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. The text states as follows: Daniel 2:44 "And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever. 45 "Inasmuch as you saw that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold, the great God has made known to the king what will take place in the future; so the dream is true, and its interpretation is trustworthy." Thus, the “God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed.” This kingdom is of divine origin – consider the text: “the God of heaven will set it up”; further, verse 34 states, “. . . a stone was cut out without hands,. . .” The phrase, “cut out without hands,” has been interpreted by scholars to also mean the kingdom is of divine origin.2 This kingdom is not an earthly kingdom, but an eternal, spiritual one, for the text states, “. . .will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed . . . it will itself endure Copyright © 2007. 16
forever.” By virtue of the surviving kingdom being a spiritual kingdom, we are led to conclude that the type of war that is being described is a spiritual war, not a political war. Further evidence supporting this interpretation is found in Daniel 7. Daniel 7 describes the same period in Biblical history as contemplated in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of Daniel 2, but now the event that sparks the discussion is not Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (as in Daniel 2), but a vision that Daniel experiences some nine or more years after Nebuchadnezzar’s death3 (Daniel 7:1).4 The additional details of Daniel 7 give us more hints as to the type of war being waged against the surviving kingdom by the 4th kingdom. NAS Daniel 7:21 "I kept looking, and that horn was waging war with the saints and overpowering them 22 until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom.” Clearly, the intent of the oppressor 4th kingdom is spiritual in nature, not political, for the text states, “that horn was waging war with the saints and overpowering them.” This passage is absent of any mention of countries or nations at war against each other, so the war cannot be political in nature. To illustrate the point, consider the “type” of war waged in World War II. When Japan waged war against America to begin World War II, the war had nothing to do with religion; the war was not a “spiritual war” “waged against the saints,” but a war waged against America and her national and international interests. The war contemplated in both Daniel 2 and Daniel 7 is different (see Daniel 7:23), it is not political, but spiritual, because it is waged against a spiritual kingdom, i.e., the “saints.” The same conclusion can be reach by review of another important prophetic passage – Revelation 12. In the 12th chapter of Revelation, the Apostle John has a vision. The vision is replete with mystery and symbolism and told through mythological characters - a great red dragon, a woman who gives birth to a child, and the woman’s offspring (who hold to the testimony of Jesus). The battle is not a battle that takes place only in the Last Days, but throughout human history.5 Specifically, the battle includes the period normally referred to as the “time of the Gentiles,” that period beginning with Babylon’s defeat of Judah in the 6th century BC and continuing until the Last Days when the “fulness of the Gentiles has come in” (Romans 11:25, Luke 21:24). This is the same period interpreted in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of Daniel 2 and Daniel’s vision of Daniel 7.6 The specific identity of each of the three characters of Revelation 12 will be looked at next, but for now, what is important is to determine the type of war that is being waged. The verse that most clearly defines the type of war is verse 17 as follows: NAS Revelation 12:17 “And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.” Once again, the type of war is clearly spiritual for it is waged “against the offspring (of the woman) who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.” (Emphasis supplied). Conclusion. We conclude that the type of war that we are looking for is a “spiritual war,” a “holy war.” Now we will identity who the war will be waged against and then we can determine the possible oppressors. The Dragon, the Woman, and Her Offspring - Revelation 12. There are three characters metaphorically represented in the 12th chapter of Revelation. The identify of these characters is very important in view of our statement that behind the history of the world a spiritual battle is being waged. Therefore, we must determine through whom the war was waged and at whom the war was waged if we are going to be able to successfully identity modern day characters included in Last Day’s Biblical Copyright © 2007. 17
Prophecy. The three characters in chapter 12 are: 1 - the great “dragon” 2 - the “woman” who begets the child, Jesus; 3 - the woman’s “offspring.” The first and third characters are identified for us in the text itself: The “dragon” is satan, Rev 12:9, 20:2 The “offspring of the woman” is Christianity – the text tells us: “those who . . . hold to the testimony of Jesus. . ,” Rev 12:17
That leaves the woman as the only character not specifically identified in Revelation 12. The options for her identity and the reason for each follows. 1. The virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ.7 The text states, NAS Revelation 12:2 “and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth. . . . 5 And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne. . . . 17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.” This view interprets the woman to be Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. It takes a literal view of the text for Mary was the mother of the child, Jesus, that is contemplated in verse 12:5. The problem with this view is significant. If the woman is literally, Mary, the mother of Jesus, then the woman’s “offspring” must also be literal. That is, the war the dragon wages is limited to the literal children of Mary (the brothers and sisters of Jesus), and the phrase, “the rest of her offspring those who . . . hold to the testimony of Jesus. .,” falls on its very face. The phrase clearly has in mind the followers of Jesus Christ not the offspring of Mary, the siblings of Jesus. This hardly seems to be the view the text has in mind since the war would end at the death of Mary’s children (no commentators could be located by the writer holding to this view). 2. The Christian Church. This view holds that the woman symbolizes the Church of God formed through the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, i.e, the followers of Jesus Christ.8 This view includes the interpretation that the “birth pangs of the woman” are the fulfillment of Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord will give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, . . .” Since the New Testament pictures the Church as the “bride of Christ,” this view interprets the woman as that bride in Revelation 12.9 The weakness of this view is that the Christian Church is identified as the offspring of the woman, not the woman. NAS Revelation 12:17 " And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.” If the Christian Church is already identified in verse 17, then the woman cannot be the Christian Church since this view would unnecessarily identify Christianity – as the woman, and also as the woman’s offspring.10 3. Israel - as the “ideal” or obedient people of God.11 The final view and the one held by most 18
commentators reviewed by this writer is that the woman represents Israel, the Covenant people of God; and, specifically, the true, obedient, “ideal” Israel.12 Scholars Thomas and Ladd both hold to this view. Key to Thomas’ conclusion are these factors: the Revelation 12:1 describes the woman as “clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.” This description is identical with the specifics of Joseph’s dream in Gen 37:9-10. Joseph is the second youngest of twelve sons of Jacob, and is his father’s favorite son. As his father’s favorite, Joseph had received a special gift from his father, a multicolored tunic (Gen 37:3-4). Joseph has a dream and in his dream, Joseph sees the sun, the moon and eleven stars bowing down to him. The sun and the moon in this context are interpreted by Joseph and his family to refer to Jacob and Rachel, Joseph’s parents and his eleven brothers (37:8); and specifically, Jacob as Patriarchal Israel.13 Commentators have interpreted the inclusion of these same characteristics in Revelation 12 to mean that the woman symbolizes Israel – the Old Covenant People of God;14 and, even more specifically, the woman is “true Israel,” for this woman “keeps the commandments of God (Revelation 12:17).”15 In addition, the Old Testament includes many references referring to Israel as a pregnant woman about to give birth to a child. A key passage is found in Micah 4 and 5, concluding, in fact, with the prophecy of Micah 5:2 applied to Jesus: NAS Micah 5:2 " But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity."16 Other Old Testament passages include the same terminology: Isaiah 66:71; Jeremiah 4:31, 13:21, Micah 4:10, 5:3.17 Other Prophecies About Israel. It is also important that we realize the significance of an interpretation that fails to include Israel within the interpretation of Revelation 12. Jesus put it this way: NAS Luke 11:23 "He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me, scatters.” In Revelation 12 there are two sides: God’s side and the devil’s side. Clearly, the Christian Church is envisioned to be on God’s side by virtue of its inclusion in Revelation 12:17 – “the dragon . . . went off to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.” If the Jewish people are not included as a foe against satan (along with the Christian Church), then they are a foe against God; it is either one side or the other, not a third side. In order for Old Testament passages such as Micah 4 cited above to be fulfilled, then the Jewish people would, by necessity, have to be included by God in the prophecy of Revelation 12. The interpretation of the woman as Israel also allows for the fulfillment of New Testament prophecy of the salvation of Israel in the Last Days: NAS Romans 11:25 “For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery, lest you be wise in your own estimation, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles has come in; 26 and thus all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, "The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob." 27 "And this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins." 28 From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God's choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; 29 for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” Conclusion: In the spiritual battle of Revelation 12, the great dragon and deceiver, satan, makes war against two separate foes, Israel, and the followers of Jesus Christ. The importance of identifying the type of war (holy war) and the foes in the battle (Israel and Christianity) is that it allows us to narrow the parameters of the “search ” to determine who “satan’s alter-ego” in the battle is, i.e., who is the embodiment of the spirit of antichrist that wages Satan’s war for him? According to Revelation 12:17, this war is waged at the direction of satan; satan, having been “thrown down to earth” by virtue of his heavenly 19
defeat, will now continue the heavenly battle by making war on earth against the chosen ones of God, that is, the spiritual children of God. Satan, realizing he is powerless before Almighty God, seeks to “injure” the Great and Holy God, by inflicting punishment upon the children of God. Holy War By Whom? With these two factors in mind, i.e., war against both Jews and Christians, and secondly, a religious war, the field of potential candidates for war is narrowed significantly. Israel, standing alone, has historically had many enemies. The Assyrians (640BC), Babylonians (600BC), Persians (500BC), Greeks (350BC), Romans (44BC - 180CE), Byzantines (300CE - 1400CE) and Muslims (635AD - present). But which of these nations also makes war against Christians? And which of these engages in war as an act of religious duty, i.e., a holy war? Rome, Byzantine and Islam are the only ones of the aforementioned group whose dominion does not end prior to the birth of Christianity. Therefore, we can automatically eliminate Assyria, Babylon, Persia, and the Greeks. The short list, therefore, includes Rome, Byzantine, and Islam. Consider Rome, first. Rome’s persecution of Christians was never done jointly along with the Jews. Initially, and through much of the 1st century, Christianity was a sect of Judaism. This was important to Christians because Rome allowed Jews to be excepted from the requirement of Emperor worship, including the allowance of their continued practice of all elements of their Jewish religion and cultic practices.18 When the Jerusalem temple was destroyed in AD 70 by the Romans, this action was unrelated to Christians or Christianity. Rather, the destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple was about Jewish zealots seeking liberation from Romans. Emil Shurer describes the fall of Jerusalem and its Temple in Chapter 20 entitled, The Great War with Rome, and therein, Christians are absent from his description of the Roman conquest.19 Further, Roman territorial conquests were not against religious groups, but against countries, and peoples residing in those countries. It was territorial conquest that provided the economic power and resources (through an expanding tax base) that Rome needed to sustain its existing populations and grow its military. Historian Peter Stearns puts it this way: “Government supported religious ceremonies continued, . . ., and various other religions, including the worship of the Egyptian goddess, Isis, usually were tolerated. Only Jews, and later, Christians, found the state’s claim to primary loyalty unacceptable, and only they drew Roman reprisals; the Roman government tolerated Jewish monotheism but reacted fiercely to Jewish revolt. Even the later Roman Emperors, who promoted the idea that the Emperor himself was a god, normally were tolerant of other religions, inconsistently attacking Christianity because of the Christians’ refusal to place the state first in their devotion.20 (Emphasis supplied) This is not to say that Christians (or Jews) were never persecuted by the Roman Empire for their monotheistic faith – but the persecution, according to Stearns, was inconsistent. One of the Roman Emperors who did persecute Christians was Nero. Stearns states, “Adherents of the new religion did clash with Roman authorities. Christians, who like Jews, put their duties to God first, would not honor the emperor as a god. They also seemed to reject the authority of the state in other spheres. Several early emperors, including Nero, persecuted Christians, killing some and driving their worship underground. Persecution was not constant, however which helps to explain why the religion continued to spread.”21 Another Roman Emperor who persecuted Christians was Diocletian (284 - 305AD). Stearns reports: “Diocletian tightened up the administration of the empire and tried to improve tax collection. Regulation of 20
the dwindling economy increased. Diocletian tried to monopolize political loyalty, increasing the pressure to worship the emperor as god. This is what prompted him to persecute Christians with particular viciousness, for they would not give Caesar preference over their God.”22 The inconsistency of Roman persecution can be seen in the fact that it was during the Roman occupation of the 1st through 3rd centuries that much of early Christianity was born. The expanding Roman Empire became the means for safe travel for missionaries, a factor important to the spread of Christianity. Stearns writes, “The wide reach of the Roman Empire made it easy for Christian missionaries to travel through Europe and the Middle East and spread the new word. Then, when conditions began to deteriorate in the Empire, the solace of this otherworldly religion won even more converts.”23 The declining Roman Empire was forever impacted by Christianity, when, in the early 4th century, the Roman Emperor, Constantine the Great, was converted around 312 AD.24 Peter Stearns estimates that at the time of Constantine’s conversion, 10% of the Roman Empire was already Christianized.25 Constantine’s conversion ended all persecution of Christians for the remainder of the duration of the Empire in the formal issuing of the Edict of Milan, a document jointly entered into by Western Roman Emperor, Constantine, and Eastern Roman Emperor, Licinius Augustus.26 With Constantine’s conversion, Christianity continued its spread through the entire Roman Empire, which by the 4th century included Spain, Italy, Greece, the Middle East (not the Arabian Peninsula), Egypt, and Northern Africa. This spread continued after the decline of the Roman Empire and the emergence of the Byzantine Empire. A brief description of the Byzantine expansion is given by Stearns, “The Byzantine Empire unfolded initially as part of the greater Roman Empire. Then, as this framework shattered with Roman decline, it took on a life of its own, particularly from the reign of Justinian (527 - 565CE) onward. It centered on a territory different from and smaller than the eastern Mediterranean as Rome had defined it. This was the result of new pressures, particularly the surge of Islam throughout north Africa and the bulk of the Middle East. Despite many attacks, the Empire flourished until the 11th century. . . . in some senses the Byzantine Empire began in the 4th century when the Romans set up their eastern capital in Constantinople. . . Emperor Constantine constructed a host of elegant buildings, including Christian churches, in his new city. . . . 27 With this brief review of world history, we can come to the preliminary conclusion that neither Rome nor its successor empire, Byzantine, can be considered as satan’s antichrist in the war between satan and God. Although there were periods of Roman history where persecution did occur, the persecution was inconsistent and incomplete. In fact, for most of the period following Constantine’s conversion (early 4th century), these two Empires were predominantly Christian in their populations. This leads us to the final group to consider – whether by process of elimination or by review of history, Islam. Islam - Does the Piece Fit the Puzzle? In 610AD, around the age of 40, the Prophet Muhammad received his first revelation of the Qur’an while on retreat near Mecca.28 By the year 622, the new religion had grown within the Bedouin desert clans. Muhammad and his small band of desert tribesmen became a threat to the Quraysh tribe of Mecca, the predominant tribe. On September 17, 622, Muhammad and his followers fled for their lives to Medina. This celebrated journey is known as the “Hijrah” (emigration) and is considered by Muslims to be the fist year of Islam.29 In the year 632, Muhammad died after complaining of a headache. Prior to his death, Muhammad had not selected a successor to lead Islam. There were two possible choices. Ali, Muhammad’s son-in-law or Abu Bakr, a close companion of Muhammad. Many of the followers believed 21
that Ali was too young, and so the first caliph of Islam became Abu Bakr who also happened to be Muhammad’s first convert to Islam. The conquest of the nations begun by Muhammad was continued by Abu Bakr as well as the succeeding caliphs. Jerusalem fell in 637 AD. The first wave of Islamization of the nations included a period of around 150 years. The Arab conquest spread over land and sea. Historian Bat Ye’or describes it, “Led by brilliant and fearless leaders, the Muslims overcame the Persian armies and seized Babylonia, Susiana, Mesopotamia, Armenia, and Persia, pushing on as far as the Sind (713) and beyond the Syr-Daria (751). In the West, they conquered all the Christian provinces of the eastern Mediterranean, from Syria and Palestine to Egypt, North Africa and through Sapin, before suffering defeats at Narbounne (720) and at Poitiers (732).30 Peter Stearns describes the Muslim conquest as follows: “But in the 7th century C.E., the followers of a new religion, Islam . . . spread from the Arabian peninsula and began a sequence of conquest and conversion that would forge the future global civilization. Until then, Arabia had been a nomadic backwater on the periphery of the civilizations of the eastern Mediterranean. Within decades, the Muslims. . . had conquered an empire extending from Spain in the west to central Asia in the east – an empire that combined the classical civilizations of Greece, Egypt, and Persia. In succeeding centuries, Islamic civilization was spread by merchants, wandering mystics, and warriors across Africa, Asia and Southern Europe. It spread through the steppes of central Asia (including most of what is today southern Russia) to western China and into south Asia. Islam also spread along the oceanic trade routes to maritime southeast Asia and down the eastern coast of Africa. It followed the overland trade routes across north Africa and down through the Sahara desert to west Africa. In addition, the Muslim conquerors captured Asia Minor and advanced into the European heartland of Islam’s great rival, Christendom.”31 By the end of the tenth century, the Arab Empire seemed to have reached its zenith. The once predominant and powerful Christendom had all but disappeared. The second wave of Islamization would include the Turks beginning in the 13th century. Yet, unlike the first wave of Arabic conquest which met resistance at every turn, the Turks embraced Islam. By the beginning of the 14th century, the Islamized Turks plundered their way across Europe and the Balkans, beginning an occupation that would last 500 years.32 Constantinople would not fall until 1453, but fall it did, and Istanbul became the name of this once great Byzantine city. With the fall of Constantinople, the mighty Byzantine Empire, the successor to the Roman Empire, ended. Next, Serbia was conquered in 1459; then Bosnia in 1463, and Herzegovina in 1483. Turkish expansion continued with the conquest of Wallachia, Moldavia, and eastern Hungary and was only checked in Vienna in 1683 and Poland in 1687.33 Conclusion: We conclude that Islam has satisfied the criteria of waging war against both Jews and Christians. We will now address the nature of the conflict waged by Islam – spiritual or political. Holy War. Jihad, holy war, has become a term known by every American alive since 9/11/2001. May the following quote honor those whose lives are given in its path: “Five seconds later, Jarrah asked, “Is that it” Shall we finish it off? A hijacker responded, “No, not yet. When they all come, finish it off.” The sounds of fighting continued outside the cockpit. Again, Jarrah 22
pitched the nose of the aircraft up and down. At 10:00:26, a passenger in the background said, “In the cockpit. If we don’t, we’ll die!” Sixteen seconds later, a passenger yelled, “Roll it!” Jarrah stopped the violent maneuvers at about 10:01:00 and said, “Allah is the greatest! Allah is the greatest!” He then asked another hijacker in the cockpit, “Is that it? I mean, shall we put it down?,” to which the other replied, “Yes, put it in it, and pull it down.” The passengers continued their assault and at 10:02:23, a hijacker said, “Pull it down! Pull it down!” The hijackers remained at the controls but must have judged that the passengers were only seconds from overcoming them. The airplane headed down ; the control wheel was turned hard to the right. The airplane rolled onto its back, and one of the hijackers began shouting “Allah is the greatest! Allah is the greatest!” With the sounds of the passenger counterattack continuing, the aircraft plowed into an empty field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania at 580 miles per hour, about 20 minutes’ flying time from Washington, D.C. Jarrah’s objective was to crash his airliner into symbols of the American Republic, the Capitol or the White House. He was defeated by the alerted, unarmed passengers of United 93.34 The battle cry for Islam, “Allah-u Akbar,” (“Allah is the greatest!”, in the above quote from 9/11 Report) originated in the 7th century on the battlefields of conquest led by Islam’s founder, Muhammad. Jihad, holy war, is Islam’s effort to either convert or subject the people of its conquered lands. The term itself reveals the nature of the war that Islam wages. Noted historian Bernard Lewis defines the term as follows: The term so translated is jihad, an Arabic word with the literal meaning of “effort,” “striving,” or “struggle.” In the Qur’an and still more in the Traditions, commonly though not invariably followed by the words “in the path of God,” it has usually been understood as meaning “to wage war.” The great collections of hadith (traditions) all contain a section devoted to jihad, in which the military meaning predominates. . . According to Muslim teaching, jihad is one of the basic commandments of the faith, an obligation of the Muslim community as a whole; in a defensive war, it becomes a personal obligation of every adult male Muslim. In such a situation, the Muslim ruler might issue a general call to arms. The basis of the obligation of jihad is the universality of the Muslim revelation. God’s word and God’s message are for all mankind; it is the duty of those who have accepted them to strive unceasingly to convert or at least to subjugate those who have not. This obligation is without limit of time or space. It must continue until the whole world has either accepted the Islamic faith or submitted to the power of the Islamic state.”35 (Arabic transliterations omitted from quote) Renowned author Ibn Warraq defines the term as follows: As for religious minorities, the relations of Muslims and non-Muslims are set in a context of a war: jihad. The totalitarian nature of Islam is nowhere more apparent than in the concept of jihad, the holy war, whose ultimate aim is to conquer the entire world and submit it to the one true faith, to the law of Allah. To Islam alone has been granted the truth – there is no possibility of salvation outside it. It is the sacred duty – an incumbent religious duty established in the Qur’an and the Traditions36 – of all Muslims to bring it to all humanity. Jihad is a divine institution, enjoined specially for the purpose of advancing Islam. Muslims must strive, fight, and kill in the name of God: Qur’an, Surah (Chapter) 9:5-6: ‘Kill those who join other gods with Allah (God) wherever you may 23
Qur’an, Surah 4.76: Qur’an, Surah 8:12:
find them.’ ‘Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah (God).’ ‘I will instill terror into the hearts of the Infidels, strike off their heads then, and strike off from them every fingertip.’ “37
The following summary of the conquest of Palestine (specifically, Jerusalem, in 634AD) by historian Paul Fregosi reflects the roots of Islamic Holy War against Jews and Christians (the opening quote is of the treaty entered into between the conquered Jerusalem and the Muslim victors): “It is interesting to read the surrender terms 1,350 years later: “There will be no constraint in the matter of religion, nor the least annoyance. The Jews will inhabit Jerusalem conjointly with the Christians.” Tolerance, alas, was not to last long. Damascus had fallen to the Arabs in 635 and Antioch in 636. Two years after the fall of Jerusalem, Muawiya (the caliph of Sunni Islam) and his brother captured Caesarea by storm after a long siege. The carnage was prodigious, Muir tells us: four thousand captives, many of them “women of gentile birth degraded now to menial office or, if young and fair to look upon, reserved for a worse fate” were sent to Medina as part of the booty to be sold as slaves. . . . The conquered populations were given three choices: Islam, the sword, or tribute. A few, usually from the middle classes, chose martyrdom; many, particularly from the rich upper class, chose tribute; and only a few, at first, and usually from the poorer classes, converted to Islam. But mass conversions to the cause of Allah were in the offing among the Christian peoples of the Middle East, Asia Minor, and North Africa. Christians were tolerated as an unpleasant fact of life outside Arabia, but within it, they no longer had their place. All Jews and Christians were expelled. They have never been allowed since to set foot in Mecca or Median.38 The above quote from Fregosi can be compared to a modern day quote from one of Islam’s renowned jihadists, “The current Jewish enemy is not an enemy settled in his own original country fighting in its defense until he gains a peace agreement, but an attacking enemy and a corruption of religion and the world, for whom the words of the Sheikh of Islam ibn Taymiyya apply: “There is no greater duty after faith than unconditionally fighting the attacking enemy who corrupts religion and the world. He must be resisted as hard as possible, as stipulated by our companions the scholars and others. The legal duty regarding Palatine and our brothers there – these poor men, women, and children who have nowhere to go– is to wage jihad for the sake of God, and to motivate our umma (Islamic community) to jihad so that Palestine may be completely liberated and returned to Islamic sovereignty.” This quote is that of Osama bin Laden. It is taken from his letter to the “Chief Mufti, the foremost juridical authority in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the late bin Baz, dated 12/29/94.”39 It is his objective to rebuke the Chief Mufti for his having ruled in agreement with the Al-Saud royal family to allow American and other foreign troops to join in the attack on Iraq (subsequent to Iraq’s having invaded Kuwait in August, 1990) using Saudi land area as a gathering and supply location.40 Conclusion. We conclude that Islam has waged holy war, jihad, since its inception in the 7th century by its 24
founder, Muhammad. Islam has therefore met the criteria of Daniel 2 and 7 which describe an unending spiritual battle against a kingdom established by God, Himself; that divine kingdom is further defined by Revelation 12 to begin with the people of Israel and then be expanded by the birth of Jesus Christ to include the followers of Jesus Christ, i.e., Christians. Jihad continues to the present day under modern day jihadists such as Osama bin Laden and the hijackers of 9/11. We have laid another piece to the puzzle. . . Our puzzle now has three pieces – (1) Islam denies the Messiahship of Jesus Christ; 1 John 2:22; (2) Islam denies the deity of Jesus Christ; 1 John 2:18, 22-23; (3) Islam has waged holy war against both Jews and Christians; Daniel 2:44-45, 7:21; Revelation 12:17. With each piece we lay, the pieces already laid will become more secure and the latter pieces, the pieces most difficult to fit, will be more readily identifiable – for we will eventually come to a place where we need look in only one place – Islam.
Chapter 2 Endnotes.
1Stephen Miller, Daniel, The New American Commentary, p. 95. David Jeremiah, The Handwriting on the Wall, Volume 1, p. 5051; John F. Walvoord, Every Prophecy of the Bible, p 218. 2Stephen Miller, p. 100. 3Stephen Miller, p. 194. 4The first six chapters of Daniel are a chronological history beginning with Daniel’s captivity in Babylon. The visions of chapters 7 - 12 are given in chronological sequence beginning with the first year of King Belshazzar. The first two visions (chapter 7 and 8) occur before Belshazzar’s feast in chapter 5. Stephen Miller, p. 193, 191. David Jeremiah, The Handwriting on the Wall, Volume 2, p. 22. 5George Eldon Ladd, A Commentary on the Revelation of John, p. 166. 6David Jeremiah, The Handwriting on the Wall, Volume I, p. 48. 7Robert L. Thomas, Revelation 8 - 22, An Exegetical Commentary, p. 120. This view is not held by Thomas but only discussed by him. 8Philip Edgcumbe Hughes, The Book of the Revelation, p.135. 9Ibid., p. 136. 10Morris Ashcraft, Revelation, The Broadman Commentary, Volume 12, p. 307. 11Robert L. Thomas, Revelation 8 - 22, An Exegetical Commentary, p. 120. Garland Eldon Ladd, A Commentary on The Revelation, p. 167. 12Robert L. Thomas, Revelation 8 - 22, An Exegetical Commentary, p. 120. Garland Eldon Ladd, A Commentary on The Revelation, p. 167. 13John Walvoord, Every Prophecy of the Bible, page 576. 14. Also, some offer Mary, the mother of Christ, as the woman of Revelation 12. However, against this view is verse 12:13 which provides the dragon continues his persecution against the woman after her giving birth to the son. If this were literal Mary, the mother of Christ, then it would not be possible to continue persecution since she would be dead. 15Walvoord, Ibid. 16In the 4 th chapter of Micah the Lord gives a prophecy of the “last days,” declaring, NAS Micah 4:1 “And it will come about in the last days That the mountain of the house of the LORD Will be established as the chief of the mountains. It will be raised above the hills, And the peoples will stream to it. 2 And many nations will come and say, "Come and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD And to the house of the God of Jacob, That He may teach us about His ways And that we may walk in His paths." For from Zion will go forth the law, Even the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 3 And He will judge between many peoples And render decisions for mighty, distant nations. Then they will hammer their swords into plowshares And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation will not lift up sword against nation, And never again will they train for war.” The prophecy then moves to encourage the people of Israel in times of distress, NAS Micah 4:9 "Now, why do you cry out loudly? Is there no king among you, Or has your counselor perished, That agony has gripped you like a woman in childbirth? 10 "Writhe and labor to give birth, Daughter of Zion, Like a woman in childbirth, For now you will go out of the city, Dwell in the field, And go to Babylon. There you will be rescued; There the LORD will redeem you From the hand of your enemies. 11 "And now many nations have been
Chapter 2 Endnotes.
assembled against you Who say, 'Let her be polluted, And let our eyes gloat over Zion.' 12 "But they do not know the thoughts of the LORD, And they do not understand His purpose; For He has gathered them like sheaves to the threshing floor. 13 "Arise and thresh, daughter of Zion, For your horn I will make iron And your hoofs I will make bronze, That you may pulverize many peoples, That you may devote to the LORD their unjust gain And their wealth to the Lord of all the earth.” The very next verses of Micah include the greatest encouragement to the people of Israel – the prophecy of the coming Messiah, “NAS Micah 5:2 " But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity." 17Thomas, Ibid., p. 120. 18Emil Schurer, The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ, Vol. 1, p 378 - 379. The Jewish religion was actually afforded formal protection under the Roman state (Shurer, Vol 3, p 124. 19Ibid., pp 485 - 513.Schurer, . 20Peter Stearns, Michael Adas, etal, World Civilizations , The Global Experience, vol 1, p 161. 21Ibid., p. 168. 22Ibid., p. 259. 23Ibid. p 263. 24Bart Ehrman, Misquoting Jesus, p 72. 25Stearns, p 265. 26Leonard B. Glick, Abraham’s Heirs, Jews and Christians in Medieval Europe, p 26. 27Stearns, p 355 - 356. 28Glasse’, p 280. 29Ibid., p 281. 30Bat Ye’or, The Decline of Eastern Christianity under Islam, From jihad to Dhimmitude, p 43. 31Peter Stearns, p 277. 32Paul Fregosi, jihad, p 209. 33Bat Ye’or. p 54 - 55. 34The 9/11 Commission Report, Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, Authorized Edition, p. 13 1-4. 35Bernard Lewis, The Political Language of Islam, p. 72-73.
Chapter 2 Endnotes.
36For Muslims there are two sources of religious reference: First, the Qur’an, which is their revealed scriptures as provided to them by the Prophet Muhammad through his revelation by “Angel Gabriel;” and, two, the “Sunnah,” plus the “Hadith.” The Sunnah is the customary practice of the Islamic community in observation of his actions and listening to the teachings of the Prophet during his lifetime. “Hadiths are narrative accounts of these same actions and pronouncements, rather like “hearsay” records of what the Muhammad did and said.” See Timothy R. Furnish, Holiest Wars, Islamic Mahdis, Their Jihads, and Osama bin Laden, p. 11. 37Robert Spencer, editor. The Myth of Islamic Tolerance, How Islamic Law Treats Non-Muslims, p 14. 38Paul Fregosi, Jihad, p. 74-75. 39Bruce Lawrence, Editor, Message to the World, The Statements of Osama bin Laden, p. 9-10. 40Ibid., p. 3.
Chapter 3 The 4th Beast of Daniel How Islam Uniquely Fulfills the Biblical Criteria Introduction Lets begin where we left off – we have laid four pieces to our puzzle 1. 2. 3. 4. Islam has denied the Messiahship of Jesus Christ (1 John 2:22); Islam has denied the deity of Jesus Christ (1 John 2:18; 22-23); Islam has historically waged war against Jews and Christians (Daniel 2:44-45, 7:21; Revelation 12:17). The war Islam has waged a “holy war” not a political war (Daniel 7:21-23, 25; Revelation 12:17).
Now, we must find our way to the ancient writings of the prophet Daniel. King Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream (Daniel 2) and Daniel’s Vison (Daniel 7). The year is 603 BC.1 King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon (Daniel 1:1) has had a dream (Daniel 2:1). Daniel, perhaps age 15, an Israelite captive, has come forward to both reveal the dream and to provide it’s interpretation. A single statue appears in the dream. The statue is made of gold, has breast and arms of silver; belly and thighs of bronze; legs of iron; feet, partly of iron and partly of clay. In the dream, the iron, clay, bronze, silver and gold are all crushed by a stone, all at the same time. Then they are blown away. The stone becomes a great mountain and fills the whole earth (Daniel 2:31 - 35). Daniel then provides his interpretation of the dream. The first three parts of the statue – the head of gold, breast of silver, and thighs of bronze – represent three kingdoms, each of which will defeat the next.2 Then a fourth kingdom will arise. It will defeat the third beast. According to biblical scholar, Steven Miller, approximately 50 years transpire and Daniel, has a vision.3 In this vision, four beasts appear. The first three are the three parts of the statue of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, except they are now three separate beasts. These three beasts are identified as Babylon, Persia, and Greece by most Biblical scholars.4 Unlike the first three parts of the statue of Daniel 2 or the first three beasts of Daniel 7, the 4th beast of Daniel 7, is not identified or named. It is the identity of this 4th Beast that is the focus of unending apocalyptic interpretations. It has most notably been identified as Rome.5 The present interpretation is that it is neither. It is Islam. Consider, as each additional piece of the puzzle is laid. . . The Next Piece of the Puzzle - The Kingdom Will Be a Divided Kingdom. The king’s dream is amazingly detailed; and, it’s in the details that we find what we are looking for. Here is what the 41st verse of Daniel 2 provides for us: "And in that you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter's clay and partly of iron, it will be a divided kingdom;. . .”
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The kingdom will be a divided kingdom. Divided. Sunni vs. Shiite. Not much surprise here is there! Did you happen to see the recent cover story for Time Magazine? The headlines were: “Sunnis vs. Shiites, Why They Hate Each Other; What’s really driving the civil war that’s tearing the Middle East apart?”6 We have a match already don’t we. The divided kingdom that is. Ever wonder how it all started? Let me give you a little history. In the year 632AD, Muhammad died unexpectedly after complaining of headaches. He had failed to name his successor and so his “council,” his surviving “Companions,” were faced with naming Muhammad’s successor. As one might expect, the Companions couldn’t attain unanimity on their selection; and, the roots of conflict began to take shape. This conflict eventually proved to be the dividing issue that resulted in the formation of two sects within Islam, the Sunnis (comprising 90% of all Muslims) and the Shiites (comprising 10% of all Muslims). The conflict for successor to Muhammad formed along two opposing lines: 1 – whether the successor was the closest male blood relative of Muhammad or, 2 – whether the successor was the most knowledgeable and most favored of Muhammad’s from among Muhammad’s ten Companions; and, the person chosen by “consensus” of this surviving group.7 The closest male blood relative of Muhammad was his cousin and son-in-law, Ali ibn Abi Talib, husband of Muhammad’s daughter, Fatima. The most knowledgeable and capable of Muhammad’s companions was Abu Bakr, the father of Muhammad’s favorite wife, Aisha, and a close friend of Muhammad. Ali lacked seniority among the followers and so he was bypassed in favor of Abu Bakr, who became the first “Caliph” (632-634AD) of the Muslim community (literally, “caliph” means, “successor”; or “supreme leader”). Ali was passed over as caliph three times. First, upon the death of Muhammad; second upon the death of the first Caliph, Abu Bakr (634AD); then upon the death of the second Caliph, Umar ibn al-Khattab, (634 - 734). When Umar died (he was assassinated by a Persian slave), Uthman ibn Affan (644-656AD) was elected. Uthman was murdered by followers of Ali, who accused him of nepotism in his appointments to governorship for conquered lands. Upon Uthman’s death, Ali’s followers proclaimed him the next caliph (656-661AD). Opposition to Ali’s caliphate arose immediately, including from Aisha, the late Muhammad’s favorite wife, and Muawiya, a formidable opponent, and the next likely choice for caliph over Ali. Muawiya opposed Ali and demanded that he bring to justice those who had killed Uthman. Ali initially agreed to Muawiya’s demand; but he never followed through on his agreement. Civil war resulted which continued through Ali’s death in 661 when Ali was murdered by one of his own followers while at prayer in Kufa, now in modern day Iraq. Hasan, Ali’s oldest son, claimed the caliphate. Muawiya, Governor of Syria, demanded that Hasan abdicate the caliphate or he would be killed. Hasan did abdicate, and his brother, Husayn, youngest son of Ali by Fatima, assumed the caliphate in opposition to Muawiya. Neither of the two opposing forces were ever able to claim a decisive victory over the other; and finally, the issue was resolved in 680AD at the Battle of Karbala. At the Battle of Karbala (680AD) Ali’s son, Husayn, was decapitated, and his seventy companions were massacred by Muawiya’s son, Yazid, and his 4,000 man force. This battle marks the divide between the two sides. One might expect that with Husayn’s death, his
followers would dissipate. Not so. Husayn became a martyr to Shiites. . Thereafter, followers of Ali are referred to as “Shiites” (partisans or followers of Ali); and followers of Yazid (Muawiya’s son) are referred to as “Sunnis” (followers of the “sunnah” or “way” of Muhammad). Shiites refuse to accept the first three caliphs of Islam (Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman) regarding them as “usurpers” and consider Ali the first Caliph (actually, Shiites refer to the successor to Muhammad as “Imam” rather than “Caliph”); and, Shiites only consider Ali’s sons, Hasan and Husayn (by Fatima, Muhammad’s daughter), and Husayn’s descendants (Hasan died without a male heir), as legitimate heirs for the Imamate. Shiites still commemorate the Battle of Karbala annually as an historic reminder of the brutal Sunni massacre by Yazid and his followers. Since Ali’s caliphate in 656AD these two groups have opposed one another. Sunnis, representing the larger of the two groups, have throughout Islamic history persecuted and murdered Shiites even to the point that Shiites have incorporated a “doctrine” within their faith that permits them to conceal their faith as Shiites when under threat from Sunnis.8 Some Sunni sects do not even consider Shiites as “believers.” Consider the following statement made by author Stephen Schwarz, “Today, the Saudi (Sunni Islam) school systems, following Wahhabi (the religious arm of the two hundred year alliance between the Al-Sa’ud royal family of Saudi Arabia and Ibn Wahhab, the cleric) tenets, teach their children and other Muslims throughout the Umma (Islamic community) that Shi`a Islam was invented by an imaginary Jewish convert, that Shi`a theologians are liars, that their legal traditions are false, and that they are not Muslims at all.”9 And, this quote from author Vali Nasr, In the end, however, what separates Shiism from Sunnism is not so much the divergences in practice as the spirit in which Islam is interpreted. First, whereas Sunnism took shape around belief in the writ of the majority and the legitimating power of communal consensus, Shias do not put much stock in majority opinion in matters of religion. Truth is vested not in community of believers but in the virtuous leadership of he Prophet and his descendants.” Conclusion: Islam is a divided kingdom. It has been a divided kingdom since its inception in the 7th century and this divide continues in the present day. We have laid another piece of our puzzle. The Next Piece of the Puzzle – The Kingdom Will Not “Adhere to One Another.” Daniel 2:43 incorporates another aspect of this divided kingdom. It states, “NAS Daniel 2:43 "And in that you saw the iron mixed with common clay, they will combine with one another in the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, even as iron does not combine with pottery.” A related characteristic of this kingdom is that there will be a “combining in the seed of men” but they will not “adhere to one another.” We will discuss the meaning of “combining in the seed of men” in the next section, but for now we will discuss the phrase, “they will not adhere to one another.” This phrase is closely related to the piece of the puzzle just identified: “the divided kingdom.”
Since the Battle of Karbala, Sunnis and Shiites have been divided. Then, within the two sects, particularly for Shiites, there is further division into branches. For example, for Shiites there are “Seveners,” “Twelvers,” and “Fivers” (and many others). Each of these branches within the Shiite sect are separated from one another for various reasons. However, the most predominant reason is their belief in who the legitimate Imam really is. The reason for the disagreement is that in Shiite Islam, the living Imam is required to “designate” his successor prior to his death. Some of the Imams did not clearly designate their successor prior to death; so the different branches reflect the fact that the followers could not agree on who the legitimate Imam was. Seveners consider Ismail, the elder son of Ja’far, to be the rightful successor as sixth Imam. However, Ismail died before his father’s death, and Seveners believe that Ismail’s son, Muhammad bin Ismail, should be the rightful seventh Imam. Hence their name, “Seveners” (or “Ismailis”).10 Seveners terminate the line of Imams with Ismail, the seventh Imam.11 Twelvers believe that Jafar designated his younger son, Musa, as the seventh Imam and that the true line is through Musa not Ismail, believing that Ismail died before he was designated by his father. Twelvers continue the line of Imams through the Hidden Imam who disappeared in 874AD and who will reappear in the Last Days as al-Mahdi. Twelvers are by far the largest group of Shiite Muslims. Twelvers constitute ninety percent of the modern population of Iran and fifty-five to sixty percent of the population of Iraq. Twelver Shiites are the majority in Iran, Iraq, Azerbaijan and also have substantial populations in Turkey, Pakistan, Lebanon, Syria, India, Afghanistan and Bahrain.12 Therefore, the Twelvers agree on a line of twelve individuals who are legitimate. The Seveners agree on a line of seven individuals who are legitimate, and reject the next five considered legitimate by Twelvers. The result: even within separate sects of Islam wherein you might expect unity, such is not the case - the followers within the sect “do not adhere to one another.” They cannot agree on who the legitimate leader should be, nor on many of the beliefs that might clearly characterize Shiism. Our conclusion: Islam is a divided kingdom - primary sects are Sunnis and Shiites. The sects are further divided into branches, particularly for Shiites. Agreement cannot be reached on many factors, chief among which would be the legitimate leaders of Shiism. Thus, history has demonstrated that Islam, and particularly the Shiite sect, has been unable to maintain unity; thus, they “do not adhere to one another.” We have laid another piece of the puzzle. The Next Piece of the Puzzle - The Kingdom Combines in the Seed of Men. Islam fulfills another characteristic – which, considered along with other characteristics, is one of the most significant distinguishing factors. Daniel 2:43 states, "And in that you saw the iron mixed with common clay, they will combine with one another in the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, even as iron does not combine with pottery.” Biblical scholars have generally interpreted the phrase, “combine with one another in the seed of men,” to mean, “the “combining of two races,” “intermarriage,” or “contractual matrimony.”13 Consider, however, a meaning that is more literal to the phrase itself. Suppose “combine” relates to the basis upon which a
particular sect determines its members, its followers; and, the phrase, “in the seed of men,” refers to the specific basis upon which the members of that sect actually come together. This is precisely the case for Shiite Islam. We have previously summarized the divide between Sunni and Shiite sects of Islam. We have stated that, Shiites, the minority sect of Islam, traces its roots back to Ali, Muhammad’s first cousin by blood, his foster son, and also his son-in-law through the marriage to his daughter, Fatima. We have stated that Shiites do not recognize the first three caliphs of Islam because the first three caliphs of Islam were elected by “consensus” without regard to their blood-relationship to Muhammad. Shiites consider Ali to be the rightful successor to Muhammad by virtue of his blood relationship to Muhammad and by virtue of his marriage to Fatima, Muhammad’s daughter;14 and, only those who consider Ali, and Ali’s sons by Fatima, Hasan and Husayn, to be the rightful successors to Muhammad are “Shiites.” Therefore, followers are “combined” by virtue of their holding to the belief that only heirs of Muhammad qualify as rightful Imams to Muhammad, i.e., only Ali’s sons by Ali’s wife, Fatima, daughter of Muhammad, carry the “seed” of Muhammad. Further, Twelver Shiites (the majority branch of Shiite Islam) continue the requirement of blood relationship through all of its first Twelve Imams. Twelvers believe that in the Last Days, the 12th Imam of Shiite Islam, the “Hidden Imam” will reappear as al-Mahdi (see previous chapter). They believe al-Mahdi will be a literal blood descendant of Muhammad’s family, and that al-Mahdi will carry Muhammad’s name.15 Islam, particularly Shiite Islam, combines in the seed of men. Conclusion. Shiite Islam combines based on the “seed of men.” We have laid another piece of the puzzle. The Next Piece of the Puzzle - The Kingdom Will Be Exceedingly Violent. This 4th beast will be an exceedingly strong and violent kingdom. It will not only destroy but it will devour those kingdoms it destroys. Daniel 2:40 states: "Then there will be a fourth kingdom as strong as iron; inasmuch as iron crushes and shatters all things, so, like iron that breaks in pieces, it will crush and break all these in pieces. 41 "And in that you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter's clay and partly of iron, it will be a divided kingdom; but it will have in it the toughness of iron, . . .” Daniel 7:7 states: "After this I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrifying and extremely strong; and it had large iron teeth. It devoured and crushed, and trampled down the remainder with its feet; . . . 19 "Then I desired to know the exact meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others, exceedingly dreadful, with its teeth of iron and its claws of bronze, and which devoured, crushed, and trampled down the remainder with its feet, . . .23 "Thus he said: 'The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, which will be different from all the other kingdoms, and it will devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it.”
The violent nature of the 4th beast has been one of the characteristics linking the Roman Empire with this beast.16 If we were to look at history, we would find the Roman Empire to truly fulfill this criteria. However, to whom did Rome yield? To what “kingdom” did the most powerful political empire the world has known yield to? To Islam. Islam defeated the Roman Empire and its successor empire, the Byzantines, in the centuries following Islam’s birth in 622AD. Also, we must consider other Biblical prophecies when identifying the terrible 4th beast of Daniel 7. Genesis 16:11 includes a prophecy relevant to the Last Days. It states: The angel of the LORD said to her further, "Behold, you are with child, And you shall bear a son; And you shall call his name Ishmael, Because the LORD has given heed to your affliction. 12 "And he will be a wild donkey of a man, His hand will be against everyone, And everyone's hand will be against him; And he will live to the east of all his brothers." This prophecy is that of Ishmael, the son of Abraham by his slave, Hagar. Islam considers Ishmael to be the rightful “blessed” son of Abraham and that Abraham’s intended sacrifice on the alter was Ishmael, not Isaac, the father of the Jewish nation.17 The significance of Ishmael to Islam is that Muhammad claims his bloodline through Ishmael.18 The pertinent part of the Abrahamic prophecy is: “. . .and he will be a wild donkey of a man, his hand will be against everyone, and everyone’s hand will be against Him. And he will live to the east of his brothers.” (Gen 16:11). This ancient prophecy is fulfilled in Muhammad’s life as well as the lives of the Islamic kingdom as a whole. Muslims still commemorate Abraham’s intended sacrifice of Ishmael in the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca required of all Muslims. Consider also, the various references in the prophecy to iron or metal. Daniel 2:40-42 Daniel 7:19, 23 the statue has “legs of iron” and “feet of iron and clay”; the 4th beast has teeth of iron.
Notably, Islam is variously referred to as the “religion of the sword” and Muhammad as the “Prophet of the Sword.”19 In addition, Revelation 20:4 states, “And I saw thrones, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God. . . .” (Emphasis supplied). This verse references the war of Revelation 12 between the dragon (satan) and those who “hold to the testimony of Jesus.” Note – the text specifically refers to those who have been beheaded. Beheading is a primary means of execution used by Islam throughout the centuries on its conquered populations. The continuation of this almost ritualist death sentence is evidenced on television sets of the present day through broadcasts by Al-Jazeera, Islam’s satellite TV station. Witness the February, 2002, decapitation of Wall Street Journal reporter, Daniel Pearl. Dr Timothy Furnish reports it as follows: The (Daniel Pearl) murder and video catalyzed the resurgence of this historical Islamic practice. In Iraq, terrorists filmed the beheadings of Americans Nicholas Berg, Jack Hensley, and Eugene Armstrong. Other victims include Turks, an Egyptian, a Korean, Bulgarians, a British businessman, and a Nepalese. Scores of Iraqis, both Kurds and Arabs, have also fallen victim to Islamist terrorist’s
knives. The new fad in terrorist brutality has extended to Saudi Arabia where Islamist terrorists murdered American businessman Paul Johnson, whose head was later discovered in a freezer in an Al-Qaeda hideout. A variation upon this theme would be the practice of Islamists slitting the throats of those opponents they label infidels. This is what happened to Dutch film maker Theo Van Gogh, first gunned down and then mutilated on an Amsterdam street, and to an Egyptian Coptic family in New Jersey after the father angered Islamists with Internet chat room criticisms of Islam.20 In fact, the seal of many countries of Islam includes a sword; and, national flags of Islamic countries include the emblem of the sword.21 Islam has been spread around the globe not by Islamic missionaries preaching their “gospel,” but by Islamic jihadists wielding their swords. Jihad, holy war, was practiced by Muhammad against the tribes and people of the Arabian peninsula. Muhammad, on his death bed, is reported to have made this statement, “Two religions should not co-exist on the Arabian Peninsula.22 The violent nature of Islam is also revealed in the aim of Islam to dominate the world through jihad. Historian Bat Ye’or makes this statement, “The aim of jihad is to subjugate the peoples of the world to the law of Allah, decreed by his Prophet Muhammad. Mankind is divided into two groups, Muslim and non-Muslims. . . As jihad is a permanent war, it excludes the idea of peace but authorizes temporary truces related to the political situation. . . The Holy War . . . is incumbent upon all Muslims; they have to contribute to it according to their capacities, by their persons, their property or their writings.”23 This same thought is summed by Glasse in his Concise Encyclopedia on Islam, “Jihad, “‘Holy War’ a Divine institution of warfare to extend Islam into the dar al-harb (the non-Islamic territories) or to defend Islam from danger. Adult males must participate if the need arises. . .”24 One need not read long to find mention of the evil and violent nature of Islam. Many sources could be given. Here is one of the earliest and “cleanest” offered by Fregosi. It is the account of Muhammad’s massacre of the Jews of Medina that opposed him following one of his victories of Meccan caravans: “One event symbolizes the dark side of the historical Muhammad. In one long day and night of slaughter in Medina, he had six hundred (perhaps more) captive Jews beheaded and, during the massacre, took one of the youngest and prettiest recent widows to his couch for the night. . . The Jihad, as it became, turned into one of the mainstays of Muslim faith, having been conveyed directly from Allah through the Angel Gabriel. ‘When you meet the unbelievers strike off their heads until you have massacred them,’ says the Koran. ‘Fight in the cause of Allah! . . .Kill them wherever you find them.. Until they surrender.’”25 In recent times, Pope Benedict XVI became the subject of outrage. In a talk at Regensburg University in Germany, he quoted Emperor Manual II Paleologos of the Byzantine Empire, the Orthodox Christian
empire which had its capital in what is now the Turkish city of Istanbul. “The emperor’s words were,” he said,: "Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."26 The violent nature of Islam is revealed, not by the 14th century emperor’s statement or of the Pope’s choice to quote it. Rather, the violent nature is revealed precisely in the Muslim response to the Pope’s statement. One Internet website included this posting, “You and the West are doomed.” Another stated, “We will conquer Rome like we conquered Constantinople.” Another reported, “Istanbul is the capital of Turkey, not Constantinople.” Enraged protestors marched in Indian and Pakistani controlled sectors of Kashmir; and in Indonesia, they burned an effigy of the pope and flags of the United States, Germany, and Israel. An Italian nun was shot and killed in Somalia after an Islamic cleric there condemned the Pope’s speech. An Italian diplomat and his wife were killed in Morocco, and Morocco recalled its ambassador to the Holy See in protest to the pope’s remarks.”27 (But What About the Crusades?) (Perhaps as you read my statements regarding Islam’s violent nature, your mind responds by replying, “Sure, but what about the Crusades?” Such was my reply at one time. Oh, don’t misunderstand what I am saying. 9/11 was not a “light switch” for me; rather, it was a beginning point. A beginning point on a journey to understand why Islamic “terrorists” would do such a thing? As I reflect back to that time, I realize that the knowledge that I possessed about Islam was nonexistent. And Holy War? The only Holy War I knew about was the Crusades. I had no knowledge of Islam’s Holy Wars and, in fact, I was not even aware that Islam had annihilated the early Christian Church as well as all other religions or people groups on the Arabian Peninsula (beginning in the 7th century). As I began my reading, the historical sources available were quite limited. My first source, only because it appeared to be the “best” of three, my Amazon.com search revealed at the time, was by French author/historian Paul Fregosi. He writes in the Introduction to his book, entitled, “Jihad,” a statement that summed up my own perspective at that time: “The Jihad, the Islamic so-called Holy War, has been a fact of life in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Near and Middle East for more than 1,300 years, but this is the first history of the Muslim wars in Europe ever to be published. Hundreds of books, however have appeared on its Christian counterpart, the Crusades, to which the Jihad is often compared, although they lasted less than two hundred years and unlike the Jihad, which is universal, were largely, but not completely, confined to the Holy Land. Moreover, the Crusades have been over for more than 700 years, while Jihad is still going on in the world. The Jihad has been the most unrecorded and disregarded major event of history. It has in fact, been largely ignored. For instance, the Encyclopedia Britannica gives the Crusades eighty times more space than the Jihad. In the New South Wales State Library where I did part of my research while in Australia, there were 108 entries listed in their catalogue cards of the Crusades, but only two for the Jihad! The Jihad has been largely bypassed by Western historians, and this book is an attempt to right the situation, for the Jihad has affected the lives – and continues to do so – of far, far more people and regions in the world than the long-extinct Crusades ever did.”28 And, by the way, Fregosi’s book entitled, “Jihad,” is copyrighted in 1998, three years before 9/11. It was simply my first book on this journey to find the truth. I only then began to learn the sheer horrors inflicted
upon Christians, their churches, and their leaders. I learned that, in fact, the seven churches of Revelation were all located in Turkey – and none of them exist today – Turkey is a Muslim country. Its capital is no longer Constantinople, but rather, Istanbul! Once again, Fregosi helped open my mind and thinking to something I had not even contemplated before: the Crusades were a response; a response that, if it had failed, I would be a Muslim today as would the entire world! Fregosi writes, “Devout followers of Muhammad believe the Crusades responsible for the confrontation between Christendom and Islam. They believe it was the crusaders who forced Islam to create the Jihad’s self defense. In fact, they have their facts the wrong way round. When, in 1096, the Crusades were launched, the Jihad had already been in action against Christendom for nearly five hundred years. It was the Jihad’s recent successes in Spain that inspired, so to speak, the pope to create the crusades and to order the Crusaders to march to the Holy Land.”29) Our conclusion: Islam is a violent spiritual kingdom. Its very roots are in jihad. It was born in jihad and jihad has been its means of advancement throughout history. Islamic domination of the world through jihad is its centuries old mandate. We have laid another piece of our puzzle. The Next Piece of the Puzzle - The Kingdom Will be Composed of Both Strong and Weak Parts. This beast has another detail we must not miss. Daniel 2:41 provides: "And in that you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter's clay and partly of iron, it will be a divided kingdom; but it will have in it the toughness of iron, inasmuch as you saw the iron mixed with common clay. 42 "And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of pottery, so some of the kingdom will be strong and part of it will be brittle.” Here is what the prophecy is telling us. The kingdom as a whole will be strong, for “it will have the toughness of iron;” and, the divided, but strong kingdom, will be made up of two parts – one part will be strong (toes partly of iron) and the other will be weak (toes partly of pottery).30 For most of us, our understanding of Islam is limited to what we see on our television sets. We see sectarian violence without end. One day it is the Sunnis that have bombed Shiites. The next day it is Shiites against Sunnis. Neither side ever seems to gain the upper hand, and everyone seems to hate the West. With this jaded view of Islam, we could quite easily miss the characteristic being described in verse 43 – that one part of the kingdom will be strong and one part weak. Yet, this is precisely the historical situation for Islam. The Sunni sect is by far the larger, stronger, more powerful sect since the beginning of Islamic history (comprising 90% of Muslims). The dividing point of the two sects has already been discussed: the Battle of Karbala in October, 680AD. But this victory by Sunnis over Shiites did little to stop Sunni violence against the weaker sect; and, history did not change which sect would remain the victor. Sunnis were always the victor and they saw the Shiites as unbelievers who they blamed for any problems experienced by the ruling majority sect. Consider this description by Vali Nasr: To the Sunni majority, (Shiites) increasingly looked like an errant interpretation of Islam, mistakenly bestowing larger than life importance of the progeny of Ali . . . . Sunni caliphs worried about the Shia
less as a theological deviation than as a political threat. The notion of the Prophet’s blood kin asserting their right to rule and standing up against monarchs always had the potential to capture the popular imagination. . . The fear that the Shia Imams instilled in the caliphs resulted, not surprisingly, in persecution. . . . The Ummayyad caliphs. . . and the Abbasids (750 -1228), who ruled from Baghdad, imprisoned and killed Shia imams . . . . When in 971 C.E., Roman forces attached the Abbasids domain, the first response of the caliph’s forces . . . was to blame the Shia. Shia house in al-Karkh (in today’s Iraq) – which had become a refuge for Shias who escaped persecution in Bagdad – were torched as the attackers chanted, “You (Shias) are the cause of all evil.” In a pattern of behavior that would be repeated through the centuries down to the present, the Shia bore the brunt of popular frustrations with the failure of Sunni rulers. Treated as the enemy within, they were the first to come under suspicion when there was an external threat to the ruling Sunni establishment. By the middle of the eleventh century, persecuting the Shia of al-Karkh had become a custom; every Saturday, Sunni mobs would show up at Shia mosques and shrines before looting the town, saying, “You blasphemers! Convert to Islam!”31 In more recent history, the dominance of the Sunni sect can be seen in the powerful Wahhabi sect of Sunni Islam. To illustrate the hatred of Sunni Islam for Shiites and the unending persecution of Shiites taken up by Wahhabi Sunnis, consider this statement made by author Stephen Schwartz, “In 1792, Ibn Abd al-Wahhab died, and Abd al-Aziz took over the leadership of the Wahhabi-Saudi alliance, extending their raiding over the next three years to Medina, Syria, and Iraq. These campaigns saw mass murder and rape of Shi`a Muslims as well as adherents of the Hanafi and other legal schools rejected by Ibn Abd al-Wahhab. The Wahhabbis (Sunnis) had an extraordinary hatred of Shi`ism, which became an early target of their violence. . . Whatever its source, bile against the Shi`as has remained a constant throughout Wahhabi-Saudi history.”32 Conclusion: Islam meets yet another characteristic of Daniel: one kingdom composed of two sects, one of which is strong and the other, weak; and, neither of which are able to join together under one united banner. We have laid another piece of the puzzle. The Next Piece of the Puzzle - The Kingdom has Ten Horns. Here is what the Bible says: Daniel 7:7f states: "7 After this I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, and it was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. . . . 23 "Thus he said: 'The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, . . . 24 'As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise. . .;” This 4th Beast has a characteristic not found on the previous three - it has ten horns. The Bible tells us what the ten horns represent: “As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise; . . .” Interesting fact about these ten “kings: they all reign at the same time. We know this because all ten horns are present on the beast when Daniel views the beast. They do not come up one after the other which would be the case if the kings were successive in their reign.33 Something else to notice – the ten horns are
attached to the beast, i.e., they protrude from the beast. This tells us that the ten kings are all kings of the same empire;34 otherwise, they would not be attached! The third beast (representing Greece) was a leopard with four wings (Daniel 7:6; 8:21). The wings signified the speed of this kingdom; and, Greece, as a military empire, was known for its speed in conquest.35 Similarly, the ten horns attached to the beast signify a characteristic of the relationship of the kingdom (the beast) and its kings (the horns); they belong to one another.36 Now, let us see if Islam fits the puzzle. Muhammad’s first “leadership council” was composed of ten men – Islam refers to them as the “Companions.”37 Their names: Abu Bakr Siddiq, U'mar-e-Farooq, Uthman Bin Affaan, Ali Ibn Abi Talib, Abdur-Rahman bin Aaowf, Sad ibn Abi Waqqas, Said ibn Zayd, Abu Ubaydah bin Jirrah, Talhah ibn Ubaydullah, Zubayr bin Al-Awam.38 From these ten leaders, the first four caliphs of Islam were named. Ali, the eventual Imam of Shiite Islam was a member of this group, and the 4th caliph chosen from among the Companions. All of these ten served Muhammad and Islam at the same time; that is, they were not successive “kings” over extended periods of time. To Christians, these ten would be comparable to the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ. However, the roles of the Companions go beyond the roles of the disciples of Christ. Following the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the roles of the disciples of Christ were primarily that of evangelists. The disciples were commissioned as such by Christ to “make disciples of all the nations. . . .” (Matthew 28:19-20: Acts 1:8f). Following Muhammad’s unexpected death in 632AD, the Ten Companions took on the roles previously filled by Muhammad until his death: they became the military leaders, the decision makers, and the religious guides all at the same time. We have a match – Islam’s Ten are the Ten Horns of the Beast. Once we determine we have a match, we must determine the significance of that match. For the ten horns of the beast, this is certainly the base. The ten horns will reappear in Bible prophecy. In fact, every beast included in Bible prophecy of the Last Days (and not specifically named by scripture, e.g., Babylon, Persia, and Greece) has ten horns.39 The reason? The ten horns serve as an “identifier” of the same kingdom, Islam, – but at different times in Islamic history. Here are the ten-horned beasts of scripture: 1. 2. 3. 4. The 4th beast of Daniel 7:7f The beast from the Sea - Revelation 13:1f The Scarlet beast - Revelation 17:3f The dragon (satan) - Revelation 12:1f
Each of these four beasts have other characteristics in common as well:40 1. The beasts all have ten horns; Daniel 7:7, 20, 24; Rev 12:3; 13:1; 17:3, 12, 16; 2. The beasts are all opposed to God and/or Christ; Daniel 7:25; Revelation 12:7-10; 13:1, 5-6; 17:14; 2. A horn of the beast or the beast itself blasphemes God and/or His tabernacle; Daniel 7:25; Revelation 12:10, 13:5 - 6; 17:3; 3. The beast persecutes the saints; Daniel 7:21, 25, Rev 12:7, 11, 17; 13:6 - 7; 17:6 - 7; 4. The beast is destroyed when Christ returns and establishes His kingdom. Daniel 7:26-27;
Revelation 17:14 - 18; 19:19-20 Conclusion. The ten horns on the 4th beast represent Muhammad’s Ten Companions. Whenever they appear in the Bible, Islam is being identified. We have laid another piece of the puzzle. The Next Piece of the Puzzle - The Little Horn that Comes Up Among the Ten Horns and Pulls Three Out by the Roots. The Bible says:
Daniel 7:8 "While I was contemplating the horns, behold, another horn, a little one, came up among them, and three of the first horns were pulled out by the roots before it; and behold, this horn possessed eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth uttering great boasts.”
Here is what the verse means: a man considered as “little” will arise from among the Companions of Muhammad (the Ten horns). He will supplant three prior leaders making himself the leader. Here is how we get the meaning. First, the Bible tells us that a “little horn came up among them” (the ten horns). This tells us that the “little horn” is one of the Ten since it came up among them.. Second, the Bible tells us that three horns were “pulled out by the roots.” This tells us that the little horn supplants the prior three. The little horn does not defeat or subdue them, but rather “pulls them up by the roots;” it eradicates them as if they never existed and then provides a replacement – the little horn. Third, this replacement is considered by the others as “little,” perhaps insignificant or unimportant. Here is Islam’s match. The Ten Companions of Muhammad included Muhammad’s first cousin and son-inlaw, Ali. Ali was the closest blood relationship to Muhammad from among the Companions. Yet, at Muhammad’s death, Ali was passed over by the Companions in favor of Abu Bakr. Ali was thought to be too young to lead Islam. Ali was passed over by the Companions for election to the caliphate two additional times. The majority did not consider “blood relationship” to Muhammad a significant factor to guarantee one’s election to the caliphate. As has been stated, after the Battle of Karbala in 680 AD, Shiites and Sunnis divided into two sects. From that point forward, Ali and his descendants by Fatima, Muhammad’s daughter and Ali’s wife, were considered by Shiites to be the only legitimate successors to Muhammad. Ali was, in a practical sense for Shiites, retroactively made the first successor to Muhammad effective with Muhammad’s death in 632. This retroactive appointment by Shiites was made even though Ali was already dead (Ali was assassinated in 661; the divide between Sunni and Shiites did not occur until 680) as were his first and second sons, Hasan and Husayn, who were also retroactively considered the second and third caliphs (Imams) of Shiite Islam. The first three caliphs, Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman, were originally accepted by all Muslims; but then, after Karbala, Shiites no longer considered them legitimate. It was as if they were never accepted; never legitimatized. In fact, Shiites do not accept any Sunni caliph as a legitimate successor to Muhammad. The phrase, “pulled out by the roots,” fulfills the meaning of what actually happened historically. Shiites never defeated the Sunnis. They simply annulled the caliphates of the first three. Sunnis never considered bloodline a significant factor to determine the caliphate; and since Sunnis represented the majority of Islam (90%), their decision controlled. Conclusion. We have another match. The “little horn” is Ali ibn Abi Talib (and the Shiite sect of Islam),
who rose from among the ten horns (Companions), as one of the Ten, and then pulled out three of the horns (Abu Bakr, Umar ibn al-Khattab, and Uthman ibn Affan, the first three caliphs of Islam) by their roots! The sect that Ali formed is the Shiite sect. This fact will prove to be important in coming conclusions. One more important point. Perhaps you have read a little further in Daniel 7 to verse 20: Daniel 7:20 and the meaning of the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up, and before which three of them fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth uttering great boasts, and which was larger in appearance than its associates. 21 "I kept looking, and that horn was waging war with the saints and overpowering them 22 until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom. . . . 24 'As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise; and another will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones and will subdue three kings.” Did you notice that verse 20 refers to “that horn . . . which was larger in appearance that its associates.” And, verse 21, “. . . that horn was waging war with the saints and overpowering them until the Ancient of Days came, . . .” And, verse 24, “. . . and another will arise after them, . . .” And, again verse 24, “and he will be different from the previous ones” And then again verse 24, “. . . and will subdue three kings.” How can verse 20 tell us that the “little horn” is now “larger” in appearance than its associates” when verse 8 said that this horn was the “little horn”? And, how can “that horn be waging war with the saints and overpowering them,” and correctly refer to Ali, the leader of Shiite Islam, when Shiites never successfully waged war against the Saints? In fact, the Shiites were the moderate sect, the “quietist” sect, of Islam. They were never able to stand up and take a leadership role against the more powerful, Sunni majority sect.41 Further, verse 24 states that the horn that appears larger will “arise after them” (the Ten Horns). Verse 8 states that the little horn came up “among” the ten, not “after” the ten. Further, the little horn was never referred to as “different” from the others; the beast was “different” but not the little horn (7:7). Finally, verse 24 states that the little horn “subdues three kings,” yet, verse 8 states that the little horn uproots three. How can these two verses which appear to be referring to the same individual, the “little horn,” both be correct? They seem to contradict one another at every turn! Here is the reason: they are referring to two different individuals and two different time periods of human history. Let me explain: verses 7 - 8 are referring to one individual - Ali, the first Imam of Shiite Islam, and the sect of Islam, in its infancy, that Ali represents. The purpose of these verses is to identify the sect of Islam more than Ali as an individual. The purpose of verses 21 - 26 is now different. These verses do not refer to the sect of Islam but to “another” (verse 7:24) who appears after them; who will be “larger in appearance,” and “different” than all his associates – this one will be the Antichrist; the individual who will appear in the Last Days just before the return of Christ. He is the one referred to in Revelation 13:11f, the beast from the Earth. But for this piece of our puzzle . . . we must wait to lay; for it has many details that must be fulfilled. For now, we can only lay the piece identifies for us as Ali and his Shiite sect: the “little horn than pulled three others out by the roots.” Conclusion. The little horn of the beast refers to Ali, the first Imam of Shiite Islam, and the Shiite sect
from which he founds. He comes up from among the Ten Companions as one of the Ten; and, he pulls three others out by the roots – the first three caliphs of Islam, Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman. We have laid another piece to the puzzle - a very important one! The Next Piece of the Puzzle - The Kingdom Will Speak Out Against the Most High. Here is what the Bible says, Daniel 7:8 "While I was contemplating the horns, behold, another horn, a little one, came up among them, . . .; and behold, this horn possessed eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth uttering great boasts. . . . 20 and the meaning of . . . the other horn which came up, and before which three of them fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth uttering great boasts,. . . 25 'And he will speak out against the Most High. . . . (Emphasis added) I have underlined the part we need to focus on next. Another word the Bible uses to describe “speaking out against the Most High” is the word, “blasphemy.” It is used in other Biblical passages about the Last Days. Again, I will underline it for clarity: Beast from the Sea: Revelation 13:1 “And he stood on the sand of the seashore. And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. . . . 5 And there was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies; 6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven.” Scarlet Beast: Revelation 17:3 And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns. Here is how a popular Bible dictionary, Eastons Bible Dictionary, defines blasphemy: “In the sense of speaking evil of God, this word is found in Psalm 74:18, Isaiah 52:5, Romans 2:24, Revelation 13:1, 6, 16:9, 11, 21. . . . Our Lord was accused of blasphemy when he claimed to be the Son of God, Matthew 26:65 . . . They who deny his Messiahship blaspheme Jesus, Luke 22:65, John 10:36. . . . Others regard the expression as designating the sin of attributing to the power of Satan those miracles which Christ performed, or generally those works which are the result of the Spirit's agency.”42 Blasphemy occurs when one speaks evil against God, denies the deity of God, claims credit for the works of God, or claims to be equal with God. Many of us are familiar with one of the Ten Commandments that describes blasphemy: Exodus 20:7 states “you shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain . . .” In a previous chapter, we reviewed 1 John 2:22f. This passage referred to two forms of blasphemy which we referred to as “antichrist identifiers.” The “antichrist identifiers” were, (1) the denial of the Messiahship of Jesus, and (2) the denial of the divinity of Jesus Christ. These “identifiers” reveal the presence of the spirit of antichrist; now, we will look at “anti-God” identifiers, i.e., blasphemies specifically against God.
First, notice how Daniel describes the “little horn.” “. . . behold, this horn possessed eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth uttering great boasts. . .” The picture that comes to mind is one of arrogance - the text tells us that the little horn has a “mouth uttering great boasts,” and, “eyes like the eyes of a man.” Again, the text is telling us that this one considers himself not just any human being, but one of superior intelligence and abilities; so much so that he makes himself equal with God.43 Here is how the Shiite sect of Islam commits these blasphemies. First, through their “Imam.” The Imam for Shiites is their leader, their successor to Muhammad. The Imams were the leaders of Shiite Islam through the 12th Imam, Muhammad Hasan, the Hidden Imam, who went into hiding in 874 AD. Shiites hold to the following beliefs about their Imams: 1. The Imam is regarded as “designated” by Allah alone. Allah appoints the Imams, one by one, having received such designation from Gabriel to Muhammad in 610AD at Muhammad’s revelation.44 Each Imam is considered an heir of prophetic knowledge through Muhammad and Ali.45 46 Each Imam is equal to Muhammad in all respects except that Muhammad and Ali hold a “special excellence” over the other Imams.47 The Imam is blessed with a special grace from Allah which renders him immune to sin.48 Hence, the Imam is infallible.49 The Imam, as immune to sin, is humanity’s proof of Allah. The Imam is said to possess the “light of God” that attracts people to him. As “partner” with Allah, the Imam is thought to have transcendental knowledge; he is referred to as “key of wisdom, the essence of knowledge, and locus of apostleship, the frequenting place of angels and repositories of the secret of God.”50 The Imam as “light” is heir to the prophetic knowledge. He alone is endowed with the power of interpreting religion at different times, and the “earth cannot be set aright except by the Imam.”51 52 “As a result, a person who dies without acknowledging his Imam dies a death of ignorance. Besides belief in the Unity of God, the Prophecy, and the Day of Judgment, it is incumbent to believe in the Imamate of the rightful Imam, the Master of the Age, who is the infallible leader and protector of the Religion.53 (Emphasis supplied) The Hidden Imam, Muhammad b. Hasan went into hiding (occultation) in the year 873-874AD and will continue to live in this state as long as Allah deems it necessary. Then, “Allah will command him to reappear and take control of the world in order to restore justice and equity. During this period of concealment, the Imam is not completely cut off from his followers but has spokesmen, in the person of learned jurists, who can act on his behalf and guide the Shiites in their religious matters.”54
2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
I don’t know about you, but from my perspective we have just identified, “. . .behold, this horn possessed eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth uttering great boasts. . .” The Shiite Imam is a match! He is the divine light for Shiites and without believing in him salvation is not possible (see point 8 above). Blasphemous names. But the blasphemy for Islam does not end there. Allah is known by ninety-nine
names collectively called the Divine Names or "the Most Beautiful Names (Qur’an 7:179)." The names are divided into Names of the Essence, Names of the Qualities, Names of Majesty, and Names of Beauty. The Name “Allah” is called the Supreme Name, and stands alone. There is a Hadith (Muslim saying) which states, “To Allah belong the ninety-nine Names. . ..”55 We have said that blasphemy occurs when one identifies himself as equal with God. Listed below are names the Qur’an ascribes to Allah; listed beside them is the Biblical reference wherein the term is applied to God. 1. The first, the last - Isaiah 44:6; Revelation 22:13 2. Holy One - Psalms 16:10; Isaiah 43:15; 3. Creator - Isaiah 40:28; 43:1 4. Wise - Proverbs 3:19; Jeremiah 10:12; Revelation 7:12 5. Powerful - Jeremiah 51:15; Exodus 13:2; Psalms 29:4 6. Almighty - Genesis 17:1; 35:11; Psalms 91; Exodus 9:16 7. Merciful - Genesis 18:26; Ezekiel 15:13; 25:17; Luke 6:36 8. Peace - Romans 15:33; 16:20; Philemon 4:9; 1Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 13:20 9. Forgiver, All Forgiving - Psalms 86:5,13; Psalms 103:3; 130:4 10. All knowing - Psalms 33:13f; 37:18; 44:21; 1 John 3:20 11. Provider - Genesis 1:19; 8:22; 22:14; Psalms 65:9 12. Just - Exodus 34:7; Deuteronomy 10:17; 32:4 13. Judge - Genesis 18:25; Deuteronomy 10:17; Romans 2:6,11 14. Most High - Numbers 23:19; 24:16; 2 Samuel 22:14; Psalms 7:17 15. The Loving - Deuteronomy 4:27; 7:7-9; Isaiah 43:4; Hosea 11:1; John 3:16 16. The Truth - Exodus 34:6; Deuteronomy 32:4; 1 Samuel 15:29 17. The Eternal, Everlasting - Genesis 21:33; Isaiah 44:6; 46:4; Revelation 1:4; Psalms 100:5 18. Compassionate - Exodus 34:6; Psalms 100:5 19. The Light - Psalms 27:1; 119:105; Isaiah 60:19; John 1:4; 3:19; 8:12; 9:5 20. Proportions - Romans 3:25; 5:1; 1 John 2:2; 4:10 21. Patient - Romans 2:4; Exodus 34:6; Numbers 14:18; 2 Peter 3:9 Conclusion: Islam has committed blasphemy against God. Shiites have exalted their Imam to the place reserved for God. Islam, in general, has committed blasphemy against God by comparing Allah to God and ascribing names to him reserved for God. We have laid another piece to our puzzle. The Next Piece of the Puzzle - The Kingdom Will Intend to Make Changes in Calendar and Law. Changes in Calender. Another characteristic of the kingdom is found in Daniel 7:25 Daniel 7:25 “. . ., and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; . . .” In our opening introduction, we described the beginning of the Islamic era as the “Hijra,” the emigration of Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina. The date is July 16, 622AD. Muslims date their calender with this date. Muslims do not use the Western calender. The following describes the Islamic
calender: In the Muslim calendar the year is only 354 days long, 11 days shorter than the Western calendar system. This is because of its lunar system, where every year consists of exactly 12 moon cycles. The other common name of the Muslim calendar is "hijra", referring to the fleeing of the Prophet Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Yathrib (later Medina). The hijra calendar starts counting its days starting on July 16, 622 CE, which is the estimated date of Muhammad's flight to Yathrib. . . . With Muhammad and his followers on the way to Yathrib, Islam becomes defined as an independent force from the old religion of Mecca at the time. As the year is shorter in the Hijra calendar the seasons come earlier for every year. Through a cycle of 34 hijra years the hijra calendar will have returned to the same seasons compared to the Western calendar. . . . Each new month of the Hijra calendar, is marked by a crescent moon, not a new moon. Hence the symbol of Islam — the crescent moon. . . . According to the Muslim calendar, the day starts at sunset. The equation for finding the Christian year from a hijra year, is to divide by 1.031, then add 622. In order to find hijra year from Christian, first subtract 622, then multiply with 1.031.56 In actual practice today, the world uses the Western Gregorian calender. Muslims refer to it as the “Christian calender.” The Muslim calender was instituted by Caliph Umar in the year 637, sixteen years after Muhammad’s emigration to Mecca.57 The Muslim calender is cited by the number of years followed by the letters “AH” referencing the initials of the Latin anno Hegirae (in the year of the Hijra).58 The Qur’an specifies to Muslims the use of the lunar calender in Surah 9:36, “Verily, the number of months with God is twelve months in God’s Book, on the day when He created the heavens and the earth; of these are four that are sacred; that is the subsisting religion. Then do not wrong yourselves therein, but fight the idolaters one and all, as they fight you one and all, and know that God is with those who fear.” Changes in Law. For Muslims, the concept of law is quite different for the rest of the world. There is no separation of church and state, religion and life, for Islam. There is nothing excluded from religion or outside it; there is no such thing as ‘secular.’ They are one and the same. The Qur’an not only includes instruction on religion, but also all areas of Muslim society. The concept of Shari’a - literally, the “way to the watering hole” is the organization and structure of theocratic law for Muslims.59 Bernard Lewis summarizes the Western difficulty of understanding the concept as follows: When we in the Western world, nurtured in the Western tradition, use the words “Islam” and “Islamic,” we tend to make a natural error and assume that religion means the same for Muslims as it has meant in the Western world, even in medieval times; that is to say, a section or compartment of life reserved for certain matters, and separate, or at least separable, from other compartments of life designed to hold other matters. That is not so in the Islamic world. It was never so in the past, . . . In classical Islam there was no distinction between Church and state. In Christendom the existence of two authorities goes back to the founder, who enjoined his followers to render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s and to God the things which are God’s. . . . In prewesternized Islam, there were no two powers but one, and the question of separation, therefore could not arise.”60
Thus, Shari’a for Muslims is the law of Islam as put forth by the Qur’an and by the Sunnah (acts and statement of the prophet). There are actually four orthodox schools of Islam that interpret the Qur’an and Sunnah – they are the Shafii, Hanbali, Hanafi, and Maliki, together with that of the Shiites and the Jafari Muslims.61 These interpretive schools provide the legal framework within which public and some private aspects of
life are regulated for those living in Muslim societies. Shari’a deals with many aspects of day-to-day life, including politics, economics, banking, business law, contract law, sexuality, and social issues. . . .62 In modern times, many Islamic countries are governed by shari’a, e.g., Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Afghanistan (the Taliban). Conclusion. Islam has made changes in both times (Islamic calender) and law (shari’a). There changes have been “intended” to be adopted by the entire world. But such has not been the case – the changes have only been adopted by the Muslim world. We have laid another piece of our puzzle.
Putting the Pieces Together: See if you think the “sum of the parts” might be such that you are beginning to conclude that Islam is the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy of the Last Days? The Pieces of the Puzzle that have been laid thus far: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Islam denies the Messiahship of Jesus Christ; 1 John 2:22 Islam denies the deity of Jesus Christ; 1 John 2:22-23 Islam has waged war against Jews and Christians; Daniel 2:44-45; 7:21; Revelation 12:17. Islam has waged a holy war as opposed to a political war; Daniel 7:21-23; 25; Revelation 12:17; Islam is a divided kingdom - Sunnis and Shiites; Daniel 2:41-42; The Shiite sect of Islam, will not adhere to itself; Daniel 2:43; The Shiite sect of Islam combines in the seed of men, Daniel 2:43; Islam is exceedingly violent; Daniel 2:40, 7:7 Islam, a divided kingdom, is composed of two sects; one is strong, the other weak; Daniel 2:41-43; Islam’s historically possesses ten individuals who made up its initial “governing council;” they are the Ten Companions of Muhammad; Daniel 7:7, 24; 11. Islam’s Shiite sect considers the first three caliphs of Islam (Sunnis) to be usurpers, and Ali to be their replacement as Imam; Daniel 7:8 12. Islam has committed blasphemies against God; Daniel 7:8; 20 - 25; Revelation 13:1, 5-6; 17:3 13. Islam has intended to make changes in calender and in law. Daniel 7:25. The puzzle is only partially complete. Its heart is missing; but the heart will be laid very shortly.
Endnotes - Chapter 3.
1.Ibid. p 76. 2.John F. Walvoord, Every Prophecy in the Bible, p 218. 3.Steven Miller, Daniel, New American Commentary, p. 194. 4.James A. Montgomery, International Critical Commentary, Daniel, p. 283. John F. Walvoord, Every Prophecy in the Bible, p 218. David Jeremiah, The Handwriting on the Wall, Volume I, Study Guide, p. 48. Compare, however, John E. Goldingay, Word Biblical Commentary, Daniel, p. 50. 5.David Jeremiah, The Handwriting on the Wall, Volume 2, Study Guide, p. 25. Rome is offered as one among several options by James A. Montgomery, International Critical Commentary, Daniel, p. 291. John F. Walvoord, Every Prophecy in the Bible, p 234. Stephen Miller, Daniel, The New American Commentary, p. 201. 6.Time Magazine, March 5, 2007, pp. 28f. 7.Need footnote. 8.This practice of pretending to be Sunni rather than remain true to one’s Shiite beliefs is referred to as “taqiyyah.” See Glasse’, p. 369. It is based on Qur'an verses 3:28 and 16:106. Available at, www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taqiyya at May 9, 2007. 9.Stephen Schwartz, The Two Faces of Islam, p. 75. 10.Available at http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ismailis 11.Timothy R. Furnish, Holiest Wars, Islamic Mahdis, Their Jihads, and Osama bin Laden, p 5. 12.Available at http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/intro/islam-ithna-ashari.htm. 13.John E. Goldingay, Daniel, Word Biblical Commentary, p. 30, note 43a-a; Stephen Miller, Daniel, New American Commentary, p. 98, note 81, which adds the possibility of “contractual matrimonial alliances” citing Driver, Daniel, 30; and, James Montgomery, Daniel, International Critical Commentary, p 177, as mingling of different peoples. 14.Glasse, pp 365-370. 15.Glasse’, p. 247. 16.Miller, page 96 and footnote 75 and 76. 17.Glasse’, p. 193. 18.Glasse, page 193. 19.According to the website of the Saudi Arabia Information Resource at September 28, 2006 (www.saudinf.com/MAIN/c541b.htm) the national flag of Saudi Arabia is green in color, and inscribed in Arabic on the flag in its center is the “Article of Faith, “There is no God but Allah, Muhammad is Allah's Messenger"; below the Article is a drawn sword.
Endnotes - Chapter 3.
20.The Middle East Quarterly, Spring 2005, Volume XII: Number 2, Beheadings in the Name of Islam, by Dr Timothy R. Furnish. Available at www.meforum.org/article/713 at May 89, 2007 21.Available at www.al-sunnah.com/sword.htm and www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/001932.php. 22.Bat Ye’or, The Decline of Christianity Under Islam, footnote 9, page 39, and the several references therein. 23.Ibid. p 40. 24.Glasse, p 209. 25.Fregosi, pp 57 -58. 26.As reported by BBC News Online, 9/26/2006 (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/5346480.stm). 27.Baltimore Sun, September 19, 2006, p 12A. 28.Fregosi, p 19. 29.Fregosi, p 17. 30.Stephen Miller, p. 98. 31.Vali Nasr, The Shiite Revival, p. 52-53. 32.Stephen Schwarz, The Two Faces of Islam, p. 75. 33.Stephen Miller, p. 201-203. 34.Stephen Miller, p. 200 - 201. 35.Stephen Miller, p. 199. 36.Miller, p 202. 37.Cyril Glasse, p 87. 38.http://www.anwary-islam.com/index.htm. Website link, October 2, 2006. 39.The beast from the earth does not have ten horns, but two (Revelation 13:11). This beast acts with the authority of the beast from the sea (which does have ten heads), so, in reality, he represents the ten horned beast. The text states that he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the beast from the sea. See Revelation 13:11f. In actually, the beast from the earth is of the same “type” as the beast from the sea; however, he is not a kingdom by an Individual. As we will see in a later chapter, he is the Antichrist. 40.Steven Miller, p. 216. 41.Abdulaziz Abdulhussein Sachedina, Islamic Messianism, The Idea of the Mahdi in Twelver Shi`ism, p. 7 - 9.
Endnotes - Chapter 3.
42.BibleWorks for Windows, Electronic Version 6, Easton Bible Dictionary Resource within BibleWorks. 43.Stephen Miller, p. 202. 44.Sachedina, p. 19. 45.Sachedina, p. 20. 46.Vali Nasr, The Shia Revival, p. 39. 47.Sachedina, p. 20. 48.Ibid., p. 20 49.Ibid., p. 21. 50.Ibid., p. 21. 51.Ibid., p. 22. 52.Vali Nasr, p. 38. 53.Ibid., p. 22. 54.Ibid., p. 23. 55.Glasse’ p 99. 56. Available at http://lexicorient.com/e.o/islam_cal.htm at February 23, 2007. 57.Glasse’, p 83. 58.Available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_calendar at February 23, 2007. 59.Glasse’. 60. Bernard Lewis, The Political Language of Islam, p. 2-3. 61.Cyril Glasse’, p. 361. 62.Available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharia at 2-16-2007.
Chapter 4 Just Read the Graffiti Introduction. Seemed pointless. At least at first. I looked at the picture again. Solid rock somehow shaped into a large rectangular, flat stone.1 Was something under construction? A soon to be foundation for an interior room? The area was surrounded by beautiful marble columns, with intricate design on the columns and decorative additions to the surrounding walls, all symmetrically arranged in an octagonal shape. Yet, the bare ground, the rock itself, was rugged; seemed out of place. The most striking feature was the space – empty space. So much empty space. The rock, the marble columns, the octagonal walls, and the empty space. Seemed pointless. The Dome of the Rock, Islam’s shrine – I suppose one might liken it to a “sanctuary” of sorts except, as we will see, its certainly not a gathering place for worshipers in praise or prayer. No, this bare Rock (hereafter, “Rock” will be capitalized when speaking of the interior Rock enclosed by the Dome of the Rock) and its Dome covering have another purpose – a purpose singular in function; and, when we find it, we will have found another piece to our puzzle. We will first begin with ancient Jewish history on the Rock and move from there to more recent Muslim history (7th century AD). We will look at the purpose that Islam seeks to communicate through the design and location of the structure; and, finally, we will look at the Bible’s prophecy of a coming blasphemy in the Last Days that has specific reference to the Temple of God. We will identify the Dome of the Rock as that blasphemy; and, the “graffiti” on its walls will be only one of many fingerprints left behind, each of which identifies and uncovers; and, we will observe the abomination of desolation that the Dome of the Rock symbolizes – the aloneness of a people bereft of the One, True God and His Only Begotten, the Christ. Ancient Jewish History about the Rock. The story begins in ancient Biblical times. In Genesis 22:2, Abraham, patriarch of both Jewish and Muslim faiths, is commanded by God to bring his son, Isaac (Muslims believe Abraham brought Ishmael, not Isaac2), for sacrifice on an altar to God. Abraham obeys the command of God, but with knife raised high in the air to slay his son, God stops him. God acknowledges Abraham’s act of obedience, as a lamb is mysteriously caught in the thicket. The lamb becomes Abraham’s sacrifice in lieu of his son, Isaac (Genesis 22:13). Many scholars believe the location of Abraham’s intended sacrifice is Mount Moriah;3 and, Mount Moriah is the location upon which King Solomon eventually builds his magnificent temple in the tenth century BC.4 Solomon’s Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586BC. A second Temple, smaller in size, is rebuilt seventy years later under the leadership of Nehemiah (Nehemiah 2:1f). Finally, beginning in 20BC, Herod the Great restores the 2nd Temple to the grandeur of Solomon’s original Temple. Herod’s Temple was destroyed by the Romans under Titus in 70AD.5 It is this event that Jesus prophesied some thirty years before (Luke 21:5-6). When the Temple was rebuilt by Herod the Great, it was built on the Temple Mount and consisted of several levels or courts, each rising above the other. The lowest court was the Court of the Gentiles. Copyright © 2007. www.whenthepiecesfit.org
Gentiles (non-Jewish persons) were restricted to this lowest level. Next was the Sacred Enclosure, three feet higher than the Court of the Gentiles. The Court of the Women was the next court. It was three feet higher than the Sacred Enclosure; women were restricted to the Court of the Women. The Court of Israel followed, ten feet above the Court of the Women. Only men were allowed entry into the Court of Israel. The Court of the Priests was three feet above the Court of Israel; only priests were allowed entry into this Court. Finally, the House of God, eight feet above the Court of the Priests, divided into two compartments, the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies. Priests were selected by lot to enter the Holy Place on a daily basis where they performed offerings and prayers. The Holy of Holies included the age-old treasure of the Jewish people, the mystical, Ark of the Covenant, a rectangular shaped “box-like” structure that was covered with pure gold. The Ark contained three items as reminders of God’s provision and care of the Jews during 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. Attached to the cover of the Ark was the Mercy Seat and two solid gold cherubim. God dwelt between the two cherubim (Exodus 25:22). Entry to the Holy of Holies was forbidden except for one day a year, the Day of Atonement. Only the High Priest was allowed entrance on that day. The reason was clear. God was holy. No one was to approach His holiness without first complying with specific cleansing rituals. If any of those cleansing rituals were violated or omitted, death of the offending individual resulted (Exodus 28:35, 43; 30:20-21; Leviticus 10:7, 9; 22:9; Numbers 4:15, 19-20). The Ark of the Covenant was the dwelling place of God for the Jewish people. According to Leen Ritmeyer, former chief architect of the Temple Mount excavations and director of Ritmeyer Archaeological Design in England, the Rock is the platform for the Ark of the Covenant that was located within the Holy of Holies of the 1st century, Jerusalem Temple.6 The Mishnah, the Jewish Book of Collections of Rabbinical teachings, refers to this Rock platform as the “Foundation Stone.”7 It is the specific stone upon which the Ark of the Covenant was secured, that location where God Himself dwelt.8 It is the holiest of all locations because it was God’s dwelling place. It is also the rock over which the Dome of the Rock covers. The More Recent Muslim History of the Rock and its Dome. It happened at night. Some say it was a vision, others an actual physical journey.9 Beginning in Mecca sometime before the Hijra (the beginning of the Islam faith on or about 9/17/622), Muslims believe that Muhammad was transported to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem by the Angel Gabriel on a “winged horse,” named “Buraq.”10 At the time of Muhammad’s Night Journey, the Temple lay in ruins having been destroyed by the Romans in AD 70. Some Muslim accounts state that while at the ruins of the former Temple, on the location of the former Holy of Holies, Muhammad was joined in prayer by Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and other prophets. These brought Muhammad three goblets to quench his thirst: wine, milk, and water. Muhammad chose milk, signifying his desire for the “middle ground” for Islam.11 Next a ladder was brought and Muhammad and Gabriel climbed through the first of seven heavens to the throne of Allah. At each of the seven stages, Muhammad was encouraged onward by one of the great prophets. Adam presided over the first stage or the First heaven. Jesus and John the Baptist, the Second heaven; Joseph in the Third; Enoch in the Fourth; Aaron and Moses in the Fifth and Sixth; and finally, 2
Abraham in the Seventh heaven, at the threshold of Allah’s abode.12 Gabriel chose not to accompany Muhammad into the presence of Allah, so Muhammad goes it alone.13 When Muhammad reached the throne of Allah, Allah told him that the Muslims must pray 50 times a day in the practice of their religion; but on Muhammad's way down, Moses convinced him to go back and petition Allah to reduce the number because religion is not to be a burden to man. Muhammad does this. Each time he returns down the ladder only to be convinced by Moses to return and to petition Allah to further reduce the number of required prayers. Muhammad does so until he is able to convince Allah to reduce the number of required daily prayers to 5 (although the Qur’an specifies a requirement of three times a day, and the Hadith five times).14 This event in Muslim history is referred to as the Night Journey and the Ascension. It is celebrated annually by Muslims in the seventh lunar month, the 27th day.15 Islam’s Dome of the Rock and What it Communicates. The Dome of the Rock was built by Caliph Abd al-Malik in the Muslim year 72 (691-692AD)16 and is physically located on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The Rock is a relatively flat, solid rock area, measuring 56 feet by 42 feet.17 In addition, there is a crack in the Rock.18 It is said by Muslims that this crack was caused by the fact that when Muhammad ascended to heaven, the Rock wished to accompany him; but he would not allow it, so he held his hand behind him to keep the Rock from ascending with him - and the Rock cracked.19 According to renowned Dome of the Rock expert, Oleg Grabar, the Dome was not used by Muslims as a worship center for prayer or worship. Grabar notes that there is no designated direction for prayer and no space for worshipers to congregate. Even “circumambulation” (the process of encircling a central religious object multiple times (as is the case for the Ka’ba in Mecca)) was problematic, as people would have been entering and exiting simultaneously at every door.20 Arabic inscriptions taken from the Qur’an cover the entire structure, both inside and outside. The inscriptions on the inner octagonal walls are: “In the name of Allah, the Merciful the Compassionate. There is no god but Allah. He is One. He has no associate. Unto Him belongeth sovereignty and unto Him belongeth praise. He quickeneth and He giveth death; and He has Power over all things. Muhammad is the servant of Allah and His Messenger. Lo! Allah and His angels shower blessings on the Prophet. O ye who believe! Ask blessings on him and salute him with a worthy salutation. The blessing of Allah be on him and peace be on him, and may Allah have mercy. O People of the Book! Do not exaggerate in your religion nor utter aught concerning Allah save the truth. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only a Messenger of Allah, and His Word which He conveyed unto Mary, and a spirit from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers, and say not 'Three' - Cease! (it is) better for you! - Allah is only One God. Far be it removed from His transcendent majesty that He should have a son. His is all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And Allah is sufficient as Defender. The Messiah will never scorn to be a servant unto Allah, nor will the favored angels. Whoso scorneth His service and is proud, all such will He assemble unto Him. Oh Allah, bless Your Messenger and Your servant Jesus son of Mary. Peace be on him the day he was born, and the day he dies, and the day he shall be raised alive! Such was Jesus, son of Mary, (this is) a statement of the truth concerning which they doubt. It befitteth not (the Majesty of) Allah that He should 3
take unto Himself a son. Glory be to Him! When He decreeth a thing, He saith unto it only: Be! and it is. Lo! Allah is my Lord and your Lord. So serve Him. That is the right path. Allah (Himself) is witness that there is no God save Him. And the angels and the men of learning (too are witness). Maintaining His creation in justice, there is no God save Him, the Almighty, the Wise. Lo! religion with Allah (is) Islam. Those who (formerly) received the Book differed only after knowledge came unto them, through transgression among themselves. Whoso disbelieveth the revelations of Allah (will find that) lo! Allah is swift at reckoning!”21 Similarly, on the outer octagonal wall the following Arabic inscription is found: “In the name of Allah, the Merciful the Compassionate. There is no god but Allah. He is One. He has no associate. Say: He is God, the One! God, the eternally Besought of all! He begetteth not nor was begotten. And there is none comparable unto Him. Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, the blessing of Allah be on him. In the name of Allah, the Merciful the Compassionate. There is no god but Allah. He is One. He has no associate. Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. Lo! Allah and His angels shower blessings on the Prophet. O ye who believe! Ask blessings on him and salute him with a worthy salutation. In the name of Allah, the Merciful the Compassionate. There is no god but Allah. He is One. Praise be to Allah, Who hath not taken unto Himself a son, and Who hath no partner in the Sovereignty, nor hath He any protecting friend through dependence. And magnify Him with all magnificence. Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, the blessing of Allah be on him and the angels and His prophets, and peace be on him, and may Allah have mercy. In the name of Allah, the Merciful the Compassionate. There is no god but Allah. He is One. He has no associate. Unto Him belongeth sovereignty and unto Him belongeth praise. He quickeneth. And He giveth death; and He has Power over all things. Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, the blessing of Allah be on him. May He accept his intercession on the Day of Judgment on behalf of his people. In the name of Allah, the Merciful the Compassionate. There is no god but Allah. He is One He has no associate. Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, the blessing of Allah be on him. The dome was built by the servant of Allah `Abd [Allah the Imam al-Ma'mun, Commander] of the Faithful, in the year two and seventy. May Allah accept from him and be content with him. Amen, Lord of the worlds, praise be to Allah.”22 To Sum it Up. Perhaps the best way to sum up the purpose of this amazing structure is to use the words of the Dome’s expert, Oleg Grabar. He states, in part: “Several hypotheses attempt to explain what the Dome of the Rock was meant to be at the time of its creation, but only in the eleventh century was an association firmly established between the building and its most consistent popularly accepted purpose: the commemoration of the Prophet Muhammad’s mystical Night Journey to Jerusalem, followed by his Ascension though the heavens to contemplate the divine universe.23 And from pro-Islam author, Karen Armstrong: “In Jerusalem, the Dome of the Rock was completed in 691, the first major Islamic monument, which proudly asserted the supremacy of Islam in this holy city which had a large Christian majority. It 4
announced that Islam had come to stay.”24 And, what does this have to do with Bible prophecy in the Last Days? That we will look at next. Islam’s Blasphemy through the Dome of the Rock. Seems like someone made a wrong turn to me. How does a Muslim shrine end up in Jerusalem? Islam’s birthplace is Medina on the Arabian Peninsula. Its holiest city, Mecca, not far away. Yet, the Dome of the Rock is in Jerusalem, hundreds of miles to the West. Why did Gabriel bother to take Muhammad to Jerusalem in the first place? Why not just Ascend from Mecca or Medina? Wouldn’t that have accentuated the supremacy of Islam over all religions, Judaism, Christianity, as well as Zoroastrianism, the ancient religion of the Persians? What’s more, why construct such a mammoth religious structure, the Dome of the Rock, which serves no religious purpose in and of itself? Experts Grabar and Armstrong both concluded the Dome of the Rock was Islam’s testament to Islam’s superiority over Christianity . Certainly, this is a part of the reason. But then, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that although this was a part of the reason, it cannot be the primary reason. At the time the Dome was constructed, the population of Jerusalem was already under Muslim occupation and had been for at least one generation (Jerusalem was conquered by Islam in 636AD; the Dome is dated in the caliphate of al-Malik, 691AD, over fifty years later). So, those present in Jerusalem at the time of the Dome’s construction were, in all likelihood, no longer a Christian majority, but a Muslim majority. So why construct the facility as a testament to Muslim superiority when those in its immediate environs were already Muslim? No. There had to be another reason; and, there is. Scripture reveals it to us. It is the four-fold blasphemy committed by Islam against God, His Christ, Christianity and the Temple, all of which are prophesied in Holy Scripture, and all of which relate to the “abomination of desolation” that the Dome of the Rock fulfills. Here, let me show you. . . 1. Blasphemy Against Christianity as the True Religion. The first passage we need look at is:
Matthew 24:15 "Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains; 17 let him who is on the housetop not go down to get the things out that are in his house;
Jesus is speaking these words as he and his disciples are walking on the Temple Mount, admiring the beauty of the Temple. Jesus remarks that the day is coming when the Temple will be completely destroyed; in fact, destruction will be so complete that the Temple will be dismantled stone by stone (Matthew 24:2).25 The disciples are incredulous at Jesus’ statement. They ask him when these things shall take place (24:3), to which Jesus foretells of perilous times that are coming in the future days. The key phrase is found in verse 15, “abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet standing in the holy place. . .”26 (Notice the parenthetical comment included in the scripture, “let the people understand.” To the reader of the 1st century text, it is as if Jesus has just winked at his 5
audience. They were quite aware that the event Jesus is referring took place in the second century BC (167 BC), almost 200 years before Jesus’ remark.) The Greek military leader, Antiochus Epiphanes (whom Daniel 8:9 refers to as the “rather small horn”), had attacked and plundered Jerusalem, including the erection of an altar to Zeus in the Temple followed by the sacrifice of a swine on the altar. Thereafter, Antiochus prohibited the sacrifices of any animals in the Temple for a period of approximately three and a half years.27 What Jesus is saying to the disciples (in the 1st century AD) is that an event likened to the abomination of desolation which occurred at the hand of Antiochus (in 167BC) will take place once again in a future time period. When it does, the people of Jerusalem, should flee to the mountains for their lives. This event did take place. Jerusalem surrendered to the Muslims in 636AD, under the caliphate of Umar ibn al-Khattab (hereafter “Umar”), the second caliph of Islam.28 The Dome was built fifty or so years later to commemorate Muhammad’s Night Journey and Islam’s superiority over Christianity, and during this entire time period, Jerusalem was under Muslim control. In the Dome of the Rock’s construction, the same blasphemy Antiochus had committed by the erection of an altar to Zeus is committed in Islam’s erection of their “altar” to Muhammad. This is further described in another phrase found in Matthew 24: "Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place . . .” (Emphasis supplied). The phrase “standing in the Holy Place” is referring to the Dome of the Rock which “stands” over the prior location of the Ark of the Covenant; and specifically, the Foundation Stone – the Rock. It is Islam’s Rock, now. It “stands” in this location to communicate Islam’s superiority to Christianity. Islam defeated Christianity and the Dome of the Rock communicates this to all who observe it. Islam’s Treaties With Conquered Peoples. Another aspect of this specific blasphemy is the treaty that non-Muslims were required to enter into with their Muslim overlords. An example of the type of restrictions placed on Jerusalem residents at the time of their Muslim conquest is the “Pact of Umar” (Umar was the second caliph of Islam. Historians differ as to whether or not Umar was the actual author of the Pact even though it bears his name). This Pact became the “model” for future “treaties” throughout Islam’s history.29 Those who entered the contract (the contract or treaty is referred to as the “Dhimma”) were referred to as the “dhimmi.”30 THE Pact of Umar is the body of limitations and privileges entered into by treaty between conquering Muslims and conquered non-Muslims. We have no special treaty of this sort with the Jews, but we must assume that all conquered peoples, including the Jews, had to subscribe to it. Thus the laws cited below and directed against churches apply to synagogues too. The Pact was probably originated about 637 by Umar I after the conquest of Christian Syria and Palestine. . . .31 The Pact of Umar follows: This is a writing to Umar from the Christians of [such and such a city]. When You [Muslims] marched against us [Christians],: we asked of you protection for ourselves, our posterity, our possessions, and 6
our co-religionists; and we made this stipulation with you, that we will not erect in our city or the suburbs any new monastery, church, cell or hermitage; that we will not repair any of such buildings that may fall into ruins, or renew those that may be situated in the Muslim quarters of the town; 3. that we will not refuse the Muslims entry into our churches either by night or by day; that we will open the gates wide to passengers and travelers; that we will receive any Muslim traveler into our houses and give him food and lodging for three nights; that we will not harbor any spy in our churches or houses, or conceal any enemy of the Muslims. 4. that we will not teach our children the Qur’an [some nationalist Arabs feared the infidels would ridicule the Qur’an; others did not want infidels even to learn the language]; 5. that we will not make a show of the Christian religion nor invite any one to embrace it; 6. that we will not prevent any of our kinsmen from embracing Islam, if they so desire. 7. that we will honor the Muslims and rise up in our assemblies when they wish to take their seats; 8. that we will not imitate them in our dress, either in the cap, turban, sandals, or parting of the hair; 9. that we will not make use of their expressions of speech, nor adopt their surnames [infidels must not use greetings and special phrases employed only by Muslims]; 10. that we will not ride on saddles, or gird on swords, or take to ourselves arms or wear them, or engrave Arabic inscriptions on our rings; that we will not sell wine [forbidden to Muslims]; that we will shave the front of our heads; that we will keep to our own style of dress, wherever we may be; that we will wear girdles round our waists [infidels wore leather or cord girdles; Muslims, cloth and silk]. 11. that we will not display the cross upon our churches or display our crosses or our sacred books in the streets of the Muslims, or in their market-places; 12. that we will strike the clappers in our churches lightly [wooden rattles or bells summoned the people to church or synagogue]; 13. that we will not recite our services in a loud voice when a Muslim is present; 14. that we will not carry Palm branches [on Palm Sunday] or our images in procession in the streets; 15. that at the burial of our dead we will not chant loudly or carry lighted candles in the streets of the Muslims or their market places; 16. that we will not take any slaves that have already been in the possession of Muslims, nor spy into their houses; and that we will not strike any Muslim. All this we promise to observe, on behalf of ourselves and our co-religionists, and receive protection from you in exchange; and if we violate any of the conditions of this agreement, then we forfeit your protection and you are at liberty to treat us as enemies and rebels.”32 The above conditions of the treaty were enforced at different levels throughout Islam’s history, depending upon the submission to its terms by Jews and Christians as well as the particular caliph in power. The persistence of Islam’s enforcement is in large part due to the continued belief by Christians in their scriptures, which, to Islam, represented a falsification of the Bible.”33 Examples of broadened restrictions in later centuries include: 1. 2.
If a “dhimmi” (a non-Muslim) raised a hand against a Muslim, even if in self-defense, he was sentenced to death.34 The graves of Muslims were distinguished from non-Muslims by being level with the ground. Burial was without outward display of mourning. Non-Muslim cemeteries were not respected and considered as “being within the realm of hell.” As such they were often completely destroyed.35 The dhimmis, as the subjugated peoples and the perpetrators of false versions of the Old and New Testaments, were required to endure public humiliation by Muslims. Dhimmis were not allowed to own houses that were larger in appearance than their Muslim neighbors. Their homes had to appear shabbier and in disrepair compared to their Muslim neighbors. To violate these rules was to risk demolition of one’s home. Dhimmis were not allowed to ride a horse or camel, only a donkey. When passing Muslims, they were required to dismount “for a Christian must only appear before a Muslim in a humiliating position” (this restriction existed into the 20th century in Yemen where until 1948 it was specified that a Christian had to sit sidesaddle when riding a donkey).36 Dhimmis were not permitted to group together to talk in their street. They had to walk with their eyes lowered and pass to the left of the Muslims, who were encouraged to push them aside. When standing before a Muslim, a dhimmi was required to speak in a lowered voice and only when authorized to do so.37 Many laws existed regulating the clothing that dhimmis could wear (color, shape, and dimensions). Christians had to shave the front of their foreheads.38 According to an-Nawawi, the dhimmi, “. . . has to make himself distinguishable by a piece of yellow cloth and a belt over his clothing. If he enters a bath house where there are Muslims, or if he undresses elsewhere in their presence, the infidel has to wear an iron or lead ring on his neck or else some other sign of servitude.”39 Until 1875, the Jews of Tunisia could only wear a blue or black burnous (shawl or head covering). A 20th century description by a woman of Yemen provides that the men had to wear a white cotton shirt with stripes of black.40
Under the Ottoman sultan Orkhan (1326 - 1359AD), the devshirme was instituted. This practice consisted of a levy or tax equal to one-fifth of the Christian children from the conquered Balkan regions.41 Bat Ye’or states: “These youngsters, aged between fourteen and twenty, were converted to Islam and entered the corps of janissaries, military militias formed almost exclusively of Christians. . . At a fixed date, every father had to gather with his sons at the central place of the village. The recruiting agents, themselves janissaries, then selected the handsome and most robust 8
youth in the presence of the qadi (ruling judge of Islamic law). . . These levies gave rise to further abuses, the recruiters taking a surplus of children in order to sell them back to their parents. . . Removed from their families, hardened by painful experiences, and turned into fanatics by their education, these soldiers became the cruelest weapon against their own people.”42 7. The dhimmi was required to pay two taxes, the kharaj and the jizya. The kharaj represented the “Islamic community’s rights of ownership over the conquered lands of non-Muslim peoples. . . 43 The jizya represented a poll tax which was assessed at three rates in accordance with the economic condition of each individual male above puberty.44 Not only was payment of the tax required by all males, but the payment process required an act of humiliation be endured by the payee. Bat Ye’or describes the humiliation process: “. . . this poll tax was to be paid by each person individually at a humiliating public ceremony in which the dhimmi, while paying it, was struck either on the head or the nape of the neck. . . . Women, paupers, minors, the chronically sick and the crippled were theoretically exempted from this tax. When oppressive taxation provoked a wave of conversion to Islam, the administration imposed a collective sum on each dhimmi community which their notables apportioned between them, irrespective of their numbers.”45 One final point about the “treaty.” It could be broken at any time; but only by the Muslims. Consider this quote attributed to Caliph Umar in 640AD: “The land belongs to Allah and his Messenger, the Messenger of Allah can annul his pact if he so wishes.”46 Conclusion. The abomination of desolation was more than a standing structure in Jerusalem announcing religious superiority to all local observers. The Dome of the Rock which sat in the very center of the birthplace of Christianity, Jerusalem, represented the claim of Islam upon the land of Christ; that claim rendered the entire land desolate from God. In Christianity’s surrender to Islam, it surrendered it’s voice, it’s testimony, of Christ’s death and resurrection. This testimony was the power that gave Christianity life; and it was only a matter of time before the life of Christ had been pulled out by the roots through Christianity’s silence. All outward displays of Christianity were removed from society; and all inward evidence were kept to oneself. Just as Antiochus had removed the sacrifice from the Temple (through which sins were atoned for Jews), so Islam had removed the sacrifice of Christ from the people of Palestine. The Dome of the Rock was simply the outward manifestation of Islam’s claims upon the land; and Christianity having been cut off from the very source of it’s life, Jesus Christ. 2. Blasphemy Against Jesus Christ. Talk about graffiti! Can you imagine what an onlooker must have been thinking when he read the Arabic inscriptions on the Dome of the Rock? Remember what we talked about back in an earlier chapter regarding “antichrist identifiers”? Two of those identifiers were found in 1 John 2:21 - 23: (1) whenever the Messiahship of Jesus Christ is denied or (2) whenever the deity of Jesus Christ is denied. See if you think the following partial quotes from the Arabic script on the Dome’s 9
walls qualifies as “identifiers” of the antichrist? Each partial quote includes my underline to signify the specific words of blasphemy. From the inner octagonal wall: “. . “. . . “. . . “. . . “. . . “. . . “. . . “. . . “. . . “. . . There is no god but Allah. He is One. He has no associate. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only a Messenger of Allah, say not 'Three' - Cease! (it is) better for you! Allah is only One God. Far be it removed from His transcendent majesty that He should have a son. The Messiah will never scorn to be a servant unto Allah, Oh Allah, bless . . . your servant Jesus son of Mary. Such was Jesus, son of Mary, (this is) a statement of the truth concerning which they doubt. It befitteth not (the Majesty of) Allah that He should take unto Himself a son. Glory be to Him! When He decreeth a thing, He saith unto it only: Be! and it is.
From the outer octagonal wall: “. . . There is no god but Allah. He is One. He has no associate. “. . . Say: He is God, the One! God, the eternally Besought of all! He begetteth not nor was begotten. “. . . There is no god but Allah. He is One. He has no associate. “. . . There is no god but Allah. He is One. Praise be to Allah, Who hath not taken unto Himself a son, and Who hath no partner in the Sovereignty, nor hath He any protecting friend through dependence. “. . . There is no god but Allah. He is One. He has no associate. “. . . There is no god but Allah. He is One. He has no associate.” Seems like to me that the Muslims have this ‘thing’ about Jesus Christ! In fact, they seem more concerned about stating who Jesus Christ is not, than they are in saying who Muhammad is! The real purpose of the walls of the Dome of the Rock? To protect the Rock? Hardly. The Rock is exposed, solid rock. To protect something inside the Dome? Hardly. The only thing inside the Dome is the Rock, itself. So what is the purpose of the walls? To hang the graffiti! The Arabic script that denies Jesus Christ as the son of God. Think of the walls the same way you might a bulletin board. The bulletin board has no purpose in and of itself. It only holds notices up for people to see. So the walls of the Dome of the Rock. They hand the graffiti, the Arabic script from the Qur’an. In so doing, the voice of the antichrist speaks to each person who reads the graffiti! Muhammad’s Ascent as a Blasphemy of Jesus Christ. If you ever wanted an example of oneupsmanship, you have it in Muhammad’s so-called Ascent to heaven. Seven stages of heaven ascending from the Foundation Stone to the throne of God in heaven. Jesus is on number two stage along with John the Baptist. What about Muhammad? He not only clears the second stage but keeps right on moving through number seven. In fact, his heavenly companion, the Angel Gabriel, opts out as Muhammad continues alone right into the throne room of heaven for his divine appointment with God. There is nobody 10
with Muhammad; only Muhammad and God have a little “sit” together! It’s almost as if Muhammad and God have a little fireside chat. So secure is Muhammad in his rendevous with Allah that he returns time and time again as he convinces Allah to reduce the number of daily prayers for Muslims from fifty (Allah’s first instruction) to five. I can’t help but wonder how many back-and-forth trips that required? Nine trips per my count; can you imagine? Who was the most frustrated on that last exchange between Allah and Muhammad? Allah or Muhammad (or Moses)? Do you think Muhammad is exalting himself just a little?
2 Thessalonians 2:4 “who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.” Seems to me that since Muhammad is the only one to make it to heaven that Muhammad has pretty much played out the point of verse 4. Muhammad passes Jesus on stage two (Jesus shares this stage with John the Baptist), followed by Abraham, Adam, and Moses; and, only Muhammad is “worthy” to sit with God as the two converse about prayer. Actually, I find it quite extraordinary that Gabriel was sent down to earth by Allah in 610AD to reveal the entire Qur’an to Muhammad, yet omitted a section on prayer; and, then, eleven years later, 621AD, Gabriel is no longer worthy to accompany Muhammad for that lesson on prayer that he omitted when the Qur’an was first revealed. Go figure! Muhammad “displays himself” as being God in his Ascension to heaven above all others, including Jesus; and, his “sitting” with God. The Qur’an reinforces and supports this claim by its own acclaiming of Muhammad as the “seal of the prophets.” (Qur’an 33:40). Since Muhammad came after Christ and since Islam considers the Qur’an as a “correction” of prior errors committed by the People of the Book (Jews and Christians), it acclaims itself superior if for no other reason, its chronology. Conclusion. Islam blasphemes Jesus Christ by the Arabic graffiti on the walls of the Dome of the Rock. It blasphemes Jesus Christ in Muhammad’s Ascension and his audience with God. As the ‘seal of the prophets’, Muhammad is acclaimed and exalted above all others. 3. Blasphemy Against the Tabernacle. I recently heard of a church that was considering selling its property to a local municipality. If successful in acquiring the property, they were going to transform the church into the city jail. Something didn’t seem right about that. God’s house is a place where people are set free; the city wanted to make it a place where people are imprisoned. Didn’t seem right. In the Old Testament book of Judges, Gideon, an Israelite, is told by God to tear down the altar to Baal, a foreign deity, that had been built by the people of Israel as an alternate deity to God. Then, Gideon is told to do the following:
Judges 6:26 “and build an altar to the LORD your God on the top of this stronghold in an orderly manner, and take a second bull and offer a burnt offering with the wood of the Asherah which you shall cut down."
Why was Gideon told to build an altar to God on top of the prior altar to Baal? Did you ever play “king of the mountain” when you were a child? I did. All the boys made their way to the highest “hill.” Then every one fought to remove everyone else from the hill; and, the last one standing was “king of the mountain.” The Dome of the Rock resting over the Foundation Stone of the Ark of the Covenant is Islam’s way to tell the world that it is “king of the mountain.” Our last text is fulfilled: Revelation 13:6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven.” A final blasphemy occurs which is specific to the residents of heaven. The scripture addresses this group in Revelation 13:6, “. . . His tabernacle and those who dwell in heaven.” When Muhammad claims to have sat with God in heaven, his claim is to place himself at a location reserved for those to whom it has been granted – the followers of Jesus Christ and the people of Israel, the Children of Promise, who reside in heaven by virtue of the blood of Jesus Christ (Revelation 20:12). Muhammad’s claim to what does not belong to him is a slander against those to whom it does belong – a slander to those who dwell in heaven. 4. Blasphemy Against God. Certainly, each of the blasphemies that we have mentioned thus far are also blasphemies against God. Yet, another blasphemy remains. Remember the “crack” in the Rock? The Muslim explanation for the crack goes this way. When Muhammad ascended to heaven, the Rock wished to accompany him; but he would not allow it, so he held his hand behind him to keep the Rock from ascending with him - and the Rock cracked.47 The significance of this event can be seen in what happened in the Old Testament when an individual touched the Ark of the Covent. In 2 Samuel 6:6-7, the Ark of the Covenant is being transported. It becomes unsettled and the priest reaches to secure it. We read, “But when they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out toward the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen nearly upset it. 7 And the anger of the LORD burned against Uzzah, and God struck him down there for his irreverence; and he died there by the ark of God.” Unlike Uzzah the priest, who, when he reached out to keep the Ark from becoming unsettled, he is struck dead by God, when Muhammad touched the Foundation Stone, nothing happened. The Foundation Stone was simply used by Muhammad as his “lifting off” place. In essence, Muhammad defied God’s command that whomever came in contact with His presence, save the High Priest once a year, died instantly. Muhammad’s touching off point on the Rock is just one more of the many blasphemies committed by Islam against God, His Christ, His Church and the faith of Christians. Seem pointless anymore? Blasphemy. Against God, against Jesus Christ, against the Temple, and against Christianity as a religion. 12
Just read the graffiti. We have laid another piece to our puzzle.
Chapter 4 Endnotes.
1Randall Price, The Stones Cry Out, p. 216. 2Glasse’, p 193. 3Gordon J. Wenham, Word Biblical Commentary, Volume 2: Genesis 16-50, Electronic Version, Logos Library System, Version 2.1e. 4Available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moriah at May 17, 2007. 5Available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herod's_Temple at May 17, 2007. 6Randall Price, p 211-212 7Randall Price, p 211-212, citing the Herbert Danby translation of The Mishnah, Yoma 5.2, p. 167, Oxford University Press, 1989. 8Randall Price, p. 215. 9Available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isra_and_Miraj at May 17, 2007. 10Karen Armstrong, Muhammad, A Biography of the Prophet, p. 138. 11Armstrong, p. 138. 12Armstrong, p. 139. 13Armstrong, p. 140. 14Glasse' p 301 and Armstrong, pp 138-139. 15Armstrong, p. 139. 16Grabar, p 59. 17Glasse’, p 102. 18Some authorities speak of a “cavern” located in the interior of the Rock as opposed to a “crack.” See Grabar, p. 134. 19Glasse’, p 102. 20Grabar, p 74. 21Website, “Islamic Awareness.,” www.islamic-awareness.org/History/Islam/Inscriptions/DoTR.html, linked at 10/6/06. See also, Grabar, pp. 94 - 95. 22Ibid. 23Grabar, p. 7. 24Karen Armstrong. Islam, A Short History, p. 44.
Chapter 4 Endnotes.
25History records Jesus’ prophecy to be correct. The Roman’s destruction of the Temple in AD 70 was a literal dismantling of the entire structure, stone by stone. The Western Wall is all that remains of the original structure. It is referred to as the Wailing Wall as Jews continue to mourn the destruction of the Temple almost 2000 years ago. Available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Wall#Eyewitness_accounts_of_Roman_actions, at May 22, 2007. 26 Antiochus’ abomination of desolation is prophesied of by the prophet Daniel: NAS Daniel 8:9 “And out of one of them came forth a rather small horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Beautiful Land. . . . . 11 It even magnified itself to be equal with the Commander of the host; and it removed the regular sacrifice from Him, and the place of His sanctuary was thrown down. . . .” Daniel 11:31 "And forces from him will arise, desecrate the sanctuary fortress, and do away with the regular sacrifice. And they will set up the abomination of desolation.” 27 Stephen Miller describes Antiochus’ plunder as follows: “Antiochus’ persecution of the Jews may be considered to have begun in 170 BC with the assassination of the high priest, Onias III and terminated in 163 BC with his death. . . During this period, he executed thousands of Jews who resisted his unfair regulations. . . . he plundered the temple in Jerusalem (taking its treasures, including the furniture. . . ) and committed deeds of murder (cf 1 Macc 1.20-24; 2 Macc 5:1ff). . . . Many other ways in which Antiochus “trampled” upon the Jewish religion by erecting an altar to Zeus in the Temple precincts and offering swine on it (cf 1 Macc 1:37-39, 44 - 47, 54, 59; 2 Macc 6:2-5). . . In 167BC, Antiochus issued the order that the regular ceremonial observances to Yahweh were forbidden, and thus sacrifices ceased being offered (cf 1 Macc 1.20-23; 47, 54; 2 Macc 6:2-5) . . . for a period of approximately three years . See Stephen Millar, p 226, 227. 28Sir William Muir, The Caliphate: Its Rise, Decline, and Fall from Original Sources, p. 142f. 29Sir William Muir, p. 146 - 147. 30Bat Ye’or, The Dhimmi, p. 47. 31Available at http://www.bu.edu/mzank/Jerusalem/tx/pactofumar.htm at May 21, 2007, citing Jacob Marcus, The Jew in the Medieval World: A Source book, 315-1791, (New York: JPS, 1938), 13-15. 32Available at http://www.bu.edu/mzank/Jerusalem/tx/pactofumar.htm at May 21, 2007, citing Jacob Marcus, The Jew in the Medieval World: A Source book, 315-1791, (New York: JPS, 1938), 13-15. 33Bat Ye’or, The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam - From Jihad to Dhimmitude, p. 91. 34Bat Ye’or, The Dhimmi, p. 57. 35Bat Ye’or, The Dhimmi, p. 60. 36Bat Ye’or, The Dhimmi, p. 63. 37Bat Ye’or, The Dhimmi, p. 64. 38Bat Ye’or, The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam - From Jihad to Dhimmitude, p. 96. 39Bat Ye’or, Islam and Dhimmitude - Where Civilizations Collide, p. 91. 40Bat Ye’or, The Dhimmi, p. 67. 41Bat Ye’or, The Decline of Eastern Chrisitianity Under Islam - From Jihad to Dhimmitude, p. 114.
Chapter 4 Endnotes.
42Bat Ye’or, Bat Ye’or, The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam - From Jihad to Dhimmitude, p. 114. 43Bat Ye’or, The Dhimmi, p. 52. 44Bat Ye’or, The Dhimmi, p. 53. 45Bat Ye’or, The Dhimmi, p. 53. 46Bat Ye’or, The Dhimmi, p. 47. 47Glasse’, p 102.
Chapter 5 A Fatal Wound to the Head Introduction. It should have killed him. The beast should have died. The beast is satan’s masquerade, the cloak under which he covers. A wound to the head should have proved fatal – not just to the head, but to the beast from whom the head protrudes. The beast? The beast is Islam – it should never have survived a wound to its head. But it did. The head? The head is Muhammad. His untimely death should have ended Islam. But it didn’t. Here is what the Bible says will happen. Here is what history says has happened. And here is how the two become one, and we will lay yet another piece to our puzzle! The Beast from the Sea and the 4th Beast of Daniel 7 - They are One and the Same! We move now to the New Testament book of Revelation. The author is the Apostle John, the “beloved” of Christ (John 21:20, Revelation 1:1). In our previous chapters, our primary focus was on Revelation 12, Daniel 2, and Daniel 7. We established the existence of a spiritual war, i.e., a holy war, waged throughout periods of human history by the great red dragon, satan, against the children of God (Revelation 12:17). Chapter 13 has this holy war in view as it introduces the “beast from the sea.”
Revelation 13:1 “. . . And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. 2 And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority.”
Here is what the text means. The beast is satan’s alter-ego, i.e., he acts in satan’s place with all the rights, power and authority of satan. The beast is of the same “nature” as the 4th beast of Daniel 7. We can conclude this by virtue of the presence of common characteristics on both beasts: 1. Ten horns (Daniel 7:7 and Revelation 13:1) 2. Blasphemies against God (Daniel 7:25 and Revelation 13:5) 3. Beast is like a leopard (Daniel 7:6 and Revelation 13:2), has feet like a bear (Daniel 7:5 and Revelation 13:2), and a mouth like a lion (Daniel 7:4 and Revelation 13:2). The common “nature” of the two beasts is that they are both Islamic. The beast from the sea is a “composite” of the first three beasts of Daniel 7, all of which were defeated by the 4th beast of Daniel 7. The combined strength and brutality of historical Babylon, Persia, and Greece is communicated through the combined characteristics of the beast from the sea.1 These three kingdoms were all destroyed and consumed by Islam.2 68
The beast from the sea and the 4th beast of Daniel 7 are both Islam by virtue of their common characteristics; but they depict Islam at different time periods. Daniel 7 depicts Islam in two stages – its birth (Daniel 7:7-8; 19-20); and its death and judgment (Daniel 7:9-11; 24-26). Revelation 13:1-10 depicts Islam throughout human history. This depiction includes Muhammad as its head; and continues through all seven of Islam’s successive empires. We will begin our review with Muhammad as the “head that dies.” Then, we will identify the six empires that succeed him for a total of seven heads of the ten horned beast from the sea. The Head that Dies. A seven headed beast with ten horns. How do you even draw such a beast? What do you do with the three extra horns? Are the ten horns on the seven heads? If so, which heads don’t have a horn? What about the ten diadems? Is one diadem on one horn? Pretty confusing wouldn’t you say? The ten horns, the ten diadems, and the seven heads, are present for a reason; and, each must be met to determine the identity of this beast. The seven heads – One thing is clear – one of the heads is very significant. This head is the only one of the seven that seems to warrant special mention. The text tells us that the head is slain. Why is the death of this head so important that it is worth making special mention of? The head represents Muhammad. His death should have ended Islam. But it did not. Here is the text. Revelation 13:3, “I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. . .” One of the leaders (a head of the beast) dies. Yet, there is a healing that takes place. At first glance, one might read the text to mean that the head, i.e., the leader, is healed from his fatal wound. Look again. Does “his” refer to the “head” or to the “beast” from whom the head protrudes? One might expect a wound to the head to impact the body the head is attached to. Consider two more verses to help clarify the meaning: Revelation 13:12, “. . .And he (the beast from the earth) makes the earth . . .to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. . . . 14 “And he deceives those who dwell on the earth . . telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life.” Notice. Both verses 12 and 14 refer to the “beast” not the “head” as the one whose wound is healed.” The head dies; but, the wounded beast recovers. Here is what happened when Muhammad died. According to the traditional biography of Muhammad, in 632AD, Muhammad died unexpectedly after complaining of headaches.3 Within ten years of the Hijra (migration from Mecca to Medina and inception of the Islamic era) and culminating with his claim of Mecca, Muhammad had calmed all of the Arabian Peninsula and united them under one god, Allah.4 The people 69
groups that comprised Islam at that time were nomadic bedouin tribes whose history within the Arabian Peninsula was comprised of fiercely independent clans, co-existing in the midst of constant battles and tribal conflicts. Islam, at Muhammad’s death, had not made advances outside of Arabia. Muhammad had, in fact, united a people group never before united under one banner. Karen Armstrong describes Muhammad’s success as follows: “When Muhammad died in 632, in the arms of his beloved wife, Aisha, almost all the tribes of Arabia had joined the ummah (the “community” of Islam) as confederates or as converted Muslims. Since members of the ummah could not, of course, attack one another, the ghastly cycle of tribal warfare, of vendetta and counter-vendetta, had ended. Single handedly, Muhammad had brought peace to the war-torn Arabia.”5 The Ridda Wars. In spite of having united Arabia through Islam, Muhammad’s feat was all but reversed upon his death. A crisis erupted. Muhammad not appointed a successor prior to his death. The Islamic empire was composed of bedouin nomads whose history together as Muslims was short lived and predicated upon Muhammad’s continued leadership as Messenger of Allah. When Muhammad died, all that had been accomplished by Muhammad was near to be lost. Historian Peter Stearns describes the situation this way, “But when Muhammad died suddenly in 632, it appeared that his religion might disappear. . . . Many of the bedouin tribes that had converted to Islam renounced the new faith in the months after Muhammad’s death, and his remaining followers quarreled over who should succeed him. Although these quarrels were never fully resolved, the community managed to find new leaders who directed a series of campaigns to force those who had abandoned the faith to return to the fold (the “Ridda Wars”).”6 Abu Bakr was elected the first caliph (successor) to Muhammad. Historian Bernard Lewis describes the crisis Abu Bakr faced: The first task of the new regime was to counter by military action a movement among the tribes known as the Ridda. . . This word, which means apostasy . . . (signified) the refusal of the tribes to recognize the succession of Abu Bakr. (It was, in effect,) not so much a relapse by converted Muslims to their previous paganism, but rather the simple and automatic termination of a political contract by the death of one of the parties. . . . Having taken no part in the election of Abu Bakr, they apparently felt no obligation to him, and at once suspended both tribute and treaty relations. To restore the hegemony of Medina, Abu Bakr had to make new treaties. While some of the nearer tribes accepted these, the more distant ones refused, and Abu Bakr was compelled to make military subjugation of the tribes a prelude to their reconversions.7 Islamic Jihad Outside Arabia. In the months of the Ridda wars, Abu Bakr’s efforts to restore the apostates to Islam were impacted by an unintended benefit. Islam was successful in raiding parties in mighty non-Arabian lands, including Iraq, Syria, and parts of Palestine. The successful conquest of nonArabian lands motivated the apostate Arabians to return to Islam. They saw the unexpected success as 70
the favor of God, and the possibility for the return of prosperity through plunder that had been theirs under Muhammad’s leadership. Bernard Lewis summarizes: The wars of Ridda, begun as a war of reconversion, developed into a war of conquest which ultimately led far beyond the boundaries of Arabia. The two conquests, on the one hand of Arabia itself, on the other of the neighboring provinces of Iraq, Syria, and Egypt, were simultaneous and interlinked, not successive. The Arabian tribes might never have been conquered had not the conquests in the north provided an attractive solution to the internal economic problems of the Peninsula. The first northern expeditions were merely raiding parties aimed at plunder, not conquest. The latter only followed when the weakness of the enemy was revealed. . . .”8 Here is how Karen Armstrong describes the unifying effort to Islam of the successful conquest of nonArabian lands. “Under Umar’s leadership, therefore, the Arabs burst into Iraq, Syria, and Egypt, achieving a series of astonishing victories. . . The Muslims were victorious (over the Syrians) at the Battle of Yarmuk (636) . . ., conquering Jerusalem in 638, and controlled the whole of Syria, Palestine and Egypt by 641. . . . This expansion continued. . . . . The experience of conquest enhanced their sense that something tremendous had happened to them. Membership of the umma was thus a transcendent experience, because it went beyond anything they had known or could have imagined in the old tribal days. Their success also endorsed the message of the Qur’an, which had asserted that a correctly guided society must prosper because it was in tune with God’s law. Look what had happened once they had surrendered to God’s will. Where Christians discerned God’s hand in apparent failure and defeat when Jesus died on the cross, Muslims experienced political success as sacramental and as a revelation of the divine presence in their lives.9 Conclusion. The head that is slain is Muhammad who died in 632AD after leading Islam for ten short years. The Islamic faith should have disappeared following Muhammad’s death. But it did not. It recovered under Abu Bakr’s caliphate (632-634AD) and then Umar’s caliphate (634 - 644AD). Abu Bakr and Umar restored the Arabian apostates to Islam through the Ridda wars. Almost by accident, Islam experienced success outside of Arabia during this same period of time. The wounded beast was no more wounded. It had not only recovered, it had grown to a miraculous size. Islam was here to stay; and, the beast had only begun to feed. The Seven Heads of the Beast. Having concluded that the “head that is slain” is that of Muhammad, we have a hint as to the meaning of the remaining six heads. They must be similar in function to that of Muhammad for they are all “heads.” Consider the following list of the seven empires or dynasties that ruled Islamdom, beginning with Muhammad and the four “Rightly Guided Caliphs.”
Heads of the Beast 1
Muhammad and the Caliphates (or Empires) from the 7th Century AD to Present Muhammad (622 - 632AD), followed by his first four successors (the Rightly Guided Caliphs): Abu Bakr (632-634) Umar (634-644) Uthman (644-656) Ali (656-661) 1st Empire: Umayyads10 - Syria (661-749): Caliphs: Muawiya I, Yazid I, . . .. Marwan II 2nd Empire: Abbasids11 - Baghdad (749-932): Caliphs: Abu Abbas, al-Saffah, . . . 3rd Empire - Baghdad: Buyids12 (or Buwayids13) (932-1055): Amirs: al-Qahir, . . . al-Qaim 3rd Empire - Egypt: Fatimids14 (Ismailis) (909-1171): Caliphs: Ubayd Allay, . . . 4th Empire - Baghdad: Seljuk Turks15 (1055 - 1194): Sultans: al-Muqtadi. . .al-Mustasim th 4 Empire - Egypt: Ayyubids16 (1169-1260) Sultans: Saladin . . . 5th Empire - Baghdad: Mongols17 (1258-1350) Sultans: Genghis Khan, . . . th 5 Empire - Egypt: Mamluks18 (1260-1517) - Egypt and Syria Caliph: Baybers. . . 6th Empire: Ottomans19 (1342-1924): Sultans: Murad I, Mehmed II . . . Mustafa Kemal Ataturk20
2 3 4
For the historians among us, a short history of each dynasty is found in the endnotes to the chapter. The seven empires above are the successive dynasties that led Islam following the death of Muhammad through the present day. In Islam’s earlier centuries, these dynasties were rooted in particular tribes or families of Arabia, e.g., the Umayyads, from the “Umayya family,” a leading family of Mecca21; and, then, in later centuries, in conquering families whose “homeland” was outside of Arabia, e.g., the Mongols or Ottomans. We cannot use the term “caliphate” to refer to these dynasties as the term is not used through all of Islam’s history. Similarly, the term, “caliph.” The Buyids used the term, “amir,” the Seljuks, Ayyubids, Mongols and Ottomans, used the term “sultan.” The Rightly Guided Caliphs are not counted as four separate empires but as one with Muhammad. The 72
reason for this is as follows: Historians refer to the Umayyads as the 1st “dynasty” of Islam following the death of Muhammad.22 The first four caliphs, although considered successors to Muhammad, are not considered “dynasties” by historians but referred to as individual successors to Muhammad, each serving for a relatively short period of time (as compared to the tribe of the Ummayyads, for example, who served for 90 years; and, the Abbasids for 175 years). In addition, in the 4th, 5th and 6th dynasties, there are two separate empires listed, yet, the two empires are counted as only one empire. The reason is because each ruled simultaneously with its counterpart, one in Baghdad and the other in Cairo, Egypt; and, both of which considered itself to be the center of true Islam for the same period of time. Modern Day Dynasty or Caliphate? Did you notice that our table ended in 1924 with the Ottomans? So what happened after the Ottomans? What about a modern day “caliphate”? There is none, at least at present. Islam has not been under one dynasty or caliphate since the time of the Ottomans. What about the Saudis? The Saudis, led by the al-Saud royal family, do not lead Islam. The Saudis do serve as the “custodian” of the holy places, Mecca and Medina, but their role as custodian is a far cry from the role uniting Islam under one caliphate. But never think that because there is no modern day “caliphate” of Islam uniting both Sunni and Shiite sects, that this is not the aim of Islamic jihadists today. Look at this Associated Press report by FOXNews on July 5th 2007: BAGHDAD — Al Qaeda's deputy leader sought to bolster the terror network's main arm in Iraq in a new video released Thursday, calling on Muslims to rally behind it at a time when the group is on the defensive, faced with U.S. offensives and splits with other insurgent groups. Ayman Al-Zawahiri defended the Islamic State of Iraq — the insurgent umbrella group headed by Al Qaeda — against critics among Islamic militant groups, saying it was a vanguard for fighting off the U.S. military and eventually establishing a "caliphate" of Islamic rule across the region.23 Conclusion. Seven heads of the beast from the sea; seven successive caliphates for Islam. We have a match. Coincidence, you say? Call it coincidence if you want, but for me, we have a match. . . and another piece to our puzzle. Ten Diadems on Ten Horns. Remember those ten diadems? We said we had to figure out what they represented also. Consider the text:
Revelation 13:1 And he stood on the sand of the seashore. And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names.
Ten diadems. Not seven, but ten. Go figure. Count them yourself. Go back to the table and count them. This time, count each dynasty individually, whether ruling alone or simultaneously in Cairo or Baghdad. 73
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
Muhammad (the first head with the first horn that is slain) Umayyads (the second head with the second horn; and 1st dynasty) Abbasids (the third head with the third horn; and 2nd dynasty) Buyids (the fourth head with fourth horn; and 3rd dynasty) Fatimids (the fourth head with fifth horn; and 3rd dynasty) Seljuks (the fifth head with sixth horn; and 4th dynasty) Ayyubids (the fifth head with seventh horn; and 4th dynasty) Mongols (the sixth head with eighth horn; and 5th dynasty) Mamluks (the sixth head with ninth horn; and 5th dynasty) Ottomans (the seventh head with tenth horn; and 6th dynasty).
The seven heads each have a horn. In addition, the 4th, 5th, and 6th heads each have two horns. The three heads with two horns are shown in the table by two caliphs “competing” with one another – one from Baghdad, the other from Egypt. The diadems on each horn signify the representative caliph, sultan, amir, or king of the particular dynasty (just use whichever terms suits you). For this purpose, it really doesn’t matter that they served during the same time, just that they served. Their service is marked by the presence of a horn; the diadem represents the caliphate or dynasty. Coincidence you say? No. For those who have eyes to see, we have laid yet another piece to our puzzle.
Chapter 5 Endnotes.
1Robert L. Thomas, Revelation 8 - 22, An Exegetical Commentary, p. 156. 2Rome is oftentimes suggested as the identity of this beast since Rome was the next successor in conquest to Greece. See Robert L. Thomas, p. 156. However, Rome did not conduct a holy war against its opponents. Islam did; and, further, Islam conquered Rome. 3Bernard Lewis, The Arabians in History, p. 45. 4Karen Armstrong, Islam, A Short History, p. 23. 5Karen Armstrong, p. 23. 6Peter Stearns, etal., World Civilizations, The Global Experience, Volume I, Beginnings to 1750, p. 287. 7Bernard Lewis, p. 50. 8Bernard Lewis, p. 50. 9Karen Armstrong, p 26-29. 10Ummayyads. The Umayyads were the first Islamic dynasty. Under the Umayyads, Mecca remained Islam’s holiest city, but the Islamic capital was established in Damascus, Syria, after the murder of Caliph Uthman. The Umayyad clan was comprised of descendants of Umayyah, a member of the Quraysh Tribe of Mecca. Caliph Uthman, the third of the Rightly Guided Caliphs, was a relative of Umayya, but not a descendant. Muawiya I (661) is considered as the first caliph of the Umayyads. It was Muawiya that opposed Ali and his sons, Hasan and Husayn, as legitimate caliphs of Islam. Under Muawiya I, and then his son, Yazid, the divide between Sunni and Shiite sects of Islam was solidified, reaching its peak in the Battle of Karbala, 680AD, when Ali’s son, Husayn, was brutally martyred along with his small band of followers. The Umayyad caliphs had the reputation of being cruel tyrants who favored their family members over other Muslims. The Dome of the Rock was constructed in 691AD by alMalik, a Umayyad caliph. The rule of the Umayyads ended in 750AD when the Abbasids killed Caliph Marwan II at the Battle of the Zab River. See Glasse’, p. 408-409; 11, and Peter Stearns, etal., World Civilizations, The Global Experience, Volume I, Beginnings to 1750, p. 290. 11Abbasids. The Abbasids were the second dynasty of Islam. The Abbasids took their name from their clan – the House of Abbas. The patriarch of the clan was al-Abbas ibn `Abd al-Muttalib, the uncle of Muhammad. Hence, this clan claimed an indirect blood relationship with Muhammad, resulting in initial support among the Shiites. Al-Abbas led his armies in initial victories over the Umayyad armies in the mid-8th century. Al-Abbas recruited Shiites as his allies against the Ummayyads by virtue of the claim of blood relationship to Muhammad. Persia and Iraq fell to the Abbasids in 750, and the ultimate victory was at the River Zab near the Tigris in 750 where the Umayyad Caliph Marwan II was killed. The Abbasids wanted to eliminate all future claim of the Ummayyads and invited the remaining members of the Umayyads to a reconciliation banquet. As the Umayyads were enjoying the feast, the guards covered them with carpets and they were all slaughtered. See Peter Stearns, etal., World Civilizations, The Global Experience, Volume I, Beginnings to 1750, p. 294. Shortly after their defeat of the Umayyads, the Abbasids moved the capital to Baghdad in 762. They enthroned themselves as caliph and began persecution of the Shiites who had allied with them against the Umayyads. They sought to purge the various strands of Shiism from Islam. See Glasse, p. 11, and Bernard Lewis, Arabs in History, pp. 84f. 12Buyids. The Buyids were Shiites of Persian origin. In 945 they invaded the heartlands of the Abbasid Empire and captured Baghdad. The Buyids chose not to depose the Abbasid caliphs, but rather, to retain them to legitimize their own reign. The Abbasid caliphs were merely figure heads under Buyid reign. The Buyids controlled the caliph and his court but could do little to preserve the Islamic empire from further disintegration. They were supplanted in 1055 by another group of nomadic invaders from central Asia via Persia, the Seljuk Turks. See Peter Stearns, etal., World Civilizations, The Global Experience, Volume I,
Beginnings to 1750, p. 310. See also Glasse’, p. 80. According to Bernard Lewis, the Buyids adopted the title, “Amir al-Umara,” “Commander of Commanders,” symbolizing his headship of both the state and religion. See Arabs in History, p. 105-106. 13Bernard Lewis, p. 105. 14Fatimids. The Fatimids were Ismaili Shiites (Seveners) who founded Islam’s “other” capital in Cairo, Egypt, in opposition to the latter reigning caliphate of the Abbasids of Baghdad. The Fatimids established their own caliph in Egypt thereby laying claim to both spiritual and political authority for all of Islam (contra to the latter Abbasid caliphate reigning in Baghdad). The Fatimids took their name from Fatima, daughter of Muhammad and wife of Ali, thereby claiming blood descent from Muhammad. The Fatimid Caliphs also were the Imams of the Ismailis, a sect of Shiite Islam, whose doctrine defines the Imam or Caliph as divine. See Glasse’, p. 123-125. The Ismailis are also known for the Shiite group referred to as “Assassins,” a group of fanatical followers who waged a campaign of terror and assassinations against the kings and princes of Islam in the name of a mysterious hidden Imam. See Arabs in History, p. 160-162. 15Seljuks. The Seljuks (or “Saljuks”) were Sunnis of Turkish origin. Their name comes from the military family that led them (See Bernard Lewis, Arabs in History, p. 160). The House of Seljuk was a branch of the Oghuz Turks who in the 9th century lived on the periphery of the Muslim world, north of the Caspian and Aral sea. In the 10th century the Seljuks migrated from their ancestral homelands into mainland Persia, in the province of Khurasan, where they mixed with the local population and adopted the Persian culture and language. The Seljuks supplanted the Buyid Amirs in Baghdad in 1055 and immediately removed all Shiite influence that had occurred during the Buyid reign, marking the beginning of Turkic reign in the Middle East. They seized control of the caliphate under their leader, Toghrul Beg (or “Bey”), who assumed the title, “Sultan.” The Seljuks continued the practice of the Buyids of not deposing the Abbasid Caliphs but using them as figureheads to legitimize their reign. According to Lewis, the Seljuk Turks were able to wrestle Syria and Palestine from local rulers, and from the declining reign of the Fatimids of Egypt in the West. Their conquest even extended to areas under the control of the Christian Byzantines in Turkey. Under the Seljuks, a large part of Islam was united under a single authority for the first time since the early Caliphate. See Arabs in History, p. 161 and Cyril Glasse’, p. 350. The Seljuk advance into Anatolia, Asia Minor, against the Byzantines, opened the door to nomadic peoples of Turkic origin. The region later formed the nucleus of the powerful Ottoman Empire. The Sultanate provided stability to Islam until the conquest of the Mongols in 1258. 16Ayyubids. The Ayyubids were a Sunni dynasty founded by Salah ad-Din al-Ayyubi or Saladin in the late 12 th century when Egypt was under control of the Fatimids. In 1177, Saladin declared the Fatimid Caliphate ended. He restored the name of the Abbasid Caliphs of Baghdad as Egyptian caliphs and established himself as ruler of Egypt and eventually Syria and Palestine. It was Saladin who led Islam to reclaim lands lost to the Crusaders during the First Crusade (1193). See Arabs in History, p. 166 `67 and Cyril Glasse’, p. 59. The Abbasids continued their control of Syria, Palestine and Egypt until the arrival of the Mongols in 1258. 17Mongols. The Mongols were a people of the Siberian Forests of Asia. According to Glasse’, the Mongols were Shintoists who saw God as a spirit whose presence was active in nature. This caused them to be naively open to other religions, treating their own rites as magic that could be used in conjunction with the religions of conquered lands. After conquering Islamic lands, the Mongols adopted the religion of the conquered peoples into their Shintoist origins. Their leader was Genghis Khan who successfully united the Mongol tribes in 1206. The superiority of the Mongols lay in their tribal unity, their extremely strict discipline and ability to endure hardship, and their strategic use of spies, terrorism, and superior siege equipment. Mongols were known for their cruelty and barbarism. See Cyril Glasse’, p. 274. According to Bernard Lewis, Genghis Khan led the Mongols in 1221 in victorious conquest over Iran. Genghis died in 1227, resulting a pause in Mongol advance into Islamdom. Mongol Prince Huleku captured Baghdad in 1258, killed the Caliph, and abolished the Abbasid Caliphate. In spite of the decline of the caliphate to the point of figurehead only under both Buyid and Seljuk reigns, the caliphate represented the legal center of Islam and the token of its unity. In its destruction, the end of an Islamic ear occurred. The Mongol conquest of the Arab world was confined to Iraq and Iran. Syria and Egypt were saved from the Mongols by the Ayyubids. See Barnard Lewis, p. 168-169. 18Mamluks. According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mamluk, “The first mamluks served the Abbasid caliphs in 9th century Baghdad. The Abbasids recruited them mainly from areas near the Caucasus (mainly Circassian and Georgian) and in areas north of the Black Sea (mainly Turkic, most of whom were Kipchak Turks). Most of the captured were of non-Muslim origin. The
mamluks were often sold into slavery by impoverished steppe families or kidnaped by slave-traders. The mamluk system gave rulers troops who had no link to any established power structure. . . . The slave-troops were strangers of the lowest possible status who could not conspire against the ruler and who could easily be punished if they caused trouble, making them a great military asset. Mamluks were frequently used as mercenaries.” Ironically, the eventual commander of the Mamluks, Baybers, was earlier enslaved by the Mongols before he was sold to the Egyptians where he rose to power through his military service. See Peter Stearns, etal., World Civilizations, The Global Experience, Volume I, Beginnings to 1750, p. 488. Baybers united Syria and Egypt and repulsed the advancing Mongols from the east. Baybers also crushed the remnants of the Crusaders in Syria. An ingenious idea of Baybars was to invite a member of the Abbasid family to establish himself as Caliph in Cairo. The caliph was nothing more than court functionary of the Mamluk Sultan. The caliph had no authority or even right to express his opinion. He passed his time visiting the Mamluk officials and staging parties for them. According to Bernard Lewis, the Cairo Caliphs represented the final stage in the decay of the Caliphate. See Arabs in History, p. 170. The Mamluks remained in power in Syria and Egypt until the advance of the Ottomans in the fifteenth century. 19Ottoman Dynasty. The Ottoman Dynasty takes its name from the Osman family of Turkey which became increasingly powerful during the early years of the 14 th century. The Osmans populated an area of the world situated on the western edge of the Seljuk Empire in Anatolia from where it served as a buffer zone between the Byzantines to the west and the Seljuks to the south and east. In this context, the Osmans acted as mercenaries at different times for the Byzantines and then the Seljuks, expanding their own territory at the expense of both. See David R. Ringrose, Expansion and Global Interaction, p. 42. The Ottomans took advantage of the death of the Byzantine Emperor in 1341 which brought civil war there, and the bubonic plaque in Europe allowed Ottoman invasion as far inland as Bulgaria. After conquering much of the Balkans and Southeastern Europe, the Ottomans turned their armies to the land of Islam. Beginning in the 15 th century, Selim I, the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, conquered Egypt. However, the prize for the Ottoman’s was the long cherished capital of Byzantium, Constantinople. In 1453AD, Constantinople was taken by Mehmet the Conqueror and immediately renamed “Istanbul.” See Karen Armstrong, Islam, A Short History, p. 109-110. With the conquest of Constantinople, the age of the Ottomans began, reaching their zenith under Sulayman the Magnificent in 1566. Sulayman controlled Asia Minor, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, North Africa, the coast regions of Arabia, Azerbaijan, the Balkans, Hungary, and vassal states in the Volga regions and the southern steppes of Russia. Karen Armstrong states, “By the end of the fifteenth century, Islamdom was the greatest power bloc in the world. It had advanced into eastern Europe, into the Eurasian steppes, and into sub-Saharan, Africa, in the wake of the Muslim traders. . . . The whole world seemed to be becoming Islamic. Even those who did not live under Muslim rule discovered that the Muslims controlled the high seas, and that when they left their own lands they had to confront Islamdom. . . . Islam seemed invincible, and now Muslims were ready to establish new empires, which would become the most powerful and up to date in the world.” Karen Armstrong, Islam, A Short History, p. 110-111. The success of the Ottoman Empire was in no doubt impacted by the Ottoman’s mastery of gunpowder. According to Peter Stearns, p. 519, it was the use of huge cannons of the Ottomans against the Byzantine fortresses of Constantinople which paved the way to success; and, the use of field guns to supplement trained infantry was just as much the reason for the Ottoman’s success against the Middle East. See Peter Stearns, etal., World Civilizations, The Global Experience, Volume I, Beginnings to 1750, p. 519. The Ottoman Empire lost its status as a world power in the 17 th and following centuries as battle after battle was lost and territories formerly within the great Empire were granted independence or claim of invading forces. Dr Timothy Furnish summarizes a final attempt to resurrect the caliphate by the Ottomans in the 18 th century. He sates, “The Ottomans, starting in the eighteenth century, resurrected the caliphate as a rallying point for Muslims against Russian, British, and French imperialism. Late Ottoman rulers were attempting to recapture some of the religious legitimacy that had been lost with utilization of the prosaic titles of padishah and sultan, by setting themselves up as the world's preeminent Muslim rulers. This attempt ultimately failed to rally the Islamic world to their side at times of trouble, and Kemal Atatürk abolished both the sultanate and caliphate following the establishment of the Turkish Republic in 1924.” See http://www.meforum.org/article/159 at June 13, 2007. Amidst the decline of the Ottoman Empire, efforts were sought to modernize the Muslim state. “The process of reform is referred to as: “tanzimat”( meaning reorganization of the Ottoman Empire). Tanzimat was a period of reformation that began in 1839 and ended with the First Constitutional Era in 1876. Tanzimat emerged from the minds of reformist sultans like Mahmud II and Abdülmecid as well as prominent reformers who were European educated bureaucrats, such as Ali Pasha, Fuad Pasha, Ahmed
Cevdet Pasha, and Midhat Pasha. They recognized that the old religious and military institutions no longer met the needs of the empire in the modern world.” Tanzimat reforms had far reaching effects. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and other progressive leaders and thinkers of the Republic of Turkey and of many other former Ottoman states in the Balkans, the Middle East and North Africa were educated in the schools established during the Tanzimat period. . . . The reforms peaked in 1876 with the implementation of an Ottoman constitution checking the autocratic powers of the Sultan. The details of this period are covered under the First Constitutional Era. While the new Sultan Abdülhamid II signed the first constitution, he quickly turned against it.” See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decline_of_the_Ottoman_Empire. 20According to Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ataturk “Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was an army officer, revolutionary statesman, the founder of the Republic of Turkey and its first president. Mustafa Kemal established himself as a successful military commander while serving as a division commander in the Battle of Gallipoli of World War I. Following the defeat of the Ottoman Empire at the hands of the Allies, and the subsequent plans for its partition, Mustafa Kemal led the Turkish national movement in what would become the Turkish War of Independence. His successful military campaigns led to the liberation of the country and the establishment of the Republic of Turkey. Mustafa Kemal implemented what are known as Atatürk's Reforms, which led to sweeping changes in the political, economic and cultural sphere of the Turkish nation and the drive to create a modern, democratic and secular state based on Western principles of governance shaped by Kemalist ideology.” 21Bernard Lewis, The Arabs in History, p. 59. 22See Cyril Glasse’ p. 408, 23Available at http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,288065,00.html at July 11, 2007.
Chapter 6 Islam’s Harlot - Rebuilding the Tower of Babel Introduction. I suppose it’s time to begin the hard stuff. The future. So far we have had the luxury of looking only at the past. Like hand in glove, we have matched history with Bible prophecy. Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t been without difficulty. Unveiling Islam in the statue of Daniel 2, the 4th beast of Daniel 7, and the beast from the sea of Revelation 13 hasn’t been a “cake walk;” but we have had the luxury of looking behind us. Hindsight is 20/20. We look now to the future. In this chapter, we will identify the “harlot” that rides the “scarlet beast”; and, the “wine” of her cup. We will lay the ground work for her future annihilation by her own associates. The chapters of the Bible that we will focus on are the 17th and 18th chapters of Revelation. As we begin the 17th chapter, a woman appears riding a beast. The woman, called “Babylon the Great,” is described as a harlot; she is pictured as extraordinarily wealthy and in control of many nations, peoples and multitudes. She rides a scarlet beast who has ten horns, seven heads, and full of blasphemous names. As the 17th chapter closes, the woman is pictured as the epitome of wealth, and power. Yet, in “one hour,” the beast that carries her destroys her.
I almost forgot. Our puzzle. We have to start over; need a new one. A different time needs a different puzzle. What’s more, this puzzle will be a portrait! The Harlot “Looks” Like This. Suppose you were meeting me at the airport, and your only prior contact with me was through email. All you had to go on was my description of myself which might go like this: male, caucasian, age 55, 5'10", brown hair, brown eyes, about 180 lbs (depending on how close it is to Christmas!), and will be wearing a light blue shirt and dark blue trousers. What would you look for? The light blue shirt, right?. That’s sort of what we have to do now. We have to find the “light blue shirt” of the harlot; we have to identify her “from the crowd” so to speak. Revelation 17 is the passage we begin with. Here are three verses that summarize the woman for us:
Revelation 17:3 And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns. 4 And the woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality, 5 and upon her forehead a name was written, a mystery, "BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH."
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Here are the identifiers the Bible gives us for the woman (the Bible verses that are referenced can be found in the endnotes). 1. The harlot is a nation, kingdom, or empire (Rev 17:18, 18:6)1. 2. The harlot has successfully waged wars on all people groups, but particularly, Christians (Rev 17:6, 18:24)2 . 3. The harlot possesses something that the entire world desires, and, in fact, is addicted to (Rev 17:2, 18:3, 14:8)3. 4. The harlot is very wealthy (Rev 17:4)4. 5. The harlot’s “wine of her immorality” has made the businessmen of the world, wealthy and great (Rev 18:3, 18:19, 18:23)5. 6. The kings of the earth have committed “immorality” with the harlot (Rev 17:2, 18:3)6. 7. The harlot is blinded by her arrogance; she believes her “fruit” will always be present (Rev 18:5, 7)7. 8. The harlot is called “Babylon the Great”; but her identity is a mystery (Rev 17:5)8. 9. The harlot sits on seven mountains (Rev 17:9)9. 10. The harlot will be hated by those whom she is associated with. Her associates will destroy her in one hour (Rev 17:16, 18:10, 18:17)10. 11. The harlot will one day (after her destruction) long for her own “fruit,” which apparently others long for also (Rev 18:14)11. The Woman Is a “Spiritual Adulteress.” The woman is called a “harlot.” This is a spiritual term, not a sensual term. As a harlot, the woman “prostitutes” a competing religion to that of Jehovah God, “Yahweh” to the Jewish people, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and to Christians, the literal Father of the only begotten Son, Jesus.12 Bible scholar Robert Thomas puts it this way: “With this background, it is beyond dispute that this woman of Rev. 17:1 is the epitome of spiritual fornication or idolatry. She leads the world in the pursuit of false religion whether it be paganism or perverted false revealed religion.”13 Allah, Islam’s God, is an alternate deity that competes with God and His only begotten Son, Jesus. This competition originated in the seventh century when Islam was put forth as the “correction” of Judaism and Christianity by Muhammad in his Night Revelation offered by the angel Gabriel. Are Allah and Jehovah, one and the same God? Islam holds that “Allah” and “Jehovah” are one and the same God. In fact, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity all claim to worship the “God” of Abraham. However, Islam believes the “promised son” of Abraham was Ishmael (by Hagar, Abraham’s hand maid) who is the patriarch of the Arabic peoples; and Judaism believes the “promised son” of Abraham is Isaac (by Sarah, Abraham’s wife) who is the patriarch of the Jewish peoples. Islam also holds that although Jesus was a prophet, he never claimed to be the Son of God as Christians believe. To Islam, “Allah” is translated “God” in English. Therefore, to a Muslim, “Allah” is the same God referred to by Judaism and Christianity, but without the corruptions of both faiths. If Allah and Jehovah are one and the same God, then Islam is not a spiritual adulteress. If they are not the
same God, then Islam is a spiritual adulteress. Lets address this very important question. A follower of the “New Age” faith advocates that all human beings carry the “Divine Spark” within; and, therefore every human being is “God.” Human beings must be “enlightened” of this fact, and when we are enlightened, then we can identify the “God” within. Is the “God” of the New Age faith the same as the God of another faith, particularly a monotheistic faith simply because they are both referred to as “God”? Not according to Judaism, Christianity, or Islam, all monotheistic faiths. A monotheistic faith worships one God who defines Himself in the singular and who prescribes how believers relate to him, obey him, and are made right before him. Similarly, because Islam considers Allah and Jehovah to be one and the same does not make it so. To answer this question, one must compare each religion’s doctrines and beliefs about “God” by looking at the books that govern each. In addition, the comparison must be made by using the entire belief system; one cannot pick and choose which beliefs to apply. Picking and choosing which beliefs to follow which ones not to follow, only renders one an unbeliever. Consider this statement by one of Islam’s own, Osama bin Laden: “Whoever believes in some of the book and doesn’t believe in other parts of it is an infidel indeed.”14 Ergun and Emir Caner, in their book, Unveiling Islam, offer three questions to make the determination of whether Allah and Jehovah are in reality the same God: 1. Is Allah “triune”? That is, is Allah, one God manifesting Himself in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? 2. Does Allah have a Son? 3. Is Allah the vicarious Redeemer and atoning Lamb of God?15 The answer to each of the three questions based on the Qur’an is “No.” The Qur’an denies the “Trinity” (advocated by Christians of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) (Qur’an 4:171, 5:73)16; The Qur’an denies that Jesus was the Son of God and that Jesus ever claimed to be the Son of God (Qur’an 4:171, 9:30, 5:75, 5:17, 5:71, and other Qur’anic passages)17; and, the Qur’an denies Jesus, as Divine Redeemer, Savior, who died on a cross to save humanity from their sins (Qur’an 4:157)18. Hence, Islam denies the Trinity, the Divinity of Jesus Christ, and the Messiah-Savior role of Jesus. Regardless of Islam’s claim that Allah and God are the same, they cannot be. By their own words, by their own definitions of the nature of the God of their monotheistic faiths, they exclude Allah and Jehovah from one another. The Qur’an defines Allah; the Bible defines God. They are as different in their definitions as night is to day. One may call the night, day; or the day, night, but it will not change the darkness. So it is with Allah. He is dark; and, so is his harlot.19 She is dark; it is for this reason that her judgment comes. We just laid our first piece of the new puzzle . . . Islam is a spiritual adulteress; and, the harlot acts in that role. It is as if this first piece of the puzzle lays a background for the rest of the puzzle, a fabric that is woven through the rest of the pieces.
When will the Scarlet Beast and the Harlot Appear? The scarlet beast has ten horns and seven heads. The ten horns represent ten kings, all of a future period. Look. Revelation 17:12 "And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings, who have not yet received a kingdom, but they receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour. (Emphasis supplied) The text tells us the period of the scarlet beast and her harlot is a period in the future, for her ten kings “have not yet received a kingdom.” But how future? Can we find other hints as to exactly when this future period will be? Yes. Revelation 17:14 tells us that the specific time period being described is the period when the scarlet beast wages war against the Lamb (Jesus Christ (John 1:36)), and the Lamb overcomes the beast, i.e., the Lamb is victorious. This is the same period, the same holy war, the same victory, that is prophesied in Daniel 2:44 and Daniel 7:9-11; 26-27. In this period, the Ancient of Days takes His seat on the throne of judgment as the “beast is slain,” and its “body destroyed and given to the burning fire” (Daniel 7:11).20 It is the period of the Last Days, the period of judgment. Armageddon and the “Kings from the East.” This period of the Last Days that is envisioned in the victory celebration of Revelation 17:14 encompasses another battle that must still be waged after the destruction of the harlot. It is the battle the Bible calls, “Armageddon,” that last battle of Revelation 16:1216 and 19:19. The scripture tells us who the battle will be waged against: NAS Revelation 16:12 And the sixth angel poured out his bowl upon the great river, the Euphrates; and its water was dried up, that the way might be prepared for the kings from the east. (Emphasis supplied). Notice, “. . .that the way might be prepared for the kings from the east.” The kings from the east are the sons of Ishmael. Remember the prophecy of Ishmael?
Genesis 16:12 "And he will be a wild donkey of a man, His hand will be against everyone, And everyone's hand will be against him; And he will live to the east of all his brothers." Emphasis supplied).
The presence of the “sons from the east” in the last battle, Armageddon, is once again confirmation that the battle before the last battle is similarly waged against the “sons from the east,” i.e., Muslims. However, this time, Christianity will not capitulate as they did when Jerusalem surrendered to the Muslims in 638AD. Guess who will be “king of the mountain” then? In the Last Days, Who Will Come After the Ottomans? Remember the last of those seven Islamic dynasties? The Ottomans. In the 15th century, the Ottomans claimed all of Islam through its global conquest. The Ottoman Empire spanned all of the Middle East and beyond to Egypt and North Africa as well as into the kingdoms of Asia. Before the Ottomans, it was the Mongols in Baghdad and the Mamluks in Egypt. Neither of these conquerors were Islamic but converted to Islam after their conquest. With the coming of these dynasties of Islam, the dynasties from the Arabic speaking lands of Islam were no longer the “crown” of Islam. In fact, the last Arabian Caliphate was the Abbasids whose dynasty all but ended in the 12th century through the sword of the Seljuk Turks in Baghdad and the Ayyubids in Egypt.
The Ottomans declined in the latter years of their dynasty to the point that in 1924, Ataturk, the President of Turkey, successfully led his country to repeal Islamic law as the basis upon which the Muslim society was governed.21 Turkey became a Republic. Ataturk sought to “modernize,” his country and govern it based on a constitution much like the ways of modernized Europe and the West. The Ottoman dynasty that had conquered all of Islam, bringing it under one authority, was all but a weakened shell of its 16th century power. The void in Islam had to be filled. What Islamic kingdom would fill it? One did arise – but not strong enough to establish a caliphate for Islam. The legacy of this kingdom would not be military dominance as others before it such as the Ottomans. This kingdom would be known in history for a different characteristic – wealth. Who would it be? The Arabians. Back to the history books! Saudi Arabia - A Short History. To understand how Saudi Arabia fits into Last Days prophecy, we must review the beginnings of the Kingdom.22 In the mid-18th century an Islamic cleric named Muhammad bin Abd al-Wahhab believed that Islam had moved from its historic roots and that its believers no longer followed the true Islam of Muhammad. Abd alWahhab began to preach and teach what he considered to be the teachings of Muhammad over 1000 years before; and, specifically, a teaching which sought to purify the Sunni sect of Islam from all “innovations” added to Muhammad’s teachings from the 10th century forward.23 Al-Wahhab’s teachings were greeted with great resistance resulting in his being driven out of Medina. His path took him to the Najd, an area of the central Arabian desert wastelands. There he was received by Muhammad ibn Sa`ud who had heard of al-Wahhab’s teachings. Abd al-Wahhab and al-Sa`ud formed an alliance devoted to returning Islam to its purist form. Abd alWahhab represented the spiritual leader in the alliance; and al-Sa`ud represented the political and military leader. Together they began a reformation in Islam that is referred to today as the “Wahhabi Reformation.” The Wahhabi Reformation proved to be one of the bloodiest of all Islamic conquests - but this time, the conquest was not of infidels, but of fellow Muslims. The Wahhabi conquest which began in the early 18th century, continued through the 20th century. The 20th century conquest was carried on by Abdul Aziz bin Sa`ud, a descendant of al-Sa’ud. After almost three decades of warfare, on September 22, 1932, Aziz, having completed his conquest of the Arabian Peninsula, named his conquered lands, the “Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.” The House of Sa`ud became the “royal family,” the most important family of Saudi Arabia; and the Wahhabis the second most important, the religious arm. Of the 20 hijackers of 9/11, fifteen (or more) were Saudi Wahhabbis. The Discovery of Oil and its Impact Upon Saudi Arabia. In 1932 when Aziz ibn Sa`ud proclaimed most of the Arabian Peninsula to be the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia was at most a remote “back water.” Saudi Arabia as a nation was insignificant in matters of global commerce. In fact, the Peninsula was composed largely of rural people who followed centuries old ways as farmers and nomadic herdsmen driving sheep, goats, and camels across great desert expanses. Economically, the Kingdom was poor and
utterly lacking in industrial development.24 Its sole source of revenue came from fees charged to Muslims on their annual pilgrimage to Mecca. “When Aziz finally became king, the global depression had reduced the flow of pilgrims to a trickle, and the royal family of the new Kingdom teetered on the brink of insolvency.”25 America was in the throes of its great depression in the late 1920's and early 1930's when Saudi Arabia was brought under Aziz bin Sa`ud’s control. At that time, oil had not been discovered on the Peninsula. In the world market, particularly America, the depression had resulted in the erosion of oil demand to such an extent that the price of a barrel of oil had fallen to 10cents a barrel.26 Through the efforts of a Britain envoy, Sir Harry St John Philby, an American multimillionaire, Charles Crane (Crane Plumbing), and officials of Standard Oil of California (SOCAL), King Aziz entered into an agreement granting SOCAL an “oil concession.” This concession allowed SOCAL an exclusive right to explore and produce oil in the entire Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. The Agreement was signed on May 29, 1933 and would prove to be the only agreement Saudi Arabia would ever sign with an outside party.27 This decision of 1933 by Aziz proved to forever change the nature of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. From this Agreement, Saudi Arabia became the most important oil producer on the face of the earth. According to the “BP Statistical Review of World Energy,” Saudi Arabia, as of 2003, held 22.9% of the world’s proven oil reserves.28 The Middle East, as a group, which includes in addition to Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Syria, Yemen and Bahrain, accounts for 63.3% of the world’s proven oil reserves. Of the Middle East group, Saudi Arabia possesses more than twice the reserves of its closest rival, Iran. At present, Saudi Arabian oil is produced by its 100% owned company, Saudi Aramco. Aramco produces more oil each day that any oil-producing country and twice as much oil as the next largest oil corporation in the world.29 A Preview of Our Match! Here is what the Bible says about the harlot. See if you can’t see Saudi Arabia peeking behind each one of these identifiers. 1. The harlot is very wealthy (Rev 17:4); 2, The harlot possesses something that the entire world desires (Rev 17:2, 18:3, 14:8); 3. The harlot’s “wine of her immorality” has made the businessmen of the world, wealthy and great (Rev 18:3, 18:19, 18:23);. 4. The “kings of the earth” have committed immorality with the harlot (Rev 17:2). And what is it that the harlot possesses that “qualifies” her? Bet you’ve already got it. Oil. Black gold! The “Wine of Her Immorality.” This phrase keeps appearing in the text. What does it mean? Lets look at the meaning of “wine,” first, then we will look at the meaning of “immorality.” Almost every time the phrase “wine of her immorality” appears, it is accompanied by another word that means: wealth, commerce, or business, of either the harlot or those who acquire wealth through her. Read
for yourself: Revelation 17:4 “. . . The woman is clothed in purple and scarlet, adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations . . . .” 18:3 . . , and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality. . . . 15 "The merchants of these things, who became rich from her, will stand at a distance . . . 16 saying, “Woe, Woe is the great city, she who was clothed in fine linen, and purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones 17 for in one hour such great wealth has been laid waste!” . . . 19 And they threw dust on their heads and were crying out, weeping and mourning, saying, 'Woe, woe, the great city, in which all who had ships at sea became rich by her wealth, for in one hour she has been laid waste!'” The consistent focus of these verses is financial in nature; that is, wealth that comes from the harlot to those who associate with her. The wealth is not created by the selling of products to the harlot; but rather, the merchants have become rich from the harlot: Verse 18:15 states, "The merchants of these things, who became rich from her.” (Emphasis supplied). Petroleum’s Impact on the Global Economy. The wine of the harlot is Saudi Arabian oil. Fill in the blanks yourself. Think about the impact petroleum has on the global economy. Don’t just think about oil and gas multinationals, think of all industries. Petroleum offers the advantage of extending the sales territories for all companies – from local boundaries to international boundaries – boundaries crossed by virtue of mobilized, fueled, shipping lanes whether by land, sea, or air. Take away petroleum, and the world would not only be a smaller place, but a poorer place. The economic impact of petroleum is enormous. Without the means to ship products beyond local boundaries, the revenues of all companies would be impacted. Without petroleum, there would be no New York Stock Exchange; or any stock exchange in the world for that matter – for the absence of profits would be a knife to the neck of the global economy. The World’s Addiction to Petroleum. Read what the text states,
Revelation 17:2 “. . . and those who dwell on the earth were made drunk with the wine of her immorality.". . . 18:3 "For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, . . .” The 21st century world is addicted to petroleum. We need it for our automobiles, our airplanes, our ships; natural gas for our stoves, boilers, heat pumps, almost every industry requires some form of petroleum product whether in powering transportation or manufacturing equipment or powering factories. We cannot do without petroleum. Matthew R. Simmons in his book, “Twilight in the Desert, gives some specifics about our addiction: “In 1969, the last year that oil was really cheap, the world oil demand was only 45 million barrels a day. Oil prices were just over $1 per barrel, and many experts thought they were overpriced by a factor of three to four. By the time the Iranian Revolution began in 1979, oil prices were about $18, setting the stage for the second oil shock of the 1970's. When Iran’s troubles began, oil prices soared once more, going from $18 to a peak of over $40 a barrel. In the meantime, how much did this explosion in oil prices really impact demand? Between 1969 and 1978, global oil demand grew from 45 to 65 million
barrels a day, an increase of 44% in a decade, despite the fact that oil prices had soared by about 14fold.”30 The International Energy Agency, according to its report dated February 13, 2007, quantifies 2006 global oil demand at 84 million barrels a day with a projection of 86.5 million barrels a day for 2007.31 Oil is the reason why Islam on the Arabian Peninsula has been resurrected. Without it, the Peninsula would still be the backwater that it was before 1933, the year that King Aziz granted an oil concession to SOCAL. We have just laid three pieces to the puzzle, each filled by Saudi Arabia, the harlot. She is: 1 - wealthy; 2 - possesses something the world desires - oil; and, 3 - has made the businessmen of the world extraordinarily wealthy. Just in case you had some doubts, . . . The Seven Mountains Upon Which the Woman Sits. But what about the “seven mountains the woman sits upon”? If the harlot is Saudi Arabia, who or what are the seven mountains? Revelation 17:9 states, "Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits,” The text tells us nothing more about the “seven mountains.” Is the reader to understand them to be seven literal mountains or do the mountains have a symbolic meaning?32 If they are literal, how does the harlot literally sit on seven mountains? The seven heads have nothing to do with seven literal mountains. They relate to another factor – the one factor that keeps appearing in the text over and over again – wealth. The mountains are the wellspring of the harlot’s wealth. They are the fountainhead! An astounding fact of Saudi oil production is that for the last 60 years, 90% of her oil has been produced by seven giant oil fields.33 Simmons lists the seven and their daily oil production as follows: Ghawar Safaniya Abqaiq Berri Zuluf Marjan Abu Sa’fah 5,000,000 960,000 650,000 400,000 500,000 400,000 150,000.34
Simmons describes the largest of the seven oil giants, Ghawar, as follows: Ghawar, the most super of super-giants, is the greatest oilfield the world has ever known. After more than 50 years of production, Saudi Aramco claims that Ghawar still contains 70 billion barrels of proven oil reserves (and statements from recent Aramco brochure describe Ghawar as still containing oneeighth of the world’s reserves. If true, this equates to some 125 billion barrels).35 For almost 60 years, Saudi Arabia’s “Big Seven” oilfields have produced almost all of the enormous oil that made Saudi Arabia important to global supply.” In fact, 75% of her oil has come from five of the seven oil wells; Ghawar, accounts for 62% of Saudi oil and is by far, “the greatest oil bearing structure the world has ever known.”36 Yet, in spite of being the dominant world economic power in oil, it was not until 1973 in the Arab Oil Embargo that the wealth of Saudi Arabia took a leap that is almost incomprehensible. Prior to the Embargo, the world price for a barrel of oil was $2 per barrel. By 1974, Saudi Arabian oil production had risen from three million barrels a day (pre Embargo) to eight million barrels a day; and, the world price had risen from $2 a barrel to $12 a barrel. With these two changes, Saudi oil revenues were increased 16-fold. This explosion of wealth over such a brief period of time represented perhaps the greatest and most compressed economic change that any nation in all of human history had ever experienced.37 Comparing the 1974 prices with world market prices of the present day results in an even more astounding economic profile for the Kingdom. According to the website of OPEC, for the eleven moths ended November, 2006, the price for a barrel of oil reached its high in the week of August, 25, 2006, when the average price for the week was $67.67.38 You do the math! The Woman Sits . . . . Ever been to a ball game and had your tickets in hand only to find someone sitting in your seat? Notice what the text states: “. . . are seven mountains upon which the woman sits.” She does not “own” the mountains; she does not “live”among the mountains – but she “sits” on the mountains. Same word is used in another passage. In 17:15, the woman “sits upon many waters,” which are “peoples, and nations and tongues.” In her sitting upon them, she symbolically controls them; takes advantage of them, for “they are made drunk with the wine of her immorality.” (17:2). Consider the following: The royal family of Saudi Arabia is considered the “owner” of all rights to all petroleum resources of the Kingdom.39 Other than the royal family, no Saudi individual possesses any rights to the land or its resources. Everything belongs to the royal family. The Saudi royal family, literally, owns the billions in revenue received through the sale of petroleum. Each Saudi prince receives a monthly allowance from this revenue. They can spend it, hoard it, do anything they want to with it. The “fruit” belongs to the royal family – that is, the descendants of Abdul Aziz bin Sa`ud. Does this matter to the people of Saudi Arabia? Consider this example of the undercurrent within the kingdom: In 1991, a group of 400 members of the ulama (clerics of Saudi Arabia and religious scholars, including teachers in religious universities and schools) wrote the “Letter of Demands” to the late King Fahd of Saudi Arabia. The leaders demanded the repeal of Saudi laws that conflicted with Islam, the
redistribution of Saudi wealth, and a foreign policy that did not rely on alliances but embraced Islamic causes.40 The woman, the House of Saud, “sits” on the mountains because she claims ownership of the great oil revenues resulting from the petroleum reserves of the Kingdom. The revenues do not belong to the citizens of Saudi Arabia, nor anyone possessing title or deed to the land. Rather, only the blood descendants among the House of Saud possess ownership. We have another piece to our puzzle. Saudi Arabia, i.e., the House of Sa`ud, sits on seven mountains proclaiming ownership of the fruit therein. The Arrogance of the Harlot. How does the verse go? “Pride goes before destruction.” Proverbs 16:8. See if you think the following verse sounds like pride in the making?
Revelation 18:7 ". . .; for she says in her heart, 'I sit as a queen and I am not a widow, and will never see mourning.'” Know what she is talking about? Her mourning? The mourning has nothing to do with her coming judgment, her death. The harlot believes her “fruit” will never fail; she will never run short of “oil.” Look at this verse that follows: Rev 18:14 "And the fruit you long for has gone from you, and all things that were luxurious and splendid have passed away from you and men will no longer find them.” In 2004, Saudi Arabia’s oil corporation, Saudi Aramco, and it’s CEO, Abdullah Jumah, was questioned as to the need to bring in outside auditors to verify Aramco’s oil production and petroleum reserve statistics. Jumah is quoted as having stated, “Why should we? We have never failed to deliver a single barrel of oil promised to anyone, anywhere!”41 Jumah’s statement basically goes like this: “Don’t worry about the numbers. We have always pumped all the oil the world needs and we always will. Nothing will ever change this.” A similar statement was made by Saudi Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Ali Al-Naimi, before a gathering of the oil industry professionals in 2004: “WASHINGTON, 29 April 2004. Officials from Saudi Arabia’s oil industry and the international petroleum organizations shocked a gathering of foreign policy experts in Washington yesterday with an announcement that the Kingdom’s previous estimate of 261 billion barrels of recoverable petroleum has now more than tripled, to 1.2 trillion barrels. Additionally, Saudi Arabia’s key oil and finance ministers assured the audience which included US Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan that the Kingdom has the capability to quickly double its oil output and sustain such a production surge for as long as 50 years. . . . . There will be no shortage of oil for the next 50 years. Perhaps much longer.”42 (Emphasis supplied).
In Simmon’s book, Twilight in the Desert, he makes the controversial statement that Saudi Arabian oil estimates are grossly overestimated and since the Saudis refuse to allow an independent outside source to verify their estimates, we have no way to know whether or not the petroleum reserves are overestimated, and soon to be exhausted. From Simmon’s perspective, he believes they are nearing exhaustion and the world is nearing “Twilight in the Desert.” From the standpoint of Bible prophecy of the Last Days, whether or not the Saudis petroleum reserves are nearing their “twilight” is not really the issue. Our issue is whether or not the harlot proclaims arrogantly that she will not see “twilight,” i.e., she will not see mourning. Saudi Arabia has done this. We have laid another piece to the puzzle. Saudi Arabia arrogantly claims she will never run out of her “wine.” Her Name And Her Immorality. Did you think we forgot the second part of the phrase, “wine of her immorality”? No. Can’t forget “immorality.” Its very important to our conclusion. Immorality. What does the word mean? And why is it used in conjunction with the harlot’s wine? Revelation 17:2 “with whom the kings of the earth committed acts of immorality, and those who dwell on the earth were made drunk with the wine of her immorality." Three verses include the phrase the “wine of her immorality” (Rev 14:8, 17:2, 18:3). If “wine” refers to Saudi Arabian oil, why is the sale or use of it “immoral”? What is “immoral” about making a profit, even if a substantial one? Remember her name. Her name is “Babylon.” Think of the phrase “sexual immorality.” What is it that makes sex, immoral? After all, didn’t God create sex? Didn’t He create us with sexual needs and command us to “fill the earth” (Gen 1:22, 28)? So what makes the meeting of our sexual needs, immoral? Sex is “immoral” when sexual needs are met outside of God’s plan and intentions. One of the Ten Commandments states, NAS Exodus 20:14 "You shall not commit adultery.” God’s intended plan is that we meet our sexual needs within the confines of a heterosexual marriage. When those needs are met outside of His plan, they are “immoral.” Now, think about petroleum from a spiritual perspective. The world’s petroleum resources are God’s gift to humanity.43 Petroleum allows us to meet the needs of an ever expanding, modern world. Without petroleum, many people groups of the world, particularly those of more dense populations, would be unable to survive; the needs of many people are only able to be met with the modernized equipment and related resources of our time. Whether the needs are for equipment for agriculture, water, or sewage treatment, without petroleum products the ever increasing needs of an ever increasing world population simply cannot be met. God saw this far in the past, before the creation of the world. Petroleum is his gift to use according to His plan to enable us to live and prosper in his created world in this modern time. Without
this gift, humanity would not survive in the populous earth that we call our own. In fact, society as we know would literally come to an end.44 Again, think about petroleum from a spiritual perspective. Suppose this gift of God is used outside of God’s intended purpose? Suppose it is used as a weapon? As a “sword?” Would that be spiritually immoral? Suppose it is used as a means of gaining extravagant wealth by certain groups while at the same time creating life threatening hardship on the part of other groups? Would that be spiritually immoral? Suppose it is used as a means to glorify those who possess it? That is, suppose the profits from the oil are used to construct monuments, palaces, to those who live in them? Would that be spiritually immoral? Remember this statement by Simmons regarding the wealth of the Saudis and see if you think a grave possibility exists that the Saudis could use their oil revenues in an immoral way: This explosion of wealth over such a brief period of time represented perhaps the greatest and most compressed economic change that any nation in all of human history had ever experienced.45 Look closer with me at the House of Sa`ud. Saudi Arabia’s Use of Oil as a Sword. According to Simmons, Saudi Arabia first used its oil production “as its sword” through the Arab Oil Embargo of 1973. According to Simmons, two days after the Nixon Administration agreed to rearm Israel, ten oil ministers met in Kuwait forming “OPEC.” They all agreed to reduce their collective oil production by 5%.46 Saudi Arabia went further by reducing its production by 10% and executing a complete ban on all shipments to the United States and the Netherlands until the crisis was over. Simmons states, While this cutback amounted to only a tiny percentage of global production, it created a genuine panic that reverberated through all oil consuming nations. It was also a wake up call to many national economies that they had become addicted to a lavish diet of imported oil, with no strategic stockpiles, . . . , and few alternatives to turn to if any of their oil supplies were cut off.47 . . . Within days after the 1973 oil embargo was announced, oil prices began to soar. By the end of 1973, oil prices had risen almost fourfold, finishing the year at $11.65 per barrel.48 Saudi Arabia’s (and fellow Muslim members of OPEC) sword is not made of steel. It is made of petroleum. This is her “immorality.” She uses the gift of God not as a resource for humanity but a resource against humanity. Saudi Arabia’s Use of Oil to Deify Herself. Remember the Tower of Babel? Humanity’s self-deification through its construction of a Tower to the heavens (Genesis 11:1-9)? Rev 17:5 states, “and upon her forehead a name was written, a mystery, “BABYLON THE GREAT. . . .” Wow, that seems pretty easy. Babylon.49 The woman’s name is Babylon. Why talk about Saudi Arabia as the harlot if her name is “Babylon.” But look closer. The text also tells us her name is a “mystery.” It wouldn’t be a “mystery” if the woman was literally Babylon. A mystery is something you have to uncover;
something hidden that must be discovered. What’s more, Babylon, the ancient city, is in ruins today. Its ancient location is in modern day Iraq (not Saudi Arabia) on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River. Its Old Testament spiritual infamy is when King Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, likened himself to God, and brought a curse upon himself and the city. The curse has remained throughout the city’s history, as Babylon has never been rebuilt. Isaiah 14:22 "And I will rise up against them," declares the LORD of hosts, "and will cut off from Babylon name and survivors, offspring and posterity," declares the LORD. 23 "I will also make it a possession for the hedgehog, and swamps of water, and I will sweep it with the broom of destruction," declares the LORD of hosts.” In 1985, Saddam Hussein decided he would defy the “curse” by rebuilding Babylon on top of the ancient city’s existing ruins. His reconstruction plan included his name being inscribed on many of the ancient bricks, in imitation of King Nebuchadnezzar. One inscription read: "This was built by Saddam Hussein, son of Nebuchadnezzar, to glorify Iraq." The bricks became sought after collectors' items after the downfall of Saddam, and the ruins are no longer being restored to their original state (surprise, surprise!).50 Saddam Hussein was executed on December 30, 2006, after being found guilty of war crimes. No. The woman is not literal Babylon. We might call her “metaphorical Babylon” or “mystical Babylon,”51 but not literal “Babylon.” What happens when the harlot, Saudi Arabia, uses her oil profits to glorify herself? By building bigger, more luxurious, more modern buildings, palaces, and everything that a materialistic society can provide for its own desires? By accumulating her billions at the expense of the world who cannot do without her oil? Have you looked at the skyline of Riyadh, the capital city of Saudi Arabia? Check out its tallest skyscraper, the “Kingdom Tower” rising almost 1000 feet.52 Do an internet search and look at the luxury of the royal family and see if you do not think she has used her oil outside of God’s intended purpose. Consider this quote from former Saudi citizen Osama bin Laden as he describes the opulent palaces of the House of Saud (referred to as the “rulers of Riyadh”): As for the violation of our peoples’ lands and the greed of the rulers of Riyadh in building palaces, King Fahd has commissioned the building of the Salam Palace, on which he has spent 4 billion riyals. As for the palace of Dhahban, where do we start? It is 40km down the Jeddah-Medina road on the Red Sea coast, but to get an idea of the land it has greedily used up, if the Kingdom of Bahrain were put in its back courtyard, those in the palace wouldn’t even notice it. And Bahrain has nearly a million inhabitants and an area of more than a million square meters! Even if the whole world came into the palaces of these kings and presidents, or into this palace in Dhahban, they would be dwarfed. Has history ever seen such foolishness?53 For the House of Sa`ud, it is not simply the use of billions to construct mansions unto itself, but also the exploitation of others by her wealth. Once again, we return to the words of Osama bin Laden: “The Saudi regime has committed very serious acts of disobedience—worse than the sins and
offenses that are contrary to Islam, worse than oppressing slaves, depriving them of their rights and insulting their dignity, intelligence, and feelings, worse than squandering the general wealth of the nation. Millions of people suffer every day from poverty and deprivation, while millions of riyals flow into the bank accounts of the royals who wield executive power. At the same time, public services are being reduced, our lands are being violated, . . .”54 The Saudis have taken what is moral, and made it immoral by her use of it outside God’s intended purpose. Remember, her name is Babylon; and the Saudis are simply rebuilding “Babel’s Tower;” for all the world to see. We have laid another piece to our puzzle. Saudi Arabia has committed an immorality through the use of her wine to glorify herself. The Immorality of the “kings of the earth.” But what about the immorality the harlot has committed “with the kings of the earth”? Let us begin by a quote from the book flap of Sleeping With the Devil, How Washington Sold Our Soul for Saudi Crude, by Robert Baer. Then we will provide the detail behind the quote but from different sources. In Sleeping with the Devil, Baer documents with chilling clarity how our addiction to cheap oil and Saudi petrodollars caused us to turn a blind eye to the Al Sa`ud’s culture of bribery, its abysmal human rights record, and its financial support of fundamentalist Islamic groups that have been directly linked to international acts of terror, including those against the Unites States. . . Baer vividly portrays our decades-old relationship with the increasingly dysfunctional and corrupt Al Sa`ud family, the fierce antiWestern sentiment that is sweeping the kingdom, and the desperate link between the two. In hopes of saving its own neck, the royal family has been shoveling money as fast as it can to mosque schools that preach hatred of America and to militant fundamentalist groups – an end game just waiting to play out.”55 The harlot’s twentieth century relationship with the “kings of the earth” began with the Brits in 1915. Read of Ibn Sa’ud’s collaboration with the “infidel power,” Great Britain: “Indeed, in 1915, Ibn Saud had agreed to make the Najd a British quasi-protectorate and to take a monthly subsidy from the British Indian government. . . But he had tried to hide his financial dependence on London, explaining to his followers that he was only collecting jizya from the British—the taxes that vanquished non-Muslims who lived in Islamic states traditionally paid.”56 The monthly subsidy received by Ibn Sa`ud from the Brits served as the beginning of the harlot’s modern day alignment with the “kings of the earth.” It would take some 30 years, but by 1947, the Americans had replaced the Brits as Saudi protectors. In 1947, the Saudi king, citing “mutual interests and friendship to safeguard,” looked to the Americans for security from its neighbors. In exchange, the Americans looked to the Saudis and the availability of Saudi Arabian oil as the key factor to their post World War II recovery.57 In other words, an “I’ll scratch your back, you scratch mine” relationship was entered into between the
Saudi royals and her Western protector. According to many Muslims, the prostitution of the Saudis (through the royal family) that began early in the 20th century has only worsened in the modern day. The alignment with the United States for military protection (and Great Britain in early 20th century58), including the sale of arms, and the provision of troops and training to the Saudis has included the use of Saudi air and land space for the liberation of Kuwait in the Gulf War of 1990. In exchange, the Saudis provide oil and gas imports to the West and acts as “swing producer” to the world petroleum market.59 The rewards of such a partnership go both ways. The Saudis (royal family) receive military security and enormous wealth. The American political machine receives political benefits (the Saudis can manipulate oil prices up or down on world markets based on the need of the political moment), and American businesses and consumers receive petroleum resources required to fuel the most voracious economy in the world. Historian Madawi al-Rasheed describes this relationship as follows, “In the 1980s Saudi Arabia increasingly became a partner of the United States, upon whom it depended for vast quantities of arms, economic development and above all security. . . . By the end of the 1980s, the Saudi regime sensed hostility from important sections of society which criticized its close liaison with the United States. Early warning signals were given during the siege of the mosque in 1979.60. . . The country sought important military assistance from the United States, but continued to promote itself as a non-aligned Islamic country, resisting all US efforts to establish military air-base facilities on its soil. Saudi Arabia was under the illusion that this resistance would conceal the intimate relationship with the United States that had been developing since the Second World War. Military equipment and American military advisers were a constant reminder of both the country’s dependence on the United States for security and its deeply rooted sense of vulnerability to internal and external threat.”61 In March, 1997, CNN reporter, Peter Arnett, interviewed Osama bin Laden, the known leader of Al Qaeda, and a prolific critic of the House of Saud (the Saudis renounced bin Laden’s citizenship status after his many criticisms of the royal family). Among the many questions that Arnett asked bin Laden was this question, “Could you give us your main criticism of the Saudi royal family that is ruling Saudi Arabia today? Bin Laden replies: Regarding the criticisms of the ruling regime in Saudi Arabia and the Arabian peninsula, the first one is their subordination to the US. So, our main problem is the US government, while the Saudi regime is but a branch or an agent of the US. By being loyal to the US regime, the Saudi regime has committed an act against Islam. And this, based on the ruling of sharia (law of Islam based on the Qur’an), casts the regime outside the religious community.”62 In a letter to the clerics of Saudi Arabia, dating from the mid-1990's, bin Laden makes an appeal to clerics to lead the umma (Islamic “community”) in jihad because of America’s having used Saudi Arabian land and air space to liberate Kuwait. His chastisement of the royal family, the Saud family, is as follows: “This momentous event is unprecedented both in pagan and Islamic history. For the first time,
Crusaders have managed to achieve their historic ambitions and dreams against our Islamic umma, gaining control over the Islamic holy places and the Holy Sanctuaries, and hegemony over the wealth and riches of our umma, turning the Arabian peninsula into the biggest air, land and sea base in the regions. . . . All this happened on the watch of the region’s rulers, and with their active participation – in fact, these are the people actually implementing the plans of our umma’s enemies. . . . Our umma has despaired of all those politically and militarily bankrupt leaders, who have lost all credibility. . . . After the Crusader’s occupation of Saudi Arabia, the Jews’ violation of Palestine . . ., can matters get any worse?”63 Bin Laden condemns the House of Sa`ud for having complied with Western pressure to remove elements of jihad from the religious curricula of Saudi elementary schools, thereby committing apostasy: “But the rulers of Riyadh were afraid of America and changed the curricula. It is no secret that the consequence of changing the religious curricula is the loss of religion, in both its religious and its everyday dimensions. As far as the religious dimension is concerned, as you know, this represents willful apostasy. As far as the day-to-day issues are concerned, these curricula will produce in our country educated slaves who will be loyal to America, and who will sell the interests of the country and smile in the face of America while it occupies our land and corrupts our honor under the pretext of liberty, equality and the laws of the United Nations. . . .” 64 Finally, bin Laden condemns the United States and the petroleum benefits received from the royal family in the following quote. It is a diatribe against America and only one of many reasons given for Al Qaeda’s jihad against America: You steal our wealth and oil at paltry prices because of your international influence and military threats. This theft is indeed the biggest theft ever witnessed by mankind in the history of the world.65 To sum it up from an Islamic perspective, so far as the Muslims are concerned, the royal family of the House of Sa`ud is a harlot. She has aligned herself with the enemy, the infidels, thereby rendering herself an apostate, an illegitimate ruler. Conclusion. The harlot is the royal family of Saudi Arabia. Check out the “pieces of the puzzle” we have just laid. You should be able to see the portrait of a Saudi Arabian prince very clearly. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. She is extraordinarily wealthy. She possesses something the world has become drunk with - oil. Her oil has made the businessmen of the world, wealthy. She has committed immorality with her oil; She has committed immorality with her oil in partnership with the kings of the earth. She sits on seven mountains, meaning seven super giant oil fields; she does so without legitimate rights to do so. 7. She proclaims to the world that she shall never see mourning, meaning her oil wells will never run dry. 8. She magnifies herself through her use of her wealth by building magnificent palaces and similar extravagancies. In so doing, she has made herself a modern day, “Babylon the Great.”
9. She is a spiritual adulteress; her own people, for different reasons, refer to her as an “adulterer.”
Chapter 6 Endnotes.
1. Rev 17:18, Rev 18:16, "And the woman whom you saw is the great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth." “saying, 'Woe, woe, the great city, she who was clothed in fine linen and purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls;” “And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints and the blood of the witnesses of Jesus.” “And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all who have been slain on the earth.” She “sits on many waters,” interpreted by verse 17:15 to mean, “. . . the waters which you saw where the harlot sits, are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues.” “all the nations of the earth are made drunk with the wine of her immorality.” "for all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, . . ." “. . ., "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who has made all the nations drink of the wine of the passion of her immorality." “And the woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality,” “ . . . and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality.” “. . . and all who had ships at sea became rich by her wealth for in one hour she has been laid waste.” “. . . for your merchants were the great men of the earth.” “ with whom the kings of the earth committed acts of immorality, and those who dwell on the earth were made drunk with the wine of her immorality." ". . . and the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality with her, . . ." "To the degree that she glorified herself and lived sensuously, to the same degree give her torment and mourning; for she says in her heart, 'I sit as a queen and I am not a widow, and will never see mourning.' "And the fruit you long for has gone from you, and all things that were luxurious and splendid have passed away from you and men will no longer find them.” “and upon her forehead a name was written, a mystery, "BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH." . . 7 “And the angel said to me, "Why do you wonder? I shall tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns.” "Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits,” "And the ten horns which you saw, and the beast, these will hate the harlot and will make her desolate and naked, and will eat her flesh and will burn her up with fire.” “(the merchants) standing at a distance because of the fear of her torment, saying, 'Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city! For in one hour your judgment has come.'” “for in one hour such great wealth has been laid waste!' And every shipmaster and every passenger and sailor, and as many as make their living by the sea, stood at a distance, and were crying out as they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, 'What city is like the great city?'” "And the fruit you long for has gone from you, and all things that were luxurious and splendid have passed away from you and men will no longer find them.”
2. Rev 17:6, Rev 18:24, 3. Rev 17:2, Rev 17:2, Rev 18:3, Rev 14:8,
4. Rev 17:4,
5. Rev 18:3, Rev 18:19, Rev 18:23, 6. Rev 17:2, Rev 18:3. 7. Rev 18:7, Rev 18:14,
8. Rev 17:5,
9. Rev 17:9, 10.Rev 17:16, Rev 18:10, Rev 18:17,
11. Rev 18:14
12.John F. Walvoord, Every Prophecy of the Bible, p 604.
Chapter 6 Endnotes.
13.Robert L. Thomas, Revelation 8 - 22, p 282-283. 14.Bruce Lawrence, Messages to the World, The Statements of Osama bin Laden, p. 253. 15.Ergun Mehmet Caner and Emir Fethi Caner, Unveiling Islam, p. 108. 16.Cyril Glasse’, The Concise Encyclopedia of Islam, p. 209. 17.Cyril Glasse’, The Concise Encyclopedia of Islam, p. 208. 18.Cyril Glasse’, The Concise Encyclopedia of Islam, p. 209. 19. There is one factor that continues to appear in all Bible prophecies of the Last Days. It is “holy war” waged against Jews and Christians. We have found holy war present in each of these passages: 1 2 3 4 - the - the - the - the 4 th kingdom in the dream of King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, in Daniel 2:31f; 4 th beast of Daniel 7:7f; great red dragon, satan, of Rev 12; beast from the sea of Revelation 13:1-11.
Islam is the unique empire throughout human history waging jihad. She is poignantly described in this effort by the following verse: Rev 17:6 “And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus. . . .” 20. 21.The first constitution in a Muslim country was in Tunisia in 1861. See Barnard Lewis, The Political Language of Islam, p. 113. 22.The kingdom of Saudi Arabia is located on the Arabian Peninsula. The land area for the Kingdom comprises 90% of the land area on the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the Red Sea on its western border, the Arabian Sea on its southern border, the Persian Gulf on its eastern border, and by the states of Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait on it’s eastern border. Its southern borders include the states of Yemen and Oman. The Kingdom includes the well known Muslim cities of Medina, Mecca, Jeddah and Riyadh (its capital). The largest of its land area is comprised of the Arabian desert. 23.Madawi Al-Rasheed, A History of Saudi Arabia, p. 16. 24.Matthew R. Simmons, Twilight in the Desert, p 1 25.Simmons, p 9. 26.Simmons, p 10. 27.Simmons, p 26-27 28.Simmons, p 101. 29.Simmons, p 101. 30.Simmons, p 59. 31.Available at http://www.greencarcongress.com/2007/02/iea_forecasts_i.html at June 26, 2007.
Chapter 6 Endnotes.
32.Biblical scholar John Walvoord interprets the harlot as Rome (which he asserts will arise in the future as a dominant world power) and the seven mountains to be literally the “seven hills of Rome.” John F. Walvoord, Every Prophecy of the Bible, p. 607. Scholar Robert Thomas doubts this interpretation and sees the seven hills to refer to seven successive empires of the beast. See Thomas, p. 296. 33.Simmons, p. xv. 34.Simmons, p. 89. 35.Simmons, pp. 19-20, 40, and 151. 36.Simmons, p 40, 89, and 151. 37.Simmons, p 56. 38.http://www.opec.org/home/basket.aspx 39.Simmons, p. 261. 40.Dore Gold, Hatred’s Kingdom, How Saudi Arabia Supports the New Global Terrorism, p. 161. 41.Simmons, p. 338. 42.Available at http://www.arabnews.com/?page=6§ion=0&article=44011&d=29&m=4&y=2004 43.In the leading scientific theory, petroleum is formed from dead organic material that accumulates on the bottom of oceans, riverbeds or swamps, mixing with mud and sand. Over time, more sediment piles on top and the resulting heat and pressure transforms the organic layer into a dark and waxy substance known as kerogen. Left alone, the kerogen molecules eventually crack, breaking up into shorter and lighter molecules composed almost solely of carbon and hydrogen atoms. Depending on how liquid or gaseous this mixture is, it will turn into either petroleum or natural gas. So how long does this process take? Scientists aren't really sure, but they figure it's probably on the order of hundreds of thousands of years Available at http://www.livescience.com/environment/051011_oil_origins.html at June 29, 2007. 44.Available at http://www.livescience.com/environment/end_oil_041214.html at June 29, 2007. 45.Simmons, p 56. 46.Simmons, p 53-54. 47.Simmons, p 54. 48.Simmons, p 55. 49.“Babylon” is the Greek word for “babel” (Hebrew), meaning “confusion”. The city takes its name from the Tower of Babel, humanity’s failed attempt to glorify itself by building a tower reaching to the heavens (Genesis 11:1-9). It seems we wanted to make a “name” for ourselves, sort of a self-deifying effort. So everyone joined forces and began to build. When they began, they all spoke one language; but God confounded their efforts. He caused them to each speak a different language. Confusion was the result. The scene ends in the chaos of everyone speaking a different language, and the enmity caused because no one can understand another; hence, “Babylon” means the babel of men.
Chapter 6 Endnotes.
50.Available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babylon at June 14, 2007. 51.Easton Bible Dictionary, Electronic Version, BibleWorks 6.0. 52.Available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_Tower at June 27, 2007. 53.Message posted on the Global Islamic Media Front to all Muslims; entitled “Depose the Tyrants,” December 16, 2004, as reported in Messages to the World, The Statements of Osama bin Laden, edited by Bruce Lawrence, p. 265 - 266. 54.Message posted on the Global Islamic Media Front to all Muslims; entitled “Depose the Tyrants,” December 16, 2004, as reported in Messages to the World, The Statements of Osama bin Laden, edited by Bruce Lawrence, p. 247 - 248. 55.Robert Baer, Sleeping With the Devil, How Washington Sold Our Soul for Saudi Crude, book flap. 56.Dore Gold, Hatred’s Kingdom How Saudi Arabia Supports the New Global Terrorism, p. 57. 57.Dore Gold, p. 66. 58.Dore Gold, Hatred’s Kingdom, How Saudi Arabia Supports the New Global Terrorism, p. 57. Along with the mutually beneficial relationship, the Americans turned their heads on Saudi human rights violations. This began very early for the relationship. Unlike the Brits, the Americans made no requirements of the Saudis for divestiture of human slaves – even until 1962. 59.Matthew R. Simmons, Twilight in the Desert, The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy, p. 69. 60.In 1979, Muhammad b. Abd al-Qahtani proclaimed himself Islam’s “al-Mahdi” (savior – see following chapters for discussion). He and a group of his followers stormed the great Mosque of Mecca, announcing that he would lead the destruction of the apostate Saudi regime. Among his five demands were: to sever relations with the West so as to protect Islamic values; to stop all oil exports to the West; to overthrow the illegitimate Saudi royal family, including the apostate ulama (religious scholars), and the redistribution of all Saudi wealth. Al-Qahtani and his followers were killed by Saudi troops in intense fighting. See Timothy Furnish, Holiest Wars, Islamic Mahdis, Their Jihads, and Osama bin Laden, p. 60. 61.Madawi al-Rasheed, A History of Saudi Arabia, p. 161. 62.Reported in Messages to the World, The Statements of Osama bin Laden, edited by Bruce Lawrence, p. 45. 63.Reported in Messages to the World, The Statements of Osama bin Laden, edited by Bruce Lawrence, p. 16-17. 64.Reported in Messages to the World, The Statements of Osama bin Laden, edited by Bruce Lawrence, p.253. 65.Reported in Messages to the World, The Statements of Osama bin Laden, edited by Bruce Lawrence, p 163.
Chapter 7 The Judgment of the Harlot - The Beginning of the End
Introduction. Who would have thought it? The ending for the harlot, that is. Scripture lays out the specifics of her judgement – Revelation 18. The great city, “Babylon,” is the House of Sa`ud, the Royal Family, of Saudi Arabia. The Royal Family controls the wine, the oil, by right of possession; and, possession is “nine-tenths” of the Law. The peoples and nations of the world are addicted to her wine. Through it, the Royal Family has made herself and the merchants of the world rich; and has committed immoralities with the kings of the earth. We reached these conclusions in Chapter 6. Now, the possession that has made her rich, will be used to destroy her; and, those who destroy her will be from her own religion. In this chapter, we will discover the hidden deceit of the scarlet beast and its ten horns, who, in one hour, destroy the harlot. Here is what the Bible tells us: Revelation 17:11 "And the beast which was and is not, is himself also an eighth, and is one of the seven, and he goes to destruction. 12 "And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings, who have not yet received a kingdom, but they receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour. 13 "These have one purpose and they give their power and authority to the beast. . . . 16 "And the ten horns which you saw, and the beast, these will hate the harlot and will make her desolate and naked, and will eat her flesh and will burn her up with fire. 17 "For God has put it in their hearts to execute His purpose by having a common purpose, and by giving their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God should be fulfilled." The Unlikely Alliance and the Common Purpose of the Alliance. The text includes an alliance that includes the scarlet beast and her ten horns (17:12). This group of eleven have some things in common – one of which is Islam. Here is why we can make this conclusion. In Chapter 6 we covered the time period that Revelation 17 addresses – it is the period of the Last Days. In this period, the scarlet beast will wage war against the Lamb (Rev 17:12), and the Lamb will emerge victorious (Rev 17:14). This is the last of conflicts since the Lamb is described as victorious, something that occurs only in the Last Days (Daniel 2:44, 7:9-11, 26-27). The last battle of the Last Days is described in Revelation 16:12 (described as the pouring out of the “sixth bowl” of wrath upon the earth) as the battle of Armageddon. The text states: Revelation 16:12 “And the sixth angel poured out his bowl upon the great river, the Euphrates; and its water was dried up, that the way might be prepared for the kings from the east.” Notice the text references the “kings from the east.” The kings from the east are the descendants of
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Ishmael, the patriarch of the Arabians and root from which Islam rises (Genesis 16:12). It is this group that makes war with the Lamb; and this group which the Lamb defeats. They include the Alliance of eleven in Revelation 17. The Unlikely Alliance. As we move to the scarlet beast and the ten horns, what sticks out is the nature of the Alliance. It is an unlikely alliance. The text states: 1. They receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour (v 17:12) 2. They give their power and authority to the beast for that hour (v 17:13) 3. God has put it in their hearts to execute His purpose by having a common purpose (v 17:17). The scarlet beast and her ten heads are given authority for one hour, and that authority is then given to the scarlet beast. In other words, the scarlet beast is “appointed” leader of the group of eleven by the members of the group of ten. Having appointed the beast as their leader, the members of the group join forces to accomplish their task, including giving all their power and authority to their new leader. The group appears not to have aligned itself together prior to this event. Hence, the ten are independent of one another; yet, they are similar for they are each one of ten heads. The beast however is not “one of the ten” but belongs to the seven heads. Notice the text: Revelation 17:11 "And the beast which was and is not, is himself also an eighth, and is one of the seven, and he goes to destruction.” The scarlet beast and the ten horns appear to be from “opposing” sides so to speak. The beast is an eighth head, and is one of the seven, but it is not an eleventh horn. Yet, the ten horns give their authority to the beast, who belongs to the seven. Sound confusing? Suppose the text is saying something like this: The scarlet beast is Sunni. The ten heads are Shiite (although Shiites may be included in the group). The Shiites yield their authority to the Sunni for one hour because a greater purpose can be achieved than the differences that have historically separated the two sects. The greater purpose is the destruction of the harlot, Saudi Arabia, as we will see next.1 Regardless, the Alliance is an unlikely alliance! The Common Purpose of the Alliance. So then, why, at this one moment in history, would a group of ten Islamic leaders, whether Shiite or Sunni, or some combination thereof, put down their swords against one another, and join forces with a member of the opposing sect, to whom they give their authority and power? There are two reasons, and both are given in the text. 1. The Alliance is short lived. The text tells us this Alliance is for one hour (17:12); 2. There is one specific purpose for the short lived Alliance. Revelation 17:16, “And the ten horns which you saw, and the beast, these will hate the harlot and will make her desolate and naked, and will eat her flesh and will burn her up with fire.”
The common purpose is to destroy the harlot. It is actually God’s purpose; for the day of judgment has finally dawned (Rev 17:17). The Harlot’s Destruction. This is one of those times that unless you read the text yourself, you’re not going to be able to imagine what is going to happen. Revelation 18:6, "Pay her back even as she has paid, and give back to her double according to her deeds; in the cup which she has mixed, mix twice as much for her. 7 "To the degree that she glorified herself and lived sensuously, to the same degree give her torment and mourning; for she says in her heart, 'I sit as a queen and I am not a widow, and will never see mourning.' 8 "For this reason in one day her plagues will come, pestilence and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for the Lord God who judges her is strong. 9 "And the kings of the earth, who committed acts of immorality and lived sensuously with her, will weep and lament over her when they see the smoke of her burning, 10 standing at a distance because of the fear of her torment, saying, 'Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city! For in one hour your judgment has come.' . . . 14 "And the fruit you long for has gone from you, and all things that were luxurious and splendid have passed away from you and men will no longer find them. 15 "The merchants of these things, who became rich from her, will stand at a distance because of the fear of her torment, weeping and mourning, 16 saying, 'Woe, woe, the great city, she who was clothed in fine linen and purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls; 17 for in one hour such great wealth has been laid waste!' And every shipmaster and every passenger and sailor, and as many as make their living by the sea, stood at a distance, 18 and were crying out as they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, 'What city is like the great city?' 19 "And they threw dust on their heads and were crying out, weeping and mourning, saying, 'Woe, woe, the great city, in which all who had ships at sea became rich by her wealth, for in one hour she has been laid waste!' 20 "Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, because God has pronounced judgment for you against her." 21 And a strong angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, "Thus will Babylon, the great city, be thrown down with violence, and will not be found any longer.” Revelation 19:3 And a second time they said, "Hallelujah! Her smoke rises up forever and ever." (Emphasis supplied). Here is what we can conclude regarding the harlot’s judgement: 1. It will be quick – in one hour2 (18:13, 17, 19); 2. No one will come near her for fear of being impacted by what torments her (18:10, 15, 17); 3. Her destruction will be accompanied by “pestilence” (18:8) 4. Her destruction will include a fiery annihilation (18:8, 9, 15, 18) 5. Her destruction will be accompanied by great amounts of smoke (18:9, 18,19:3) 6. The kingdom will suffer a complete destruction (18:6, 7, 14, 19, 20, 21). Suppose. . . the harlot, Saudi Arabia, is destroyed in something like this: a plane carrying a nuclear bomb and piloted by a suicide bomber flies into Ghawar, the world’s largest oil field. The resulting explosion causes a fiery chain reaction that extends through its oil fields. The nuclear fall out sickens to the point of death the peoples of the Arabian Peninsula. The kingdom, having lost the source of its power, its oil, is completely destroyed.
Seem like pure conjecture? Check this FOX News report of an event that occurred on February 6, 2006 in Saudi Arabia: “Suicide bombers in explosives-packed cars attacked the world's largest oil processing facility Friday but were stopped outside the gates when guards opened fire, detonating their vehicles, officials said. Guards began shooting when two cars tried to drive into the heavily protected facility in eastern Saudi Arabia, Interior Ministry spokesman Lt. Gen. Mansour al-Turki told The Associated Press. Both vehicles exploded, the attackers were killed and two guards were critically wounded, al-Turki said. The attack took place in a region where Saudi Arabia's Shiite minority is centered, amid an uproar over the bombing of a major Shiite shrine in Iraq this week. But suspicions quickly fell on Al Qaeda-linked militants, raising fears of a new tactic emulating Iraqi insurgents, who have hobbled their country's oil industry with sabotage and attacks. "In Iraq they zeroed in on oil and this appears to be a creeping process, since it is happening in Saudi Arabia," said Youssef Ibrahim, a Dubai-based political risk analyst with the Strategic Energy Investment Group. . . . With over 260 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, a quarter of the world's total, Saudi Arabia is OPEC's largest producer and the top foreign supplier to the United States. . . . The Abqaiq facility processes up to about 7 million barrels a day, 93 percent of which is loaded onto tankers for export. . . .”3 Mordecai Abir of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, reports the following statement by Osama bin Laden. This message from bin Laden was posted on al-Qaeda’s Arabian Peninsula website to all mujahidin (jihadists) in Arabia: “. . . bin Laden stated that “oil prices should be at least $100 a barrel,” and called upon Persian Gulf militants to exert themselves to prevent the West from getting Arab oil by attacking oil facilities all over the region. Bin Laden also encouraged all mujahidin “to stop the biggest theft in history as the West has been buying oil at a cheap price.” This was the first time that al-Qaeda’s leadership had openly divulged its strategy of hitting the Western economy by disrupting oil supplies and causing prices to skyrocket. Consequently, on December 16, current month NYMEX crude spiked by 5 percent to $46.28 a barrel. Bin Laden’s call for an “oil jihad’ was followed by a web site message from the Arabian Peninsula al-Qaeda to all the mujahidin in Arabia, wherever they are, to focus on oil targets in their struggle against the infidels and their Saudi allies.”4 (Emphasis supplied) Why Destroy Saudi Arabia through the Destruction of Her Oil Fields? For a moment, think about what might happen to the world economies if Saudi Arabian crude was no longer in the picture. According to the “BP Statistical Review of World Energy,” Saudi Arabia, as of 2003, held 22.9% of the world’s proven oil reserves.5 The Middle East, as a group, which includes in addition to Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Syria, Yemen and Bahrain, accounts for 63.3% of the world’s proven oil reserves. Of the Middle East group, Saudi Arabia possesses more than twice the reserves of its closest rival, Iran.6 If the oil and gas reserves of the Saudis were destroyed, the world would be thrown into economic chaos. If the world is in economic chaos, it is vulnerable to jihad as never before! Economic chaos precipitated by the loss of the world’s energy resources has a potential impact greater than even nuclear attack. Nuclear
attack is certainly horrific; but its victims are primarily those nearest its detonation. Also, a nuclear detonation might likely precipitate other detonations, the sum of which impacts the world, including the Islamics. In a world economic crisis caused by energy shortages, all countries of the world, except the world’s owners of petroleum reserves, are brought to their knees. The Middle East countries are owners of the world’s largest deposits of oil and gas reserves. The United States and countries of Europe are not even in the top ten of the world’s leading owners of oil and gas deposits.7 The wealth of those countries that own large oil and gas reserves would be instantaneously multiplied. Iran, second only to Saudi Arabia in ownership of proven oil and gas reserves, would be the greatest benefactor of such an event.8 With the destruction of the harlot, Saudi Arabia, they would take her place as the world’s #1 producer of petroleum products. Talk about being in the driver’s seat! Its Not About the Oil or Saudi Arabia – Its About Jihad. Actually, the destruction of Saudi Arabia is about far more than the harlotry of the House of Sa`ud. The destruction of the House of Sa`ud is really only a small part of the benefit to Islam if this were to take place. The greater benefit is to Islam and its world domination. As it is, Muslim jihadists are unable to successfully defeat the military arm of the West; at least not through conventional means. But what about nonconventional means? What about through her economy? Al Qaeda’s Jihad Against the American Economy. Listen to the words of Osama bin Laden as he praises the nineteen students who piloted airplanes on 9/11 into the World Trade Center: Here we have clear proof that this destructive, usurious global economy that America uses, together with its military force, to impose unbelief and humiliation on poor peoples, can easily collapse. Those blessed strikes in New York and the other places forced it to acknowledge the loss of more than a trillion dollars, by the grace of God Almighty. And they used simple means—the enemy’s aeroplanes and schools—without even the need for training camps. God gave them the chance to teach a harsh lesson to these arrogant people who think that freedom only has meaning for the white race, and that other peoples should be humiliated and subservient, not even rising up when they strike us, as they did previously in Iraq. I say that American military power, as demonstrated recently in Afghanistan, where it poured down all its anger on these poor people, has taught us great and important lessons in how to resist this arrogant force, by the grace of God Almighty. . . So the struggle is both financial and physical. . . . And in another way, it is possible to strike the economic base that is the foundation of the military base, so when their economy is depleted they will be too busy with each other to be able to enslave poor peoples. . . .9 (Emphasis supplied) And another statement from Osama: God, the Almighty, legislated the permission and the option to avenge this oppression. Thus, if we attacked, then we have the right to strike back. If people destroy our villages and towns, then we have the right to do the same in return. If people steal our wealth, then we have the right to destroy their economy. . . .10 (Emphasis supplied). And another statement from Osama:
In addition, we gained expertise in guerrilla and attritional warfare in our struggle against the great oppressive superpower, Russia, in which we and the mujahidin (combatants on behalf of jihad) ground it down for ten years until it went bankrupt, and decided to withdraw in defeat, praise and thanks be to God. We are continuing to make America bleed to the point of bankruptcy, by God’s will. . . . To some analysts and diplomats, it seems as if we and the White House are on the same team shooting at the United States’ own goal, despite our different intentions. These and other such ideas were referred to by a British diplomat at the Royal Institute for International Affairs. For example, al-Qaeda spent $500,000 on the September 11 attacks, while America lost more than $500 billion, at the lowest estimate, in the event and its aftermath. That makes a million American dollars for every al-Qaeda dollar, by the grace of God Almighty. . . . This shows the success of our plan to bleed America to the point of bankruptcy, with God’s will.11 (Emphasis supplied) Finally, from the website of the SITE Institute (The Search for International Terrorist Entities), the following is a report originally in the Arabic language, but translated by SITE. The report describes a 12 page presentation of targets for jihad operations that ultimately will impact America: “A 12-page presentation of targets for jihad operations as a response to the messages of Usama bin Laden and Aymanal-Zawairi regarding strategic recommendations about jihad fighting targets was recently posted to a password-protected al-Qaeda-affiliated forum. Oil pipelines, refineries, and pumping stations are the locus of the suggested points of attack as the author presents facilities in Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, and within the United States, specifically Alaska, as crucial elements of America’s oil trade. The author predicates oil, in addition to the heroin drug trade, as alleged components of American’s now-failing economy, and believes that to strike the bases where America “extorts” resources from the Muslims, will have a domino effect which will ruin it financially, militarily, and psychologically.12 (Emphasis supplied). The “Trap” is Sprung - the Way is Prepared for the Kings from the East. Remember this verse? We looked at it as we began this chapter: Revelation 16:12 “And the sixth angel poured out his bowl upon the great river, the Euphrates; and its water was dried up, that the way might be prepared for the kings from the east.” We said that “kings from the east” was the phrase the Bible uses to refer to the descendants of Ishmael, the patriarch of the Arabic speaking peoples and the root of Islam. (Genesis 16:12). But notice the first part of the verse: “. . .poured out his bowl upon the great river, the Euphrates; and its water was dried up. . .” “Its water was dried up”? Humm. . . Wonder what that means? How do you, “dry up the water of the Euphrates,” and, in the process, somehow prepare the way for the kings from the East? Did the waters of the River somehow keep the kings from the East at bay before this event? Or, perhaps, it has nothing to do with the literal River Euphrates needing to be “dried up” so the kings can attack. Perhaps the waters of the River are only metaphorical; perhaps the text is telling us that something will happen in the Last Days that will allow the Muslims an advantage; an advantage so important, that without it, they are unable to
wage jihad? And, what is the preparation of the way for? Verse 16:15 tells us: the Battle of Armageddon, that final battle between the foes of satan and the people of God. The “preparation of the way” will allow the kings from the East, i.e., Muslims, to accomplish something they would not otherwise be able to accomplish. Here is what it is: when Saudi Arabian oil fields are destroyed, the resulting economic crisis will impact the entire world – except the Muslim world. The Muslim world possesses the world’s greatest amounts of petroleum reserves – reserves they will no longer sell. The breaking of the economies of the West will render its military meaningless. The issue now is not about guns and ships and planes, but starving bellies. There is nothing that can be done save surrender for food. Notice how the Bible lays out all those who will be a part of this battle: The Dragon - satan, the Beast from the Sea, the Beast from the Earth. NAS Revelation 16:13 “And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs; 14 for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty.” (and, 16:10) (Emphasis supplied). The Harlot: NAS Revelation 16:19 “And the great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath.” Everyone is present. All are accounted for. The way is prepared when Saudi petroleum is removed from the world markets, thereby giving Islam the advantage that it has been waiting for. Now, it is not about military. It is about the survival of the non-Muslim world populations. Unless you are Islamic, then you will not be able to buy or sell; only Muslims will carry the mark of the beast. Oops! Getting ahead of ourselves aren’t we! But it is actually a trap. The harlot’s destruction that is. God told us that in His prophecy of the coming defeat of the harlot by her own people:
Revelation 17:17 "For God has put it in their hearts to execute His purpose by having a common purpose, and by giving their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God should be fulfilled.”
So then, it should not be a surprise that God is ultimately victorious: Revelation 17:14 "These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful." . . .19:1 After these things I heard, as it were, a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, "Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God; 2 because His judgments are true and righteous; for He has judged the great harlot who was corrupting the earth with her immorality, and He has avenged the blood of His bond-servants on her." 3 And a second time they said, "Hallelujah! Her smoke rises up forever and ever."
Conclusion: An Alliance of Muslims will destroy Saudi Arabia through her strength – her oil fields. The purpose of the attack, from a Muslim perspective, will be to wage jihad against the West, the infidels; to weaken them through an attack upon their economy that will bring the West to its knees. Without petroleum, America’s economy will come to a screeching halt; and, indirectly, so will its military. This attack will prove to be the beginning of the end; it will prepare the way for the “kings of the east,” the River Euphrates,” having now been dried up, will no longer be a barrier to their conquest of the infidels. Islam will think itself empowered for its ultimate victory - world domination. But not for long. This battle is God’s design, and through it, He will ultimately remove Islam from the face of the earth.
Chapter 7 Endnotes. 1.It is quite possible that the destruction could be intended to include only the House of Sa`ud, for it is the harlot, and only the harlot appears to be the intention of destruction by the Alliance. However, the text details the harlot’s destruction as a total destruction which can only mean the entire Arabian kingdom (Rev 17:16, 18:21) 2.Revelation 18:8 states that “in one day her plagues will come, pestilence and mourning and famine and she will be burned up with fire.” Perhaps this verse is addressing the after-affects of the judgment itself which occurs in one hour. 3.Available at http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,185910,00.html at June 29, 2007. 4.Available at http://www.jcpa.org/brief/brief004-13.htm, at July 12, 2007. 5.Simmons, p 101. 6.Simmons, p 101. 7.Ibid. 8.Ibid. 9.Bruce Lawrence, editor, Messages to the World, the Statements of Osama bin Laden, p. 150-152. 10.Bruce Lawrence, editor, p. 165. 11.Bruce Lawrence, editor, p. 241-242. 12.Available at: http://www.siteinstitute.org/bin/articles.cgi?ID=publications135205&Category=publications&Subcategory=0, at July 12, 2007.
Chapter 8 The Caliphate that Has Not Yet Come Introduction. Indonesian news sources, The Times of India reporting. August 12, 2007. JAKARTA: More than 70,000 members and supporters of the hardline Hizbut Tahrir Muslim group on Sunday held a massive gathering at a sports stadium in the Indonesian capital. Almost all but one seated area of the stadium was packed with members and supporters of Hizbut Tahrir, . . . The event, touted by the group’s spokesman, Muhammad Ismail Yusanto, as an international conference entitled, “It is Now Time for the Caliphate to Reign,” is hearing several speakers, including foreign invitees. Hizbut Tahrir advocates the return of a caliphate -- Islamic rule -- to govern the world.1 Did you catch the last line? “. . .the return of the caliphate - Islamic rule - to govern the world.” ? This chapter is about the last caliphate of Islam that has not yet come. The previous caliphate of the Sunnite Ottomans declined to the point of its abolishment in the early 20th century, by Ataturk, the President of Turkey. The caliphate will be revived, not by the Ottomans, but by another. The Bible says so. I am sorry to tell.
The scarlet beast is Islam’s last caliphate that will be revived. This chapter will focus on the Bible prophecies that will help us to identify him. Keep This in Mind – It’s a Mystery . . . The prophecy of Revelation 17 includes a hint that we must not overlook. The 7th verse states “. . . Why do you wonder? I shall tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her. . .” The 9th verse follows with a similar statement, "Here is the mind which has wisdom. . .” These two statements are important: they tell us that the literal meaning of the words is not the meaning of the text. If they were, there would be no mystery! To find the true meaning, one must do more than “read” the words; one must “use” the words as one might solve a riddle. We have already seen this mystery in action as we identified “Babylon the Great” in the preceding chapter. We concluded that the title was metaphorical, not literal; and that Saudi Arabia, the House of Saud, was the modern day, metaphorical, “Babylon the Great.” The Double Meaning of Kings and Kingdoms and the Heads of the Beast. Given the fact that we are dealing with a mystery, how are we to understand the seven heads of the beast? Are they seven kings or seven kingdoms? Revelation 17:10 tells us that the heads are literally, “seven kings”? Does this mean that we must only look for kings rather than kingdoms? Can a king be the personification of the empire he represents? The answer is found in Daniel 7:17 and 7:24. In verse 17, the fourth beast is specifically referred to as a king. In verse 24, the fourth beast is referred to as a kingdom. They are interchanged thereby allowing the interpreter to view the king and the kingdom as one and the same head of the beast.2
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Here are the relevant clues the Bible gives us to solve the riddle of the text:. We have broken the clues into the clues for the scarlet beast and the clues for the heads of the beast. The Heads of the Scarlet Beast (Revelation 17:10): 1. Seven kings, “five have fallen”;3 17:10 2. One king, “is”; 17:10 3. One king “has not yet come,” but when he comes, “he must remain a little while.” 17:10.
The Scarlet Beast (Revelation 17:8, 11): 1. The beast “was”; 17:8
2. The beast “is not”; 17:8 3. The beast is “about to come up from the abyss”; 17:8 4. The beast is, himself, an “eighth head”, 17:11 5. The beast is “one of the seven” 17:11
Quite the riddle we have before us. . . . But, we have lots of clues! We will begin with the scarlet beast and then move to his heads. The Hidden Imam of Twelver Shiism. Revelation 17:8 tells us the scarlet beast “was,” “is not” and “is about to come up from the abyss.” Let me introduce the “Hidden Imam;” the Twelfth Imam of the Twelver branch of Shia Islam, and the one day, Muhammad al-Mahdi, the Islamic “savior.” Muhammad b. Hasan, born 872AD, was the son of the 11th Imam, Hasan al-Askari, of Twelver Shia Islam. To protect themselves from Sunni caliphs, Shia Imams were forced to hide themselves. This was the case for the 11th Imam who, according to some accounts, was poisoned by the reigning Sunni caliph.4 Because of the danger to the Imam as well as his descendants, when Muhammad b. Hasan was born, his father, the 11th Imam, hid his son from public view. Only a few Shias were even aware of his son’s existence.5 At his father’s death, when Hasan was only seven, and by “Divine Command,” he went into “hiding,” an event Twelvers refer to as “occultation.”6 Twelvers believe that Muhammad b. Hasan, whose body was never found, never died. He exists today, still in hiding, after some 1,200 years. According to Twelvers, He exists in hiding because Allah will not leave humanity without divine guidance and the Hidden Imam is the one who give the guidance. He provides divine guidance to Shias through their spiritual leaders, thereby enabling them to instruct Shias in the performance of their required religious duties.7 Hasan will continue to live in hiding until Allah decides the moment he will reappear and commands him, accordingly.8 Twelver Shias refer to him as “the Hidden Imam.” When the Hidden Imam returns, he will return not as the Hidden Imam or the Twelfth Imam but as “Muhammad al-Mahdi,”9 the Islamic “Savior,” who will lead Islam in world domination, bringing justice to Shias against Sunnis, and eventual peace to the world. Now we will apply the Bible prophecy to the Islamic prophecy and see if they “line up.” The Scarlet Beast “was.” The first requirement of the scarlet beast is that he existed in the past, as an historical person (Revelation 17:8). Muhammad b. Hasan, the12th Shia Imam and son of Hasan al-Askari, the 11th Imam,10 was an historical person. He
lived in the 9th century and Shias record him as their 12th Imam. The Scarlet Beast “is not.” Our next requirement is that the scarlet beast “is not” (Revelation 17:8). Muhammad b. Hasan, the 12th Shia Imam, and son of Hasan al-Askari, the 11th Imam, went into a deathless state of “existence” in the ninth century AD. This state is referred to by Shias as “occultation.” In this deathless state, the 12th Imam is “concealed” from humanity. While concealed, he is “absent” from humanity. The 12th Imam is referred to as the “Hidden Imam,” because he is concealed even though he continues to exist. The doctrine of “occultation” is summarized by Dr. Abdulaziz Sachedina, Professor of Religious Studies, University of Virginia,11 as follows: Occultation (ghayba) is a state chosen by God for the Imam who is in danger of being slain by his enemies. Thus the twelfth Imam, Muhammad b. al-Hasan . . . , went into occultation in the year 260/873—74 and will continue to live in this state for as long as God deems it necessary; then He will command him to reappear and take control of the world in order to restore justice and equity. During this period of concealment the Imam is not completely cut off from his followers but has spokesmen, in the person of learned jurists, who can act on his behalf and guide the Shi’ites in their religious matters.12 The Scarlet Beast is “about to come up . . .” The Hidden Imam will one day “come up” from the “abyss” (Rev 17:8). Shia belief is summarized by Sachedina as follows, Thus the belief in the appearance of the Islamic messiah became a salient feature of Shi`ite Islam, especially Imami Shi`ism, where the conviction of the advent of the Mahdi, the twelfth Imam, continues to be expressed in the most repeated Shia prayer: “May God hasten release from suffering through his (the Imam’s) rise.”“13 Thus, according to Shias, the Hidden Imam will rise at the command of Allah at some date in the future.14 Dr Said Amir Arjomand, Professor of Sociology, State University of New York at Stony Brook,15 gives this summary from a Shiite tradition: “In another tradition, al-Sadiq (6th Imam of Twelvers) is reported to have explained that the Qa’im is known as such “because he will rise after his death for an important task, and will rise by the command of God.”. . . Qa’im and the Mahdi are one and the same person who is named Mahdi “because he guides to the secret things; and he is named Qa`im because he will rise after death. He will rise for an important task.””16 The Scarlet Beast will come up from the “abyss.” Revelation 17:8 states that the beast will come up from the “abyss.” Shias do not define the place from which the Hidden Imam will rise, only that the Hidden Imam exists in concealment and that one day he will emerge at the command of Allah. The Bible names the place from which the scarlet beast will come up. The place is referred to as the “abyss” (17:8). The “abyss” is a Biblical term that refers to the abode of demons. Bible scholar, Robert Thomas, speaking of the “coming up” of the scarlet beast, describes the abyss as follows: “After his death, he will come to life again. When he does, he will come back in a demonic rather than a purely human form to establish his world domination (Beckwith). This explains why the abyss, the abode of demons (Luke 8:31, Rev 9:1,2, 11), is his origin.”17
Revelation 9 describes the beast as a demonic being, and the scarlet beast’s origin as the abode of the demonic: Revelation 9:7 “And the appearance of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle; and on their heads, as it were, crowns like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men. 8 . . . . 10 And they have tails like scorpions, and stings; and in their tails is their power to hurt men for five months. 11 They have as king over them, the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in the Greek he has the name Apollyon.” (Emphasis supplied). If we tie the Bible’s prophecies together, we conclude that the scarlet beast of Revelation 17 and the angel of the abyss of Revelation 9 are one and the same entities. Both come up from the “abyss.” This being is named “Abaddon” by Revelation 9:11 and the “scarlet beast” by Revelation 17. If we compare the characteristics of the Hidden Imam (the risen Muhammad al-Mahdi) of Islamic Twelver prophecies with the characteristics of the scarlet beast/Abaddon, we can conclude that the two religions are referring to the same demonic being; both have identical characteristics for this being. The Bible calls him Abaddon, the demonic angel of the abyss. Islam calls him Muhammad al-Madi, a supernatural being that somehow has existed for over 1,200 years. They are the same being. Christians refer to him as Antichrist. We will look in detail at Bible prophecies concerning him in our next chapters. The scarlet beast is the Antichrist. He is called Abaddon in Last Day’s prophecies; and, Islam calls him Muhammad al-Mahdi. The Heads of the Beast The text tells us: The seven heads are seven kings: A. five have fallen, (17:10) B. one is, (17:10) C. the other has not yet come, and when he comes, he must remain a little while; (17:10). Return with me to the beast from the sea of Revelation 13. The beast from the sea had seven heads. We interpreted the seven heads to represent Islam throughout its history up to the Last Days. The scarlet beast has seven heads. They are the same heads as those of the beast from the sea. The beast from the sea is Islam up until the Last Days. The scarlet beast is Islam in the Last Days. The seven heads represent Muhammad and the six Islam’s caliphates that follow his death in 632AD: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Muhammad the Prophet, the head that died as if it were slain (Revelation 13:3); Umayyads, 661 - 749AD, 1st caliphate Abbasids, 749 - 932, 2nd caliphate Buyids, 9320 -1055, 3rd caliphate Seljuk Turks, 1055 -1258, 4th caliphate Mongols, 1258 -1350, 5th caliphate Ottomans, 1342 - 1924, 6th caliphate
Here is what the text means: Five Fallen, One is, One has not Yet Come: 1. The five “fallen” heads are the five empires of Islam beginning with the Ummayyads through the Mongols
(1258 - 1350), each of which were overthrown by a successor dynasty. “Fallen,” in the context of the original Greek, has the meaning of a violent overthrow rather than simply having died or passed away.18 2. The head that “is” represents Islam after the overthrow of the fifth of five overthrown (“fallen”) dynasties. i.e., the Ummayyads, Abbasids, Buyids, Seljuk Turks, and Mongols. The successor empire to the Mongols was the Ottomans. The Ottomans continued as the caliphate of Islam through 1924 when President Ataturk of Turkey led his country to repeal Islamic law, abolish the Islamic state and the caliphate (Turkey became a republic in 1924). The Ottomans are not included in our count of “five fallen” empires because the Ottomans were not overthrown, i.e., they were not defeated by a successor Islamic state which lay claim to the caliphate; rather, the Ottomans “repealed” Islamic law and abolished the caliphate. The “is” head of the beast is Islam as a spiritual empire that exists after the five fallen dynasties, continuing up to the coming of the last caliphate. At times, this empire will exist through a specific caliphate, e.g., the Ottomans through 1924. After the Ottomans, the spiritual empire of Islam will exist, but no longer will it be identified by a clan or nation as its “caliphate.” The center of Islam will be unidentifiable. Islam’s sectarian lines will be drawn; disunity will insure they continue as such. Yet, the coming head of the beast, the eighth head, prophecies that disunity will not be perpetual. It will one day end; and Islam will no longer exists in the nameless sate of “is.” 3. The head that “has not yet come, and when he comes he must remain a little while” is the last caliphate of Islam that will rise up in the Last Days. The Bible says this kingdom will last for a short period of time. Since this head represents the last head, the period within which this head will dominate is defined by scripture for us – seven years, the period referred to biblically as the “tribulation period” (Daniel 9:27, Revelation 7:14, and Matthew 24:2119). This period will include the entering into a seven year covenant with the “prince who is to come” (Daniel 9:26), the Antichrist. Clearly, this seven year period constitutes a “little while” when one compares the length of each of the preceding six caliphates of Islam, the shortest of which is the Umayyads, 88 years.
The Scarlet Beast is the “Eighth Head.” Revelation 17:10 tells us the seven heads of the scarlet beast are seven “kings,” and 17:11 tells us that the beast is an “eighth” and “one of the seven.” So then, for the beast to be an “eighth” means that he is the eighth king. If we count beginning with Muhammad through the Ottomans, we count seven. As the next caliph, the scarlet beast is the 8th king. But how can the beast be the eighth king, and at the same time be “one of the seven”? Seems to be a contradiction, doesn’t it? Both requirements are in the same sequence of numbers so how can one person meet both requirements? Let me show you. The Scarlet Beast is “One of the Seven” Kingdoms. When Revelation 17:11 speaks of the scarlet beast as “one of the seven,” what it has in mind are the seven heads of the beast as defined in 17:10 and in Revelation 13:2. In both of these references, the seven heads represented Muhammad and the six caliphates of Islam that succeeded him, i.e., the Umayyads through the Ottomans. The scarlet beast is “one of the seven” in the sense that it will also be a “caliphate” of Islam. This “caliphate” will be “one of the seven,” not because it is a member of the seven but because it is the successor to the seventh caliphate, the Ottomans. This would make the scarlet beast the eighth head of the beast, and the eighth and final caliphate of Islam. 108
Consider what a couple of the “experts” say relative to the possibility and importance of a revived caliphate of Islam: Dr. Bruce Lawrence, Professor of Religion at Duke University,20 in his compilation of the statements of Osama bin Laden, makes the following statements: “For many radical Islamist movements who identify the root cause of the Muslim world’s problems as a decline in spirituality and religious observance, the restoration of the Caliphate is a priority.”21 (Emphasis supplied) “Since the abolition of the Ottoman Caliphate, no country has replaced Turkey as the Muslim world’s center. According to Sayyid Qutb (the late Egyptian intellectual whose philosophy is thought to be the foundation of Islamic belief of Al Qaeda22), in order to bring about a new Caliphate governed by God’s law there must be a revival in one Muslim country, enabling it to attain that status. When the Taliban captured Kabul in 1996, Afghanistan became an official Islamic state, or emirate, ruled by shari’a, and in the view of bin Laden and others, the strongest candidate for a new Caliphate.”23 (Emphasis suppled) Dr. Timothy Furnish, Professor of History, Georgia Perimeter College, provides further, In recent years, there has been a growing debate among Islamists about the need to restore the caliphate. One international Islamist movement, Hizb at-Tahrir (“the Liberation Party”), has kept this idea alive intellectually for over fifty years by publishing tracts on the subject. Members of the party, and those Islamists influenced by them, argue that a prerequisite for the empowerment of the Muslims is the restoration of the caliphate in some “liberated” part of the Muslims’ world. This pure Islamic state, under a caliph, would then turn into a base for further expansion.24 (Emphasis suppled) And who will the eight head of the scarlet beast be? The leader of the final caliphate of Islam? We have already identified him. Remember, the text told us that once having identified the beast that was, is not, and is about to come up from the abyss, this same one is the eight head, the final caliphate of Islam.
Revelation 17:11 "And the beast which was and is not, is himself also an eighth, and is one of the seven, and he goes to destruction.”
He is Abaddon of Revelation 9:11, the angel of the abyss. He is the Hidden Imam of Twelver Islam, a supernatural demonic being that somehow exists for 1,200 years and will one day rise as Muhammad alMahdi, the Islamic Messiah. Christians refer to him as Antichrist. The scarlet beast as eighth head of a united Islam. The eighth caliphate of Islam will have to have a caliph. Revelation 17:8 tells us who he will be. 109
Revelation 17:8 "The beast that you saw was and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and to go to destruction. . . .” We have already identified him as Muhammad al-Mahdi of Twelver Shiism. Biblically, he is called, Abaddon (Revelation 9:11), the destroyer. Christians call him Antichrist. But how will Islam be united under one caliph? Do Sunnis even believe in Muhammad al-Mahdi? Yes, they do, but not in some of the “details” of what his mission will be. Consider the following Sunni source: “According to the unanimously accepted sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, God (Allah) will bring about a savior before the end of time to establish the global domination of Islam over all religions. In other words, the savior will establish the Kingdom of God on earth. In Islamic traditions, that savior is known by the name of “al-Mahdi.”25 How Will Sunnis and Shiites Unite? Both sects of Islam believe in an eschatological savior, the Mahdi. A primary difference between the two is that Shias also refer to al-Mahdi as “Al-Qaim,” literally, “redresser” of wrongs. Al-Qaim avenges wrongs committed against Shias by Sunnis from the earliest days of Islam. Dr. Said Amir Arjomand, Professor of Sociology, State University of New York at Stony Brook, puts it this way: “A Shi`ite tradition quotes al-Baqir as follows: “When the Qa`im from the family of the Prophet will rise, he will distribute equally among the people and will establish justice among his subjects.”26 The reference to “distribute equally among the people” is a reference to Sunni excesses at the expense of Shias throughout Islamic history. Shias believe al-Mahdi will equalize wealth by taking from the Sunni rich and giving to the Shia poor; to Shias (not Sunnis), al-Mahdi will be a modern day “Robin Hood.” Dr Abdul Sachedina quotes the most repeated prayer among Shias: “May God hasten release from suffering through his Mahdi’s rise.”27 Sachedina states: “The year by year commemoration of the ‘Ashura’ by the Shi’i community indicates not only their sorrow for the afflictions suffered by the family of the Prophet [Shi`ahs], but also their yearning for the descendant of this Imam to rise against unbearable social circumstances and establish the rule of justice and equity.’ This is clearly evident in the condolences that the Shi’ites offer each other on the occasion of ‘Ashura’, saying: “May God grant us great rewards for our bereavement caused by the martyrdom of al-Husayn (peace be on him), and make us among those who will exact vengeance for his blood with His friend (wali) the Imam al-Mahdi, from among the descendants of Muhammad (peace 110
be on him)”. . . . The martyrdom of al-Husayn, thus embodies for the Shi`ites not only their vision of . . . revenge, but also their final hope for justice through the rise of his descendant.”28 Shias believe, “It is the promise of God, . . ., that he will raise the cry of al-Qa`im for those who killed al-Husayn, and He will take vengeance against those who wronged him.”29 Dr Timothy Furnish adds, “All Shi`ah groups do, however, agree that a Hidden Imam will reveal himself before the Last Days as al-Mahdi al-Muntazar, the “Awaited Mahdi,” who will not only create a worldwide socioeconomically just Islamic state (a point on which they agree with the Sunnis) but also rebuke the Sunnis for their stubborn refusal to admit their historical mistake of rejecting the Shi`ah Imams.30 Some Shia traditions hold that Muhammad al-Mahdi will especially severe to Arabs. Consider the following: Al Qa’im will rise with a new authority, a new Book, and a new order, which will be severe on the Arabs (his main supporters, according to some traditions, will be the non-Arabs). His state of affairs will be the sword (he is known as the sahib al-sayf, Master of the Sword), and he will not accept repentance from anyone, nor will the rebuke of his adversaries deter him from carrying out the command of God.”31 (Emphasis supplied) Here is what the Bible says. The Antichrist will Subdue Three Kings/Kingdoms Who “Align” With Him. Daniel 7:8 describes Daniel’s 4th beast. In the days before the Ancient of Days takes his seat for judgment (7:26-27), i.e., the Last Days, another horn from the beast will come up along with the ten horns of the beast:
NAS Daniel 7:20 “and the meaning of the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up, and before which three of them fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth uttering great boasts, and which was larger in appearance than its associates. . . . 24 'As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise; and another will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones and will subdue three kings.”
Here is what the prophecy means: In the Last Days before the return of Christ, ten Muslim nations or groups will come together. At the same time, a leader (the “other” horn) will arise. This leader will “come up” (7:20) and will subdue three of the ten horns. The leader is Muhammad al-Mahdi. He emerges from within Shia Islam. Sunnis will not follow a Shiite leader – unless they are forced to. As “al-Qaim,” he avenges the wrongs of Sunnis by destroying three Sunni nations. We concluded that Saudi Arabia will be destroyed by a ten member Alliance led by the 111
scarlet beast, Muhammad al-Mahdi. This same ten horns appears in Daniel 7:23f (not same ten horns as Daniel 7:8). Therefore, one of the three subdued horns is Saudi Arabia. The other two must also be Sunni nations. After the destruction of three major Sunni nations, the rest of Islam will submit to al-Mahdi – either willingly or unwillingly. If history repeats itself, Muslims will see the success of al-Mahdi as the will of Allah. They will count him as favored by Allah because of his success, and worthy of the caliphate. When Muhammad died in 632AD, Islam almost disintegrated. Caliph Umar was faced with how to bring the apostates back into the fold and sought to do so by force through the “Ridda wars.” His efforts were modestly successful; but what turned the tide was the success of Muslim raiding parties for subsistence purposes (as opposed to Muslim expansion). Here is how Karen Armstrong describes the unifying effort to Islam of the successful conquest of nonArabian lands. “Under Umar’s leadership, therefore, the Arabs burst into Iraq, Syria, and Egypt, achieving a series of astonishing victories. . . The Muslims were victorious (over the Syrians) at the Battle of Yarmuk (636) . . ., conquering Jerusalem in 638, and controlled the whole of Syria, Palestine and Egypt by 641. . . . This expansion continued. . . . . The experience of conquest enhanced their sense that something tremendous had happened to them. . . . Look what had happened once they had surrendered to God’s will. Where Christians discerned God’s hand in apparent failure and defeat when Jesus died on the cross, Muslims experienced political success as sacramental and as a revelation of the divine presence in their lives.32 As we have concluded, Saudi oil will become the possession of the Mahdi and his Mahdi army; and, he will turn the spigots off! Only Muslims will be entitled to this precious resource.
Revelation 13:16 And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand, or on their forehead, 17 and he provides that no one should be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name.” (Emphasis supplied)
The mark is an identifier for a non-Muslim. If he has been so “marked,” he will be allowed to buy or sell. Can’t buy any oil without it. No oil, no . . . everything! Imagine what it will be like in the Western world! Then he will turn his army against the non-Muslim world. The Bible says so.
Daniel 7:23 "Thus he said: 'The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, which will be different from all the other kingdoms, and it will devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it.” (Emphasis supplied)
Daniel 7:25 'And he will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest 112
One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.” (Emphasis supplied)
Revelation 13:7 “And it was given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them; and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. 8 And all who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.” (Emphasis supplied) Revelation 13:15"And there was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast might even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed.” 16 (Emphasis supplied)
Conclusion. Here is what we have discovered: 1. An historical person of the 9th century, Muhammad b. Hasan, lived. Twelver Shias consider him their 12th Imam. He “was.” 2. Twelver Shias believe Muhammad b. Hasan, their 12th Imam, never died. He went into “hiding,” a deathless state referred to by Twelver Shias as “occultation.” The 12th Imam “is not” present, although he lives. Twelvers refer to him as the “Hidden Imam.” He “is not.” 3. Twelver Shias believe the Hidden Imam will rise at the command of Allah. When he rises, he will no longer be referred to as the “Hidden Imam,” but Muhammad al-Mahdi, Islam’s “Messiah.” Muhammad al-Mahdi is the “angel of the abyss” of Revelation 9:11, referred to as “Abaddon.” Muhammad al-Mahdi is “about to come up from the abyss” (Revelation 17:8). 4. The “five fallen” kings of 17:10 are the five Islamic dynasties beginning with the Ummayyads in 661AD through the Mongols of 1350AD. 5. The “is” king of 17:10 are the Ottomans from 1342 - 1924; following the repeal of Islamic law and the abolishing of the caliphate in 1924, the “is” king is the spiritual empire of Islam, albeit not in the state of a caliphate. This state continues to “exist” up until the kingdom that “has not yet come.” 6. The “kingdom that has not yet come” is the Last Caliphate of Islam. When it comes, the scarlet beast will be its head. He will be the “eighth” head of the beast.
Chapter 8 Endnotes:
1Available at http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid-2275183,prtpage-1.cms at August 14, 2007. 2Robert L. Thomas, Revelation 8 - 22, An Exegetical Commentary, p. 296. 3King James version translates “five are fallen.” The question arises as to the meaning of the original Greek word, “piptow.” Does it mean “fallen” in the sense of “subdued” or “defeated” or “come to an end”? Or does “fallen” have the meaning of not meeting a certain minimum standard? If the meaning is to not meet the minimum standard for “kingship,” then the five kings that are fallen should be added to the seven, not subtracted. Only one use in New Testament where Greek word “piptow” could be translated as not meeting a minimum standard - Hebrews 11:32. This passage translates the word, “fails.” There are 89 other uses of the Greek word and all have the meaning of “falling down,” or “come to an end. “ 4Available at http://www.ummah.net/khoei/imam.htm. 5Ibid. 6Ibid. 7Abdulaziz Abdulhussein Sachedina, Islamic Messianism, The Idea of the Mahdi in Twelver Shi`ism, p. 23. 8Abdulaziz Abdulhussein Sachedina, p. 23. 9Said Amir Arjomand, The Shadow of God and the Hidden Imam, p. 71. 10Abdulaziz Abdulhussein Sachedina, p. 42. There are many factions within Shiism which disagree based on the historical accuracy of the son of al-Askari, the 11 th Imam. Sachedina includes a discussion of twelve separate factions on this question, each of which is reported by Islamic historian, Hasan bin Musa al-Nawbakhti. See p. 42f. 11Available at, http://pewforum.org/events/0503/sachedinabio.htm, at September 6, 2007. 12Sachedina, p. 23. 13Sachedina, p. 3. 14 The concept of al-Mahdi also exists in Sunni Islam. For a review of Sunni views on al-Mahdi see Timothy R. Furnish, Holiest Wars. 15Available at, http://www.ssrc.org/sept11/essays/arjomand.htm, September 6, 2007. 16Arjomand, p. 39-40. 17Robert Thomas, Revelation 8 - 22, p. 294. 18Word Biblical Commentary, Revelation Vol 52c, electronic version, Thomas Nelson Publishers. 19Stephen R. Miller, Daniel, New American Commentary, p. 268-269. 20Available at, http://www.thenation.com/directory/bios/bruce_lawrence, at September 6, 2007. 21Bruce Lawrence, p. 121, note 25.
Chapter 8 Endnotes:
22Available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sayyid_Qutb at August 20, 2007. 23Bruce Lawrence, p. 42, note 25. 24Available at http://www.meforum.org/article/159 at August 14, 2007. 25Available at http://www.fas.org/man/sprint/Islamic, p. 36 at August 20, 2007. 26Said Amir Arjomand, The Shadow of God and the Hidden Imam, Religion, Political Oder, and Societal Change in Shi`ite Iran frm the Beginning to 1890.”, p. 39. 27Sachedina, p. 173. 28Sachedina, p. 157. 29Sachedina, p. 157. 30Timothy R. Furnish, Holiest Wars, Islamic Mahdis, Their Jihads, and Osama bin Laden, p. 5. 31Sachedina, p. 174. 32Karen Armstrong, p 26-29.
Chapter 9 A Revived Caliphate to Dominate the World Introduction. See if this takes your breath away (Sunni source): “According to the unanimously accepted sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, God (Allah) will bring about a savior before the end of time to establish the global domination of Islam over all religions. In other words, the savior will establish the Kingdom of God on earth. In Islamic traditions, that savior is known by the name of “al-Mahdi.”1 The Bible says so. Do you believe the Qur’an or the Bible? I believe the Bible. Muhammad al-Mahdi is from Islamic prophecies, right? Yes. So how can I believe that Muhammad al-Mahdi will one day emerge to lead Islam to dominate the world? The Bible says so. In allegorical form. That is, it gives us the prophecies of the Last Days in the form of representative symbols and metaphors, which, taken together and interpreted correctly, write the future story of what will happen in the Last Days. When Islam’s prophecies match the Bible’s, I believe them. Not because Islam says so, but because the Bible does. The Bible tells us how things are going to play out in the Last Days; and, it tells us how things will really be. For example, Islam defines Muhammad al-Mahdi as a savior who will “establish the kingdom of God on earth.” To “establish the kingdom of God on earth” sounds like a pretty good plan don’t you think? The Bible tells us the truth about this coming one. He will make himself out to be the bearer of good tidings; the bearer of peace and justice to the world; but, in reality, he is satan’s Antichrist. He will not bring the kingdom of God on earth but the kingdom of satan. When he does appear, God’s plan is that Christians will know him for who he really is, regardless of what he declares and what miracles he is able to perform. This chapter is about Islamic prophecies of a united Islam and Islam’s coming domination of the world; and, it will show us the Bible’s prophecies of this future dominion. The Bible says so. That’s enough for me. The Revived Caliphate. We have interpreted the scarlet beast (Revelation 17) to be the future individual that Islam refers to as Muhammad al-Mahdi. The Bible tells us that this one will also be the “eighth head” of the scarlet beast. The Bible also tells us that the scarlet beast is “one of the seven”; and, we have interpreted this to mean that the scarlet beast is a coming dynasty, i.e., caliphate, of Islam. We have counted seven so far. The scarlet beast is the last empire, the last caliphate of Islam. It will be the caliphate revived. Copyright © 2007 www.whenthepiecesfit.org
This last caliphate is being talked about today. Let me show you. Dr. Bruce Lawrence, Professor of Religion at Duke University,2 in his compilation of the statements of Osama bin Laden, makes the following statements: “For many radical Islamist movements who identify the root cause of the Muslim world’s problems as a decline in spirituality and religious observance, the restoration of the Caliphate is a priority.”3 (Emphasis supplied) “Since the abolition of the Ottoman Caliphate, no country has replaced Turkey as the Muslim world’s center. According to Sayyid Qutb (the late Egyptian intellectual whose philosophy is thought to be the foundation of Islamic belief of Al Qaeda4), in order to bring about a new Caliphate governed by God’s law there must be a revival in one Muslim country, enabling it to attain that status. When the Taliban captured Kabul in 1996, Afghanistan became an official Islamic state, or emirate, ruled by shari’a, and in the view of bin Laden and others, the strongest candidate for a new Caliphate.”5 (Emphasis supplied) Dr. Timothy Furnish, Professor of History, Georgia Perimeter College, provides further, In recent years, there has been a growing debate among Islamists about the need to restore the caliphate. One international Islamist movement, Hizb at-Tahrir (“the Liberation Party”), has kept this idea alive intellectually for over fifty years by publishing tracts on the subject. Members of the party, and those Islamists influenced by them, argue that a prerequisite for the empowerment of the Muslims is the restoration of the caliphate in some “liberated” part of the Muslims’ world. This pure Islamic state, under a caliph, would then turn into a base for further expansion.6 (Emphasis supplied) And finally, by Sunni Islam’s Osama bin Laden, “So I say that, in general, our concern is that our umma (Islamic community) unites either under the Words of the Book of God or His Prophet, and that this nation should establish the righteous caliphate of our umma, which has been prophesied by our Prophet in his authentic hadith: that the righteous caliph will return with the permission of God. The umma is asked to unite itself in the face of this Crusaders’ campaign (the United States) the strongest, most powerful, and most ferocious Crusaders’ campaign to fall on the Islamic umma since the dawn of Islamic history. There have been past Crusader wars, but there have never been campaigns like this one before.7 (Emphasis supplied) Do Sunnis and Shiites both Believe in Muhammad al-Mahdi? Yes, they do, but not in the whole of his missio. Here is an example of Sunni belief. Ibn Khaldun, the 14th century Islamic historian(Sunni) writes the following: “It has been (accepted) by all the Muslims in every epoch, that at the end of time a man from the family (of the Prophet) will, without fail, make his appearance, one who will strengthen Islam and make justice 117
triumph. Muslims will follow him, and he will gain domination over the Muslim realm. He will be called the Mahdi.”8 (Emphasis supplied)
The Sunni belief in al-Mahdi is probably no better summarized than by the General Secretariat of the World Muslim League, Shaykh Muhammad al Muntasi al-Katani (along with four other Sunni Muslim scholars): “The memorizers and scholars of hadith have verified that there are reliable and acceptable reports among the hadith on the Mahdi; the majority of them are narrated among numerous authorities. There is no doubt about their status as mutawatir and sahih reports. . . And the belief in the appearance of the Mahdi is obligatory, and that it is one of he beliefs of the people of the sunna and the jama’ah; and none denies it except those who are ignorant of the sunna and the innovators in doctrine.”9 (Emphasis supplied) How Do Sunni and Shiite Beliefs Differ? We have already established the Shia belief in al-Mahdi. The “Hidden Imam” who emerges as al-Mahdi originates from Twelver Shiism. However, both sects of Islam believe in an eschatological savior, al-Mahdi. A primary difference between the two is that Shias also refer to al-Mahdi as “Al-Qaim,” literally, “redresser of wrongs.” Al-Qaim al-Mahdi avenges wrongs committed against Shias by Sunnis from the earliest days of Islam. Dr. Said Amir Arjomand, Professor of Sociology, State University of New York at Stony Brook, puts it this way: “A Shi`ite tradition quotes al-Baqir as follows: “When the Qa`im from the family of the Prophet will rise, he will distribute equally among the people and will establish justice among his subjects.”10 The reference to “distribute equally among the people” is a reference to Sunni excesses at the expense of Shias throughout Islamic history. Shias believe al-Mahdi will equalize wealth by taking from the Sunni rich and giving to the Shia poor. To Shias (not Sunnis), al-Mahdi will be a “Robin Hood” of sorts. Dr Abdul Sachedina quotes the most repeated prayer among Shias: “May God hasten release from suffering through his Mahdi’s rise.”11 Sachedina quotes from another Shia tradition: “The year by year commemoration of the ‘Ashura’ by the Shi’i community indicates not only their sorrow for the afflictions suffered by the family of the Prophet [Shi`ahs], but also their yearning for the descendant of this Imam to rise against unbearable social circumstances and establish the rule of justice and equity.’ This is clearly evident in the condolences that the Shi’ites offer each other on the occasion of ‘Ashura’, saying: “May God grant us great rewards for our bereavement caused by the martyrdom of al-Husayn (peace be on him), and make us among those who will exact vengeance for his blood with His friend (wali) the Imam al-Mahdi, from among the descendants of Muhammad (peace be on him)”. . . . The martyrdom of al-Husayn, thus embodies for the Shi`ites not only their vision of . . . 118
revenge, but also their final hope for justice through the rise of his descendant.”12 Shias believe, “It is the promise of God, . . ., that he will raise the cry of al-Qa`im for those who killed al-Husayn, and He will take vengeance against those who wronged him.”13 Sachedina states, “The main purpose of [Mahdi’s rising] is to humble or destroy the evil forces of this world and establish the fully just Islamic rule. Indeed, the establishment of the rule of the twelfth successor of the Prophet is reckoned as the climax of Imamite history – a history full of struggle and radical social protest; a history of sufferings, afflictions, and the martyrdom of its leaders and loyal adherents, who, in the course of centuries and under unbearable social and political circumstances, persisted in their faith . . . . Hence, al-Mahdi’s rule personifies the chiliastic vision of the Shi`ites who believe that all their dreams will come true “when God will lay his (al-Mahdi’s) hand on the heads of the people.14 Dr Timothy Furnish adds, “All Shi`ah groups do, however, agree that a Hidden Imam will reveal himself before the Last Days as al-Mahdi al-Muntazar, the “Awaited Mahdi,” who will not only create a worldwide socioeconomically just Islamic state (a point on which they agree with the Sunnis) but also rebuke the Sunnis for their stubborn refusal to admit their historical mistake of rejecting the Shi`ah Imams.15 He Will Bring “Justice” through His “Sword.” As Al-Qa`im, Shias believe that the Mahdi will bring about peace and justice through his sword. That is, peace will not come by treaty but by forced subjection to Muhammad al-Mahdi’s version of Islam. The Shia view is seen in another name of al-Mahdi – Master of the Sword (sahib al-sayf).16 Sachedina explains, In addition to the Prophetic light, the Imam is heir to the Prophetic weapons (al-silah),. . . . The Prophet, according to the Twelvers, left his sword, coat of mail, and a short spear (anaza) to Ali. The possession of the Prophet’s sword was considered to be the most crucial factor in deciding the Imamate and the obedience to the Imam. This sword was named dhual-fiqar (endowed with piercing quality) and was believed to have been brought by Gabriel from the heavens.”17 The Mahdi, as Master of the Sword, will use his weapon to bring Islam under one banner and the world under Islam. Shias believe he will do so without mercy. “Al-Baqir is reported to have said, “I can see your religion mixed with blood [in the future]. . . . However, al-Qa’im will not follow the Prophet’s example of gentleness and flexibility and winning over the people by uniting them; . . . . He will also not follow the example of ‘Ali, who adopted the path of forgiveness and benevolence in his dealings with the people, . . . His state of affairs will be the sword. . . .”18 119
It is important to point out that the word “sword” has little bearing on the type of weapon that Muhammad al-Mahdi will use to bring about his “justice.” In a preceding chapter, we looked at Al-Qaeda’s modern day weapon of choice against America’s greatest point of vulnerability – her economy. We examined the depth of a wound that could be inflicted upon America if her economy could be seriously impacted, e.g., by the disruption or elimination of Saudi Arabian crude oil from the world markets. Consider again this statement by Osama bin Laden: Here we have clear proof that this destructive, usurious global economy that America uses, together with its military force, to impose unbelief and humiliation on poor peoples, can easily collapse. Those blessed strikes in New York and the other places forced it to acknowledge the loss of more than a trillion dollars, by the grace of God Almighty. And they used simple means—the enemy’s aeroplanes and schools—without even the need for training camps. God gave them the chance to teach a harsh lesson to these arrogant people who think that freedom only has meaning for the white race, and that other peoples should be humiliated and subservient, not even rising up when they strike us, as they did previously in Iraq. I say that American military power, as demonstrated recently in Afghanistan, where it poured down all its anger on these poor people, has taught us great and important lessons in how to resist this arrogant force, by the grace of God Almighty. . . So the struggle is both financial and physical. . . . And in another way, it is possible to strike the economic base that is the foundation of the military base, so when their economy is depleted they will be too busy with each other to be able to enslave poor peoples. . . .19 (Emphasis supplied) Consider also this text relative to the beast from the earth of Revelation 13, which likewise, describes an economic consequence to those who do not submit to the beast: Revelation 13:17 “and he provides that no one should be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name.” The “mark of the beast” is symbolic of one who has converted to Islam. Unless conversion occurs, one will be unable to buy or sell. That includes oil for America – until Islam is in the White House. That includes groceries for you and me, until Islam has conquered our wills. Islam’s Prior History Regarding “People of the Book” and “Dhimmis.” In prior chapters, we discussed Islam’s treatment of captives taken during jihad. We observed a typical contract between the conquered peoples, referred to as “dhimmis,” and their Islamic captors.20 So long as annual poll taxes were paid as defined by the dhimmi contract, and dhimmis followed other contractual requirements, including servitude and humiliation before their Muslim lords, dhimmis were allowed to live. They were also allowed to practice their own religion, provided they did not proselyte Muslims in any fashion nor maintain or build their places of worship. When the Mahdi rises and leads Islam in domination of the world, this former practice of dhimmitude (which has resulted in some historians defining Islam as a “tolerant religion”21) will no longer be followed by Islam. The Mahdi will end this practice. He will, in fact, be ever more severe against Arabs. Consider,
“But the Shi’ites believe that when the Qa’im rises, he will not accept the jizya (poll tax) from the Peoples of the Book. Anyone over twenty years of age who does not know his religious obligations will be put to death. The mosque and other religious edifices will be demolished, and the Mahdi will judge according to the method of David, who did not require witnesses.22 . . . Al Qa’im will rise with a new authority, a new Book, and a new order, which will be severe on the Arabs (his main supporters, according to some traditions, will be the non-Arabs). His state of affairs will be the sword (he is known as . . ., Master of the Sword), and he will not accept repentance from anyone, nor will the rebuke of his adversaries deter him from carrying out the command of God.”23 (Emphasis supplied) He Will Succeed in Islam’s Quest of World Domination. In our opening chapters, we outlined the importance to all Muslims of eventual world conquest of the non-Muslim world. Historian Bernard Lewis summarized this Muslim obligation as follows: “God’s word and God’s message are for all mankind; it is the duty of those who have accepted them to strive unceasingly to convert or at least to subjugate those who have not. This obligation is without limit of time or space. It must continue until the whole world has either accepted the Islamic faith or submitted to the power of the Islamic state.”24 Muslims believe that Muhammad al-Mahdi will be that leader who will succeed in establishing a world Islamic state. A Shiite tradition reports the Prophet as having stated, “There will be twelve Guides (Imams) after me, the first of whom is you, O' Ali, and the last one will be the 'Support' (Al-Mahdi / Al-Qa'im), who with the grace of Allah, will gain victory over the whole east and west of the world."25 Sachedina quotes another tradition, “The followers of all other religions will embrace Islam and profess faith in one God, just as He has said in the Qur’an . . . Consequently, there will be no place on earth where testimony, “I bear witness that there is no god but [Allah],” and “I bear witness that Muhammad is the Apostle of [Allah],” will not be heard. The faith that will be presented by the Qa’im will be the pure religion of Muhammad, Islam without any omission or innovation. . . .”26 Perhaps a quote taken from a Youtube video might help make the prophecies of Islam a little more modern and relevant. The individual on the video is a “Abu Hafs Al Misry, Rahimahullah.” He speaks from Khurasan (on the western border of Afghanistan; the eastern border of Iran). As he speaks, an armed gunmen can be seen behind him and to his side. Other male Muslim voices can be heard on the tape shouting agreement with his words. The translation of his speech follows (as taken from the translation content included with the video): “We gather here from all over the world and we train from here and we prepare ourselves here and we unify all the Islamic groups here. Why? Because Allah, the Glorified, wants something from here. . . The liberation of Palestine is from here. The liberation of the Arabian Peninsula is from here. And the 121
return of Muslim countries under the Islamic umbrella and the Islamic rule is from here. So be firm oh slaves of Allah. And spread the glad tidings and unite your efforts and join the blessed caravan. Join so that you, Oh Mujahid brother, will be a soldier and perform jihad in the path of Allah, and return again the spread of Islam all over the world. We must once again return as the leadership of humanity. This is our duty. Yes, this is our duty to return as leadership of humanity to the way of Allah, the Glorified. . . We praise Allah the Glorified for these blessed plans.27 We turn now to what the Bible says. The Violent Nature of the Antichrist. Islamic prophecies refer to Muhammad al-Mahdi as, (1) “Al-Qaim,” i.e., redresser of wrongs (committed by Sunnis against Shias) and the redistribution of wealth (including the Saudis to other Muslims, and America to other nations!), and (2) Master of the Sword. As Master of the Sword, al-Mahdi uses violence to subject the world to Islam. Here is what the Bible says. Daniel 7. Daniel 7:23 prophesies that the 4th beast of Daniel 7 and the “other horn” will “devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it.” This 4th beast is described as “exceedingly dreadful” (Daniel 7:19). Revelation 9:11. The angel of the abyss is referred to as “Abaddon.” The literal meaning of the Hebrew name, “Abaddon” is “destroyer.” Bible scholar Robert Thomas states: “The name Apollyon comes from apollymi which means, “I destroy.” So the Greek term has the same meaning as the Hebrew, Abaddon, “Destroyer.” This is expressive of the effect to be wrought by the demonic locusts whom the angel leads . . .”28 2 Thessalonians 2. 2 Thessalonians 2 refers to a “man of lawlessness,” the “son of destruction,” (2 Thessalonians 2:3) who is “already at work” (2 Thessalonians 2:7). This one will come in the Last Days in “accord with the activity of satan, with all power and signs and false wonders” (2 Thessalonians 2:9). This “son of destruction” will be “revealed” “in his time” (2 Thessalonians 2:6) by the Lord and will be slain by the “breath of his mouth” (2 Thessalonians 2:8). The characteristic of “destroyer” found in Islamic prophecy regarding Muhammad al-Mahdi is also the same characteristic the Bible gives for the “man of lawlessness” of 2 Thess 2:3.29 2 Thess 2:7 states that the “ man of lawlessness” will be revealed for who he really is when “the one who restrains . . . will do so until he is taken out of the way” (2 Thessalonians 2:7). The “one who restrains” is the Holy Spirit. In the Last Days, his restraint will be removed by God, and the “lawlessness” will take its natural course of greater degrees of lawlessness and evil. In the process, the true nature of this one will be revealed – this one is the Antichrist, the alter ego of satan - Abaddon, and Muhammad al-Mahdi of Islam. They all have the same characteristics – they just go by different names. The Antichrist will Subdue Three Kings/Kingdoms Who “Align” With Him. The Mahdi is the “redresser of wrongs” for Shias. Consider the following Bible prophecies of revenge exacted by one against his own.
In the days before the Ancient of Days takes his seat for judgment (7:26-27), i.e., the Last Days, another horn from the beast will come up with the ten horns of the beast. Unlike Daniel 7:8 which states the “little horn” comes up “among” the ten horns, this horn comes up after the ten. That is, the total number of horns in verse 7:8 are ten; in verse 7:20, 24, the total number is eleven! Recall Revelation 17:12, 16, from our prior chapter: the scripture prophesied a coming alliance of eleven. The alliance of eleven in Daniel 7:20f and in Revelation 17:12, 16, are the same Alliance. In Daniel 7, it is led by an unidentified “other horn.” In Revelation 17, it is led by an unidentified scarlet beast. We have identified him as Muhammad al-Mahdi. Here is the text from Daniel 7: Daniel 7:24 “'As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise; and another will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones and will subdue three kings.” Muhammad al-Mahdi is the “promised one,” the “awaited one” of Shiite and Sunni Islam. Daniel 7:24 tells us the “other horn,” likewise, comes after the other ten. Daniel 7:20 tells us the “other horn” is larger in appearance than the othen ten horns. If one interptets this characteristic metaphorically to Al-Mahdi, it has the meaning that Al-Mahdi is of greater significance to Islam since he is Islam’s Messiah, its “promised” and “awaited” one. Muhammad al-Mahdi also meets the test of being “different.” He is “different” because he is a supernatural demonic incarnation that has lived for 1,200 years as the Hidden Imam. He is not fully human, but rather, satan incarnate. Lastly, he will “subdue” three kings among which he is aligned with. This one “turns” against his own. This characteristic is met by Al-Mahdi in his designation as Al-Qaim, redresser of wrongs, and Master of the Sword. Daniel 7:24 tells us this one, i.e., Al-Mahdi subdues three of his own. We have already concluded that one of these three is Saudi Arabia, the House of Saud. In Al-Mahdi’s claim for Saudi petroleum, he further subdues two other nations of his Alliance, probably Sunni by vitue of his nature as Al_Qa`im. After the destruction of three major Sunni nations, the rest of Islam will submit to al-Mahdi – either willingly or unwillingly. If history repeats itself, Muslims will see the success of al-Mahdi as the will of Allah. They will count him as favored by Allah because of his success, and worthy of the caliphate. When Muhammad died in 632AD, Islam almost disintegrated. Caliph Umar was faced with how to bring the apostates back into the fold and sought to do so by force through the “Ridda Wars.” His efforts were modestly successful; but what turned the tide was the success of Muslim raiding parties for subsistence purposes (as opposed to Muslim expansion). Here is how Karen Armstrong describes the unifying effort to Islam of the successful conquest of nonArabian lands. “Under Umar’s leadership, therefore, the Arabs burst into Iraq, Syria, and Egypt, achieving a series of astonishing victories. . . The Muslims were victorious (over the Syrians) at the Battle of Yarmuk (636) . . ., conquering Jerusalem in 638, and controlled the whole of Syria, Palestine and Egypt by 641. . . . This expansion continued. . . . . The experience of conquest enhanced their sense that something tremendous had happened to them. . . . Look what had happened once they had surrendered to God’s will. Where Christians discerned God’s hand in apparent failure and defeat when Jesus died on the cross, Muslims experienced political success as sacramental and as a revelation of the divine 123
presence in their lives.30 Then Muhammad al-Mahdi will turn his Islamic army against the non-Muslim world. Here is what the Bible prophecies regarding the domination of the world by the Antichrist and his followers:
Daniel 7:23 "Thus he said: 'The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, which will be different from all the other kingdoms, and it will devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it.” (Emphasis supplied) Daniel 7:25 'And he will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.” (Emphasis supplied)
Revelation 13:7 “And it was given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them; and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. 8 And all who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.” (Emphasis supplied) Revelation 13:15"And there was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast might even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed.” 16 (Emphasis supplied)
The Bible says so. I am sorry to tell.
Chapter 9 Endnotes.
1Available at http://www.fas.org/man/sprint/Islamic, p. 36 at August 20, 2007. 2Available at, http://www.thenation.com/directory/bios/bruce_lawrence, at September 6, 2007. 3Bruce Lawrence, p. 121, note 25. 4Available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sayyid_Qutb at August 20, 2007. 5Bruce Lawrence, p. 42, note 25. 6Available at http://www.meforum.org/article/159 at August 14, 2007. 7Bruce Lawrence, editor, Messages to the World, The Statements of Osama bin Laden, p. 121. 8Available at http://www.fas.org/man/sprint/Islamic, p. 36 at August 20, 2007. 9Available at http://www.fas.org/man/sprint/Islamic, p. 36 at August 20, 2007. 10Said Amir Arjomand, The Shadow of God and the Hidden Imam, Religion, Political Oder, and Societal Change in Shi`ite Iran frm the Beginning to 1890.”, p. 39. 11Sachedina, p. 173. 12Sachedina, p. 157. 13Sachedina, p. 157. 14Sachedina, p. 173-174. 15Timothy R. Furnish, Holiest Wars, Islamic Mahdis, Their Jihads, and Osama bin Laden, p. 5. 16Sachedina, p. 64. 17Sachedina, p. 21. 18Sachedina, p. 174. 19Bruce Lawrence, editor, Messages to the World, the Statements of Osama bin Laden, p. 150-152. 20For a thorough discussion of the relationship between “Dhimmis” and Islam, see Bat Ye’or, Islam and Dhimmitude. 21For a thorough discussion of Islam’s tolerance of other faiths throughout history see, Robert Spencer, The Myth of Islamic Tolerance. 22Sachedina, p. 175-176. 23Sachedina, p. 174.
Chapter 9 Endnotes.
24Bernard Lewis, The Political Language of Islam, p. 72-73. 25Need footnote. 26Sachedina, p. 174. 27Available at, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BGIOWcXYNc, at September 3, 2007. 28Robert Thomas, p. 39. 29 In an earlier chapter, we referred to the Dome of the Rock as the blasphemous shrine that exalted Muhammad above God and His Christ. Its location on the Foundation Stone of the Temple Mount commemorated Muhammad’s ascension to heaven and in the process blasphemy was committed. 2 Thessalonians 2:7 refers to this prior activity when it states “the mystery of lawlessness is already at work”” (2 Thessalonians 2:7). Thus, 2 Thessalonians 2 refers to the prior activity of Muhammad when it speaks of the “mystery of lawlessness” which is “already at work”; but, refers to the Antichrist as an individual when it speaks of one who comes in accord with the activity of satan in verss7 and following. 30Karen Armstrong, p 26-29.
Islam - An Overview of Beginnings, Beliefs and History The Beginning. It all began in a cave on Mount Hira outside of Mecca in the Arabian Peninsula in the month of Ramadan,1 the 17th day of the year 610AD. Muhammad ibn Abdallah (hereafter referred to as “Muhammad”; referred to by Muslims as “the Prophet Muhammad”), age 40, married to Khadija, a wealthy business woman fifteen years his senior,2 had made his way to the cave for a spiritual retreat. While sleeping that night, Muhammad had a dream. In the beginning of the dream, Muhammad is commanded to read and to recite what he has read. Muhammad, who could not read or write at the time, replied, “I do not know how to read.” The following is Muhammad’s account of the night’s happenings (as reported partly in the Qur’an, Surah (chapter) 96:3f): The angel caught me (forcefully) and pressed me so hard that I could not bear it anymore. He then released me and again asked me to read, and I replied, ‘I do not know how to read.’ Thereupon he caught me again and pressed me a second time till I could not bear it anymore. He then released me and asked me again to read, but again I replied, ‘I do not know how to read (or what shall I read?).’ Thereupon he caught me for the third time and pressed me and then released me and said, ‘Read! In the Name of the Lord, Who has created (all that exists). Has created man from a clot. Read! And Your Lord is Most Generous. . . (unto) . . . that which he knew not.’ (Surah 96:5).3 It was not until two years later that Muhammad came to believe that he had actually been visited by the angel Gabriel, sent from Allah.4 The revelation he received that night became the first of many over the next twenty three years that made their way into the Muslim holy book, the “Qur’an” (literally, the “recitation”). The religion of the recitation was named “Islam” (literally, “submission” or “surrender”);5 and, the claim of the reciter, was that it was the last of the Divine revelations before the end of the world. The reciter claimed that the religion was a “correction” of the prior Divine revelations to Jews and Christians.6 As such, Islam accepts all of the prophets of Judaism as well as Jesus Christ of the Christian faith (but not as Son of God, or Savior/Messiah; only as prophet).7 Muhammad set about to preach the message that he had received that night, beginning with the tribe from which he was born - the Quaraysh of Mecca.8 His initial preaching in Mecca was without success. In fact, the first to believe was Khadijah, his wife, followed by Ali, his cousin and also his foster child, who would later become the fourth caliph (successor to Muhammad).9 Early adherents were from the poor and indigent of Mecca. The first person of influence was Abu Bakr, a member of a respected family of Mecca (Abu would later become the first caliph). The next convert of influence was Uthman, a member of the house of Umayya, one of the ruling families of Mecca. Uthman was Muhammad’s sole convert from among the ruling aristocrats of Mecca.10 Uthman would later become the third caliph. The Qur’an. According to author Karen Armstrong, the Qur’an is not an account of Muhammad’s life (as the Gospels are for Jesus’ life for Christians); rather, the Qur’an “reveals the Creator rather than his messenger.”11 According to Muslims, the Qur’an was revealed to Muhammad by the angel Gabriel beginning in the year 610AD. Muhammad claimed that for twenty-three years he received direct messages from God, which were collected in the book Muslims refer to as the Qur’an. Further, the Qur’an, according to Muhammad, came to him verse by verse, line by line, chapter by chapter (a chapter is
referred to as “Surah”). As each new verse was revealed to Muhammad, he recited it aloud. The first revelation received by Muhammad is the beginning of Surah 96: “Read out! In the Name of the Lord who creates, who creates man from a blood-clot. Read out! For thy Lord is the Most Munificent who teaches by the pen, teaches man that which he knew not.”12 As other revelations were recited by Muhammad, his Companions committed them to memory. Those who could write, wrote them down13 on “pieces of payrus, flat stones, palm leaves, shoulder blades and ribs of animals, pieces of leather and wooden boards, as well as from the hearts of men.14 The collections of the Qur’an did not take place until the caliphate of Abu Bakr (632 - 634 AD). Alphonse Mingana, quotes from a “tradition” of Islam as follows. In this “tradition,” the secretary of Abu Bakr, Zaid ibn Thabit, is speaking15: “We have heard it from Musa b. Ismai`il, who heard it from Ibrahim b. Sa`d, who heard it from ibn Shihab, who in his turn heard it from Ubaid b. Sabbak, who related that Zaid b. Thabit said: “At the massacre of Yamamah, Abu Bakr summoned me, while Umar ibnul-Khattab was with him; and Abu Bakr said: ‘Slaughter has waxed hot among the readers of the Koran, in the day of Yamamah, and I fear that it may again wax hot among the readers in other countries as well; and that much may be lost from the Koran. Now, therefore, I deem that thou shouldest give orders for the collection of the Koran.’ I said to Umar, ‘How doest thus something that the Apostle of God – may God pray on him and give him peace – has not done?’ And Umar said: ‘By Allah, this is good.’ And Umar did not cease to renew it repeatedly to me, until God set my breast at ease towards it, and I considered it as Umar had considered it.” Zaid added and said: “Abu Bakr then said, “Thou art a young man and wise, against whom no man can cast an imputation, and thou wast writing down the Revelation for the Apostle of God – search out then the Koran and collect it.’ By Allah, if I were ordered to transfer a mountain it would not have been more difficult for me than this order to collect the Koran; and I said, ‘How canst thou do something that the Apostle of God- may God praise on him and give him peace – has not done’; and (Abu Bakr) said: ‘By Allah, this is good’; and he did not cease to renew it repeatedly to me, until God set my heart at ease towards it, so He has done for Umar and Abu Bakr– may God be pleased with both of them – and I sought out the Koran, collecting it from palm branches, white stones, and breasts of men. . . And the . . .(rolls) were with Abu Bakr until God took him to Himself, then with Umar, in all his life time, then with Hafsah, the daughter of Umar, may God be pleased with him.”16 Over the years that followed Abu Bakr’s initial order to Zaid ibn Thabit to compile the revelations in a holy book, divergent translations of the Qur’an arose. The following describes the process of arriving at an “official” text once again: According to tradition, the next step was taken under Uthman (644 - 656). One of Uthman’s generals asked the caliph to make such a collection because serious disputes had broken out among his troops from different provinces in regard to the correct readings of the Koran. Uthman chose Zaid ibn Thabit to prepare the official text. Zaid, with the help of three members of the noble Meccan families, carefully revised the Koran comparing his version with the “leaves” in the possession of Hafsa, Uthman’s daughter; and as instructed, in case of difficulty as to the reading, Zaid followed the dialect of
the Quraish, the Prophet’s tribe. The copies of the new version, which must have been completed between 650 and Uthman’s death in 656, were sent to Kufa, Basra, Damascus, and perhaps Mecca, and one was, of course, kept in Medina. All other versions were ordered to be destroyed.17 The Qur’an is arranged by Surah (chapter) and within each Surah, by verse. However, the Surahs are not presented in the order uttered by Muhammad. When the first official text was first compiled by Abu Bakr’s secretary, Zaid, the longer Surahs were placed at the beginning and the shorter Surahs were placed at the end.18 Further, the earliest parts of the Qur’an are said to refer to the special problems that Muhammad encountered while his religion was still a struggling sect. As these problems arose, Muhammad would receive or remember a recitation; the recitation would be stated and then implemented by Muhammad and his followers. The revelations came to Muhammad in the Arabic language, the language acclaimed by Muslims to be the “language of God.”19 Muslims believe that the Qur’an was, in fact, recited to Muhammad by the Angel Gabriel in Arabic as the very words of Allah. Thus, they believe it impossible to translate the Qur’an in its “reality” into another language. Translations of the Qur’an are therefore unusable for ritual and liturgical purposes.20 Muslims believe Muhammad gave the final revelation of the Qur’an a few months before his death (6/8/632) wherein the following recitation was made: “Today, I have perfected your religion for you, and I have completed my blessing upon you, and I have approved Islam for your religion.” (Surah 5:5) Muslims memorize the Qur’an with regard to their knowledge of Arabic. The first phase of primary education in Muslim countries is the memorization of the Qur’an. According to Cyril Glasse’ “thousands upon thousands” of Muslims know the entire Qur’an by memory.21 Karen Armstrong gives this summary of the Muslim response to the Arabic of the Qur’an: The Arabs found the Qur’an quite astonishing: it was unlike any other literature they had encountered before. Some . . . were converted immediately, believing that divine inspiration alone could account for this extraordinary language. . . . Muslims still find the Qur’an profoundly moving. They say that when they listen to it they feel enveloped in a divine dimension of sound, rather like Muhammad on Mount Hira when he experienced the embrace of the angel or when, later, he saw this supernatural being filling the entire sky whichever way he looked.22 The Hadith (literally, “speech,” “report,” “account”). The Hadith (sometimes referred to as “Traditions”) are collections of the sayings of the Prophet as recounted by Muhammad’s Companions.23 The Hadith (along with the “Sunnah”) are secondary to the Qur’an in importance. Each Hadith amounts to a narration from the life of the prophet as related by a Companion, as opposed to what the prophet said specifically24, i.e., as a revelation (which is in the Qur’an). The Hadith have been compiled by four different Islamic scholars over Islam’s history. The compilation considered to be the most authentic is that of Sahih Al-Bukhari. The Hadith are followed by the Sunni sect of Islam since the content can be traced to one of Muhammad’s Companions. The Shiites do not follow the Hadith but follow the khabar. For Shiites, the authenticity of Muhammad’s sayings can only be traced or authenticated by Ali and the Imams of Shiism.25 Hadiths offer explanation or additional information on the Qur’an. An example of a Hadith can be seen by the quoted Tradition above concerning the Qur’an’s formation: “We have heard it from Musa b. Ismai`il, who heard it from Ibrahim b. Sa`d, who heard it from ibn
Shihab, who in his turn heard it from Ubaid b. Sabbak, who related that Zaid b. Thabit said: “At the massacre of Yamamah, Abu Bakr summoned me, while Umar ibnul-Khattab was with him; and Abu Bakr said . . .”26 The Sunnah - The Sunnah (sometimes “customs”) includes what the Prophet approved, allowed, or condoned. “The Sunnah is the crucial complement to the Qur’an; so much so that there are in fact isolated instances where, in fact, the Sunnah appears to prevail over the Koran as, for example, when the Koran refers to three daily prayers (24:58 and 11:116), but the Sunnah sets five.27 The Sunnah is the basis of the legal code of Islamic law (Shari’a), and is authoritative in rulings among Islamic states. It depicts the life of Muhammad and offers examples for ethics and living. Glasse’ provides as an example of the legal code of Sunnah the case of a Muslim leader, Ibn Hanbal, who, in his entire life never ate a watermelon because he could not find an example of the Prophet’s having done so.28 The Hijra - The Beginning of the Islamic Era. Historian Paul Fregosi provides details of one of most important events for Islam – The Hijra (literally, “emigration”) – the migration of Muhammad from Mecca to Medina (located approximately 280 miles north of Mecca) in September, 622 AD. This event marks the beginning of the Islamic calender. According to Fregosi, a group of pilgrims from Medina (in pre-Islamic times, Medina was known as “Yathrib”) arrived in Mecca to worship at the Kaaba (the religious shrine located in Mecca from which Muslims still worship today). They heard Muhammad’s preaching and invited him to Medina to become their leader. In view of Muhammad’s limited success to attract followers in Mecca, Muhammad accepted the invitation. The departure from Mecca began in June, 622, with around 200 followers departing uneventfully. Muhammad and Abu Bakr were the last to leave Mecca, and on or about September 17, 622, the two arrived in Medina.29 At that time in Medina’s history, most of the population were Jews.30 The Arabian village included five clans, three of whom were Jewish and two were Arab.31 The name of the migration became known in Islam as the Hijra, and its calender records its first day of existence with this event”3233 The Islamic Community - “Umma.” While at Medina, the concept of “Umma,” or Islamic community was born. The foundation of this concept was an agreement that Muhammad entered into among his followers. The agreement regulated the lives of his followers so that all disputes of the Umma, the community, were brought to Muhammad for resolution and settlement;34 further, all Muslims were a part of this community, regardless of their tribal or ancestral affiliations. Karen Armstrong writes, “All the tribes were ‘one community’ (umma) to the exclusion of all other men. Hitherto, the tribe had been the basic unit of society; the umma however was a community which was based on religion rather than on kinship. This was unprecedented in Arabia. It had not been part of Muhammad’s original mandate to form a theocracy – he would probably not have known what a theocracy was. But events had pushed him beyond his original preconceptions into an entirely new solution. For some years now, Islam had been a divisive force in society: Muhammad had been accused of stealing children away from their parents. But until the hijra nobody had dreamed of abandoning the tribe of Quraysh (Muhammad’s family living in Mecca). Now the old tribal bonds had been abrogated and the Quraysh, the Aws, and the Khasraj (other tribes) formed one umma. Islam was beginning to be a force for unity instead of division.”35
Bernard Lewis adds: The Umma thus had a dual character. On the one hand it was a political organization, a kind of new tribe with Muhammad as its Sheikh, and with Muslims and others as its members. Yet at the same time, it had a basically religious meaning. It was a religious community, some would say a theocracy.36 Finally, author Malaise Ruthven summarizes the importance and impact of umma, Islamic community, that replaced the ancient tribal society of Arabia: The old tribal system had been at the root of Arabia’s problems, barring the road to future development. . . Yet tribalism could not be eliminated overnight. . . The new solidarity provided by Islam was the Umma, a super-tribal entity whose loyalty was to Allah, the super-tribal deity. All other allegiances, symbolized by inferior deities or tribal totems, were either abolished or so subsumed within the new allegiance to the Prophet’s community that in due course they could be expected to ‘wither away.’37 The Islamic Concept of Church and State. The confusion for Westerners in understanding an “Islamic state” is quite often rooted in our Western practice that within society, there should be separation of church and state. For the Umma, this is unthinkable. Lewis states in another of his writings the following: When we in the Western world, nurtured in the Western tradition, use the words “Islam” and “Islamic,” we tend to make a natural error and assume that religion means the same for Muslims as it has meant in the Western world, even in medieval times; that is to say, a section or compartment of life reserved for certain matters, and separate, or at least separable, from other compartments of life designed to hold other matters. That is not so in the Islamic world. . . . In classical Islam there was no distinction between Church and state. In Christendom the existence of two authorities goes back to the founder, who enjoined his followers to render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s and to God the things which are God’s. . . . In prewesternized Islam, there were no two powers but one, and the question of separation, therefore could not arise. The distinction between church and state, so deeply rooted in Christendom, did not exist in Islam, and in classical Arabic, . . ., there were no other pairs of words corresponding to spiritual and temporal, lay and ecclesiastical, religious and secular. It was not until the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and then under the influence of Western ideas and institutions, that new words were found, first in Turkish and then in Arabic, to express the idea of secular. Even in modern usage, there is no equivalent to “the Church,” meaning “ecclesiastical organization.” All the different words for mosque denote only a building which is a place of worship, not an abstraction, an authority, or an institution.”38 The Islamic Concept of “Jihad.” Historian Bat Ye’or summarizes the origin of jihad a s follows: “Islam – a religion revealed in Arabic by an Arabian prophet – was born in seventh-century Arabia and developed in the midst of a population whose traditions and customs were conditioned by a specific geographical environment. Consequently, while borrowing the essentials of its ethical teaching from the two biblical religions, Islam integrated specific local cultural elements from the customs of the nomadic or semi-sedentary tribes which populated the Hijaz. These tribes formed the militant nucleus
of the Islamic community and, by war, ensured that its resources and its followers constantly expanded. . . Lacking means of subsistence, the small emigrant Muslim community lived at the expense of new converts (upon arrival in Medina in 622) in Medina. As this situation could not last, the Prophet organized armed incursions to intercept the caravans which traded with Mecca. Interpreter of the will of Allah, Muhammad combined the political power of a military leader; the religious power and the functions of a judge: “Whoever obeys the Messenger, thereby obeys God.” (Qur’an 4:82). Divine revelations relating to these raids justified the Muslim’s right to the property and lives of their pagan enemies. Verses in the Qur’an sacralized the psychological conditioning of the fighters, the logistics and procedures of battle, the division of booty, and the fate fo the vanquished. . . The umma (Muslim community) continued to grow and increased its wealth by raids on caravans and oases populated by Jews, Christians or pagans in Arabia, and to the furthermost Syro-Palestinian deserts (629 - 632). . . . Utilizing contemporary sources, Michael the Syrian later described the events: (Muhammad) began to assemble a band of his own and to organize ambushes in parts of Palestine, so that by bringing something back for them (the Arabs), he persuaded them to believe in him and to join him. As he had gone down (from Medina) and gone up several times without being harmed, had pillaged and had returned laden with booty, (Muhammad’s preaching) was confirmed for them by the love of possessions which led them to make a regular feature of going out to pillage. . . Soon his troops set about invading and pillaging several lands. . . We showed earlier how from the beginning of the empire of the Arabs, they went out to take prisoners, to pillage, to steal, to ambush, to invade and destroy whole regions during all of Muhammad’s life.”39 Ibn Warraq defines the term as follows: As for religious minorities, the relations of Muslims and non-Muslims are set in a context of a war: jihad. The totalitarian nature of Islam is nowhere more apparent than in the concept of jihad, the holy war, whose ultimate aim is to conquer the entire world and submit it to the one true faith, to the law of Allah. To Islam alone has been granted the truth – there is no possibility of salvation outside it. It is the sacred duty – an incumbent religious duty established in the Qur’an and the Traditions – of all Muslims to bring it to all humanity. Jihad is a divine institution, enjoined specially for the purpose of advancing Islam. Muslims must strive, fight, and kill in the name of God: Surah 9:5-6: Surah 4.76: Surah 8:12: ‘Kill those who join other gods with Allah (God) wherever you may find them.’ ‘Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah (God).’ ‘I will instill terror into the hearts of the Infidels, strike off their heads then, and strike off from them every fingertip.’ “40.
Subsistence through Jihad. Muhammad and those who had participated with him in hijra (migration to Medina) were over 200 in number. There was little available to them for subsistence. Islam turned to the sole remaining profession left to them – war. The Muslims began raiding caravans in route to Mecca. This effort established a blockade on Mecca, prohibiting supplies from reaching this desert city. It also enriched the Muslims with booty from their conquests. With each successful raid, the followers of Muhammad saw the favor of Allah being poured out upon Muhammad.
A key victory was won at Badr near the Red Sea when a very large caravan was in route to Mecca. This victory was more than about conquest of a Meccan possession; it set in motion the underlying purpose of war - booty (as opposed to religion). Historian Paul Fregosi adds: “The Badr victory gave Muhammad great standing amidst the Medinese. The victors captured 150 camels, ten horses, a considerable amount of merchandise, and 70 Meccans, most of whom were ransomed for 1,000 to 4,000 dirams apiece.”41 In the years that followed, Muhammad continued his raids against caravans to Mecca. The Meccans (the Quaraysh tribe of Muhammad’s own family42) had no choice but to respond to Muhammad’s increasing attacks upon its caravans. It was not until 630AD (only eight years after having “migrated” from Mecca to Medina) that Muhammad ultimately captured Mecca and exacted terms of surrender from the remaining Meccans. Malise Ruthven offers this account of the moment of triumph: “On 30 January 630 Muhammad entered the now deserted streets of the Holy City. The event has become known as the ‘Opening’, the same word that is used for the first Surah of the Qur’an. Only a few pagans offered resistance in one quarter, where they were soon rounded up by Khalid ibn al-Walid. The Prophet made for the Ka`ba and touched the Black Stone with his stick, proclaiming, “Allahu Akbar,” (God is Great), the traditional war-cry of Islam. . . .”43 By the conquest of Mecca, Muhammad was nearing the end of his life. Two years later, on June 8, 632, Muhammad died of natural causes after complaining of a headache.44 The significance of Muhammad’s accomplishments in the name of Allah cannot be underestimated. Having conquered Medina and Mecca as well as much of Arabia formerly controlled by bedouin tribes, Muhammad had brought the Islamic community to the one place in its history that it would never again be: united. Malise Ruthven summarizes this period in Arabian history as follows: For the first time in its history, Arabia had been unified. This unprecedented political unity was the first fruit of the new religious system, under which allegiance to Allah and his Prophet overrode all prior allegiances based on tribal or family ties. The new solidarity of the Umma (community, see below) opened the way to what would become the most remarkable of Islam’s historic achievements – the conquest, almost overnight of the whole of the Sassanid empire and the southern Byzantine provinces of Syria and Egypt. No doubt the internal weaknesses of the empires, their exhaustion after years of mutual conflict and the religious and class divisions affecting their populations played a part in their defeat, among the most sudden in recorded history. But the decisive factor was the new religion. The greater mobility and superior fighting skills of the Arab warriors was – for the first and last time ever – directed towards a common cause. The energies that had previously wasted themselves in bitter tribal feuding were welded into a new, irresistible power.45 Muhammad’s Ten “Companions.” Muhammad’s first “disciples” were composed of ten men – they are referred to as the “Companions.” Cyril Glasse’ describes them as follows: “Companions - Strictly speaking, those followers of Muhammad who were closest to him in his lifetime, kept frequent company with him, and strove to assimilate his teachings. They memorized and transmitted Hadith and the Qur’an, before these were written down and compiled.”46 These Ten are also referred to as the “Blessed Ten Companions.” Their names: Abu Bakr Siddiq (hereafter “Abu Bakr”) U'mar-e-Farooq (hereafter “Umar”)
Uthman Bin Affaan (hereafter “Uthman”) Ali Ibn Abi Talib (hereafter “Ali”) Abdur-Rahman bin Aaowf Sad ibn Abi Waqqas Said ibn Zayd Abu Ubaydah bin Jirrah Talhah ibn Ubaydullah Zubayr bin Al-Awam.47 The Ten are described in numerous Islamic sources. Here is one such description referred to as “The Precious Pearls”: “The Companions were horsemen by day and spent their evenings in worship. They were people of prayer, fasting, charity, kindness and truthfulness. They were chaste, sincere and pious. They were people who knew self-control of mind, body and temper. They did not go about feeding their lusts. They went about instead feeding the hungry. All of these things are Jihad. When the call for Jihad (meaning war or struggle) was proclaimed, the Companions readily sacrificed everything: their wealth, their lives, and they left their families behind. The fear of death was not an issue, for they knew no better reason or way to die than in fighting to uphold Muslim's rights or Islamic values. And this is the true meaning of the testimony: La ilaha illallah (none has the right to be worshiped but Allah). In return for their loyalty to the cause, Allah bestowed on them true happiness and Paradise.”48 These ten individuals were Muhammad’s inner circle while he was living. To Christians, these ten are comparable to the twelve disciples of Jesus. After Muhammad’s death, the first four caliphs of Islam came from this group as well as the two primary sects of Islam: the Sunnis, the largest sect, and the Shiites, the smaller sect. Successor to Muhammad - the First “Caliph” of Islam. The biographies of Muhammad agree that on the 6th of June, 632, Muhammad died after returning from Mecca to Medina for the annual pilgrimage (Hajj). Karen Armstrong reports that upon Muhammad’s return from Mecca, he began complaining of excruciating headaches, and not long afterwards, Muhammad died in the lap of his favorite wife, Aisha.49 The shock of Muhammad’s death was one of the greatest crisis’ the Umma (community) would ever deal with. In the ten years since the hijra (emigration from Mecca to Median to begin the Islamic era), Muslims under Muhammad’s leadership would unite to form the most powerful military force the world to date had known. The Arabian Peninsula was united under Muhammad’s leadership and Islam seemed ready to push into even greater venues. Muhammad’s death was sudden and unexpected; and, Muhammad had not appointed a “successor” (kalifa or “caliph”). His Companions were faced with the overwhelming task of appointing a successor, and through this successor maintaining the unity of the community that Muhammad had been so successful in achieving. As might be expected, the likelihood of the success of the successor was no doubt impacted by the fact that Muhammad’s revelations were no more; they had ended with his death; and, no successor would be able to relate further details of the Revelation. These factors impacted the survival of the religious community and its unity; and, unless the unity of the community could be maintained, then the victorious conquest waged by Islam under Muhammad would be
erased and the Arabian Peninsula and the surrounding conquered lands would return to the pre-Islamic occupations along with tribal divisions, factions and tribal disputes for the Peninsula. The process of selecting the “right” successor or caliph fell to two possible candidates: 1. Abu Bakr, Muhammad’s close friend and early convert from the Quraysh tribe of Mecca, who accompanied Muhammad on his emigration from Mecca to Medina in 622, and the father of Muhammad’s favorite wife, Aisha.50 2. Ali b. Abi Talib (hereafter “Ali”), Muhammad’s foster child, raised by Muhammad, and one of his earliest converts; also his first cousin from the tribe of Hashim,51 and his son-in-law by marriage to Fatima,52 who was one of Muhammad’s three daughters by his first wife, Khadija.53 The majority of the Companions held for Abu Bakr who became the first caliph of Islam. The reasons for Abu Bakr’s selection were: Abu Bakr was one of the earliest converts to Islam, he was the father of Muhammad’s favorite wife, Aisha, he had been chosen by Muhammad to lead prayers during Muhammad’s final illness as well as lead the pilgrimage of 631, only a year prior to Muhammad’s death.54 The only qualification Ali possessed was that he was Muhammad’s closest male, blood relative (he was the only male relative (first cousin)of the prophet surviving). Ali was also considered by the Companions to be too young to successfully lead Islam as compared to the elder Companion, Abu Bakr. The “Rightly Guided Caliphs.” Abu Bakr was selected as the first successor or “caliph” of Islam following Muhammad’s death. As mentioned, Ali, Muhammad’s closest male relative was passed over. The selection of the next three caliphs included Ali as a possible successor but in each case until the fourth, Ali was passed over. The selections of the first four caliphs and their terms of office and nature of death are as follows: 1. Abu Bakr. 632 - 634. Abu Bakr died in the second year of his caliphate.55 2. Umar b. al-Khattab, 634 - 644. Umar was murdered by a Persian captive.56 3. Uthman b. Affan, 644 - 656. Umar was murdered by a group of Arab soldiers who believed they had been double-crossed by the Uthman and his clan, the Umayyads.57 4. Ali. 656 – 661. Ali was assassinated while preparing to lead the morning prayer at the mosque of Kufah by a “Kharijite,” an early militant sect of Islam.58 These four caliphs are known in Islam as the “Rightly Guided Caliphs” (or “Patriarchal” Caliphs). They are given this designation by Sunni Islam, only, which considers them to be true, legitimate leaders who successfully modeled their lives after the life of Muhammad. These four were all Companions and considered to be legitimate leaders from both a spiritual as well as a military/political standpoint. The caliphs who followed the first four were considered to be capable military leaders, but, in general, not capable spiritual leaders.59 The Dividing Event in Islamic History. The roots of the dividing event in Islamic history can be traced all the way back to the choosing of the first caliph of Islam, Abu Bakr. The two choices for caliph were: Abu Bakr, the father-in-law of Muhammad (through Muhammad’s marriage to Aisha, Abu Bakr’s daughter); and Ali, the foster child, first cousin, and son-in-law of Muhammad through Ali’s marriage to Fatima.,
Muhammad’s daughter. Ali, as the closest male blood relative was passed over in favor of Abu Bakr. Ali was passed over as caliph two additional times. When Umar was chosen as second caliph; and Uthman was chosen as third caliph. Uthman’s reign as the third caliph was marred by two reasons: First, some of the soldiers believed that the distribution of booty from conquered lands was disproportionate in favor of Uthman and his clan, the Umayyads; and, secondly, the most lucrative appointments over conquered lands were given to those of Uthman’s clan.60 Since the existence of umma (community) now held greater importance than family clan, Uthman had violated a basic principle established by Muhammad. The result was the first civil war in Islam. A group of Arab soldiers broke into Uthman’s house and murdered him. A five year civil war erupted. Ali was acclaimed caliph by the mutineers as well as most of those of Medina. Aisha, the late Muhammad’s favorite wife, opposed Ali because Ali refused to take action against those who had murdered Uthman. Ali and his followers formed an opposition force to Aisha; and Aisha’s forces, supported by two Companions of Muhammad joined forces. The two met in battle at Basra, and Ali’s forces scored a decisive victory. Aisha observed the battle atop a camel, and the battle became known as the “Battle of the Camel.”61 In spite of Ali’s victory, Uthman’s clan, the Umayyads, refused to recognize Ali as caliph. A powerful leader arose from the Umayyad clan – Muawiya. The two opposing forces once again met in battle. No clear victory was won by either in spite of months of skirmishing between the two forces. Muawiya meanwhile demanded that Ali hand over the murderers of Uthman while at the same time seeking the Caliphate for himself. Ali refused to hand over the murderers, and deadlock between the two groups resulted. Ali eventually lost, but not by the direct hand of Muawiya. From within his own camp, dissension occurred. In the year 661, Ali was stabbed to death in the mosque at Kufa by a clansman from within Ali’s own camp.62 Ali was survived in death by two sons, Hasan and Husayn, both through Fatima, Muhammad’s daughter. Hasan succeeded his father as caliph for half a year but was then forced by Muawiya to cede the Caliphate to Muawiya under threat of death. Hasan died a few years later, poisoned by his wife who had received a promise of marriage from Yazid, Muawiya’s son. After the death of Muawiya and the ascension of his son to the Caliphate, Husayn attempted to lead an insurrection against Yazid. Husayn was invited to Kufa by Muslims of Kufa with the intent of Husayn gaining the Caliphate from Yazid. Husayn first sent his cousin to Kufah as an emissary with Yazid. The cousin, ibn Aqil, was captured and summarily executed by Yazid. Husayn then led a small force of his own to Kufa, expecting the people of Kufa to join his forces in the expected conflict with the forces of Yazid. Husayn’s small force included eighteen of his own family members and another sixty or so followers. Husayn was urged by surviving Companions not to attempt the conquest of Yazid for his forces were severely outnumbered. Husayn refused this counsel, expecting the people of Kufa to join him in battle. They did not do so. The battle between the two forces took place at Karbala. Husayn’s forces were outnumbered and were cut off from water for eight days.63 His tragic death at the hands of troops of Yazid is described as follows: “With his six-month old son Ali Asghar in his arms, the Imam (Husayn) cried out to the enemy that as this innocent babe had defiled none, at least he should be spared and a little water given to him to allay his thirst. But the reply was an arrow shot at the child’s neck which pinned it to his father’s arm. After returning the cruelly murdered child to its sorrowing mother’s arms (who then sang a mournful mother’s lament over her dead child) the Imam returned to pay the last of the sacrifice with his own blood. Arrow after arrow followed piercing his body into a sieve until, when the aged Imam fell from his horse his body did not touch the ground but was held off the ground by the arrows that were sticking
out of his body. Shamr (one of the Umayyad soldiers) who has earned everlasting shame for himself, after deriding the fallen hero, cut off his head. Ruqaiya, Husayn’s young daughter, weeps over the death of her father whose head is then brought into her presence whereupon she falls upon it moaning and sobbing until she, too, dies of sorrow, prostate over the severed head.”64 This event, dated October 10, 680 AD, marks the final divide between Sunni and Shiite Islam. The Battle of Karbala is still celebrated by Shiites today in annual “passion plays.” Professional narrators paint word pictures of every detail of the bloody massacre and martyrdom of Husayn, likening Husayn’s suffering to that of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.65 After this battle, the Shiites never acknowledged the Sunni caliphs as legitimate, including the first three, Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman nor Sunni caliphs in the succeeding years. Instead, to Shiites, the true leadership of the Islamic community was passed down from Ali to his son Husayn and thereafter to Husayn’s descendants, each of whom they referred to as Imam (as opposed to the title used by Sunnis of “caliph”).66 The followers of Ali became known as “Shiites” or “Shi’as” (literally, “partisans” or “helpers” of Ali). The followers of Muhammad’s “customs,” became known as “Sunnis” (literally, “customs” or “sunna”).67 Imam - the Shiite Version of Caliph. Following the battle of Karbala and the irrevocable split between Sunnis and Shiites, Shiites no longer accepted the first three caliphs as legitimate successors to Muhammad. “Imam” became the term used by Shiites to refer to their successor to Muhammad. This term also took on a different meaning to Shiites than the term “caliph” for Sunnis. Shiites believed that: 1. The role of Imam could only be filled by someone related by blood to Muhammad. This meant that only descendants of Muhammad’s first cousin and son-in-law Ali, husband of Muhammad’s daughter, Fatima, qualified.68 2. The individual had to be “designated” (referred to as “nass,” a doctrine similar in function to that of “Apostolic Succession within the Catholic Church69) as the predecessor Imam prior to death (as opposed to “elected” as was the case in Sunni Islam for their “caliph”).70 Therefore the first three caliphs, Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman were all considered “usurpers” by Shiites. The meaning of the “successor” was broadened and redefined further as Shiites came to consider their Imam to be an infallible, sinless, spiritual guide, divinely appointed by Allah (through the predecessor Imam). The Shiite Imam is “infallible” in the sense that his judgments are without error; they are, in fact, divine authority.71 Ja’far al Sadiq, the fifth Shiite Imam, is reported to have stated: “It is to the Imams that God has ordained obedience.”72 To Shiism, then, the criteria is bloodline and designation.73 In Shiite history, disagreement has arisen as to who is legitimately “designated” as the next Imam prior to the death of the predecessor Imam. Sects within Shiite Islam have resulted over who is the legitimate successor Imam. The “Twelvers” (comprising 90% of Shiite Islam) are one such sect and the “Seveners” another (comprising 10% of Shiite Islam and often referred to as “Ismaili’s”). Each sect takes its name from the particular Imams each considers legitimate. Twelvers believe that there were twelve Imams, the last of whom “disappeared” in the tenth century AD (939AD). The Twelvers believe that Jafar (the sixth Imam) designated his younger son, Musa, as the seventh Imam and that the true line is through Musa not Ismail (as Seveners believe). Twelvers believe
that Ismail died before he was “designated” by his father, Jafar. The Twelvers continue Musa’s line through the Twelfth Imam, Muhammad ibn Hasan, born 872AD, the son of the 11th Imam. The line of Imams for Twelvers ends with this Imam, who is the twelfth Imam, who went into “hiding” without a living descendant. For Twelvers, there is not a 13th Imam. The Twelfth Imam is considered the “Hidden Imam” who lives in perpetuity, in hiding, until Allah calls him to reappear in the Last Days as al-Mahdi.74 Shiites believe that when al-Mahdi appears, he will fill the earth with equity and justice and lead the world to conversion to Islam. In the meantime, the “ulama” (the scholars and mystics of Shiism) exercise spiritual authority on behalf of the hidden Imam in absentia.75 Seveners do not accept the last five Imams of the Twelver sect. The Seveners accept the line of Imams through Muhammad, the son of Ismail, the grandson of Jafar, rather than Ismail’s younger brother, Musa.76 Therefore, the five imams who are descendants of Musa do not qualify as “rightly guided” for Seveners because they are not descendants of Ismail.77 The Twelvers are by far the largest group of Shiite Muslims. Twelvers constitute ninety percent of the modern population of Iran and fifty-five to sixty percent of the population of Iraq. Twelver Shiites are the majority in Iran, Iraq, Azerbaijan and also have substantial populations in Turkey, Pakistan, Lebanon, Syria, India, Afghanistan and Bahrain.78 Each sect within Shiite Islam has different views on the nature and qualification of the Imam. For example, the “Ghulats,” or “extremists, consider the Imam to be Divine (as well as Ali and his descendants), thereby granting the Imam a far greater status than even that of Muhammad.79 80 Muhammad, the Messenger from God. Muslims (at least Sunni) have never claimed that Muhammad was divine (as Jesus claimed, according to the Bible and Christian). Muslims liken Muhammad to a prophet similar to “Moses, David, Solomon, Elijah or Isaiah – who were passionately religious men but not paragons. . . . Muhammad was no plaster saint. He lived in a violent and dangerous society and sometimes adopted methods which those of us who have been fortunate enough to live in a safer world will find disturbing.”81 According to Armstrong, “Muhammad had great spiritual as well as political gifts – the two do not always go together – and he was convinced that all religious people have a responsibility to create a good and just society. He could become darkly angry and implacable, but he could also be tender, compassionate, vulnerable and immensely kind.” The Five Pillars of Islam. The basis of belief and practice common to Muslims is found in five pillars as follows: 1. The Shahada. The profession of faith whereby a Muslim acknowledges his allegiance to Allaha and Muhammad. The specific words: “I testify that there is no god but Allah, and I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.” 2. The Salat. Prayer, a basic duty to be performed both individually and publicly, at least three times per day. Friday is the day of public prayer. 3. The Zakat. Charity,
1The month of Ramadan is the ninth lunar month of the Islamic calender; Ramadan also means “fasting.” It is the fourth “pillar” of Islam. Available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramadan at February 22, 2007. 2Robert Spencer, The Truth About Muhammad, p. 38. 3Ibid., p 41, quoting Bukhari, vol. 9, book 91, no. 6982. 4Karen Armstrong, Islam, A Short History, p. 4. 5Ibid., p 5. 6Ibid., p 8. 7Cyril Glasse’, The Concise Encyclopedia of Islam, p. 192. 8 According to Cyril Glass’, the Concise Encyclopedia of Islam, p - 279-280, Muhammad’s father was “Abd Allah, the son of Abd al-Muttalib, and grandson of Hisham, the founder of the Hashimite clan of the Quaraysh. The patriarch of the Quaraysh, two generations before Hisham, was named Fihr of the Kinanah tribe, and it is from his epithet of Quaraysh that his descendants take their name. Since Fihr was able to trace his lineage from Ishmael, Muhammad is a descendant of Ishmael and Abraham, and heir to God’s promise to Hagar, “Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand, for I will make him a great nation.” Gen 21:18. 9 Cyril Glasse’, The Concise Encyclopedia of Islam, p. 280. Bernard Lewis, Arabs in History, p. 36. 10 Bernard Lewis, Arabs in History, p. 36-37. 11 Karen Armstrong, Muhammad, A Biography of the Prophet, p 48. 12Ibid., Cyril Glasse’ p. 229. 13 Ibid. 14 Ibn Warraq, The Origins of the Koran, Classic Essays on Islam’s Holy Book. Introduction by Ibn Warraq, p. 11.
15 Ibn Warraq, The Origins of the Koran, Classic Essays on Islam’s Holy Book. Chapter 5 by Alphonse Mingana, The Transmission of the Koran, p. 369, note 13. 16 Ibid., p. 99. 17 Ibn Warraq, The Origins of the Koran, Classic Essays on Islam’s Holy Book. Introduction by Ibn Warraq, p. 13. 18 Karen Armstrong, Muhammad, A Biography of the Prophet, p. 50. 19 Malise Ruthven, Islam in the World, p. 90. Even today, official Muslim translations always carry the Arabic text and usually refer to themselves as ‘interpretations.” 20Ibid., Cyril Glasse’, p. 231. 21Ibid. 22 Ibid., p. 49.
23Ergun Mehmet Caner and Emir Fethi Caner, Unveiling Islam, p. 95. 24Ergun Mehmet Caner and Emir Fethi Caner, Unveiling Islam, p. 95. 25Ibid., Cyril Glasse’ p. 141. 26 Ibid., p. 99. 27Cyril Glasse’, p. 380. 28Ibid., p. 381. 29 Malise Ruthven, Islam in the World, p. 49. 30 Ibid., p. 37. 31 Paul Fregosi, Jihad, p. 38. 32 Ibid., p. 38. 33The Muslim calendar is a lunar based calender, not a solar based Western calendar. Therefore, the length of the months vary and so one cannot convert dates between the two calendars by subtracting 622 from the Christian calendar. See Timothy R. Furnish, Holiest Wars, p. 22, note 2. 34 Ibid., p. 40. 35 Karen Armstrong, Muhammad, A Biography of the Prophet, p. 154-155. 36 Ibid., p. 41. 37 Malise Ruthven, Islam in the World, p. 60. 38 Bernard Lewis, The Political Language of Islam, p. 2-3. 39Bat Ye’or, The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam, p. 37 - 39. 40 Robert Spencer, editor. The Myth of Islamic Tolerance, How Islamic Law Treats Non-Muslims, p 14. 41 Paul Fregosi, Jihad, p. 43. 42 Malise Ruthven, Islam in the World, p. 50. 43 Ibid., p. 58. 44 Ibid., p. 68. 45 Ibid., p. 67. 46Cyril Glasse, p 87. 47http://www.anwary-islam.com/index.htm. Website link, October 2, 2006.
48http://www.islamicbookstore.com/b7402.html. Website link, October 2, 2006, and referencing the book, The Precious Pearls The Description of the Ten Companions Who were Given the Glad Tidings of Paradise, Publisher: Dar-us-Salam Publications. 49Karen Armstrong, Muhammad, A Biography of the Prophet, p. 255-256. 50Ibid., Malise Ruthven, p 69. 51Ibid., p. 40. 52Ibid., Cyril Glasse’, p. 35. 53Ibid., Cyril Glasse’, p. 123. 54Ibid., Malise Ruthven, p. 69. 55Ibid., Cyril Glasse’, p. 18. 56Ibid., p. 72. 57Ibid., Cyril Glasse’, p. 412. 58Ibid., Cyril Glasse’, p. 34. 59Ibid., Cyril Glasse’, p. 309. 60Malise Ruthven, p. 73. 61Malise Ruthven, p. 73. 62Malise Ruthven, p. 74. 63Cyril Glasse’, p. 33-34. 64Malise Ruthven, p. 181, quoting from Gustav Thaiss in N. R. Kedie (ed.), Scholars, Saints and Sufis (Berkeley, 1972), p. 356. 65Malise Ruthven, p. 181. 66Timothy R. Furnish, Holiest Wars, Islamic Mahdis, Their Jihads, and Osama bin Laden, p. 4. 67Congressional Research Study, RS21745, 2/23/2004, www.fas.org/irp/crs/RS21745.pdf 68Ali had eight wives after Fatima and a total of thirty six children, so the choice was not so much about Ali, alone, but rather, Ali and Fatima, together, thereby insuring the true and closest bloodline to the Prophet. Available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ali#Descendants. 69Malise Ruthven, p. 197. 70Neither Shiite sect accept the first three caliphs as “rightly guided.” They begin their first true Imam with Ali, cousin of the Prophet, and husband of Fatima, the daughter of the Prophet. 71Said Amir Arjomand, The Shadow of God and the Hidden Imam, p. 34.
72Ibid., p. 35. 73Said Amir Arjomand, The Shadow of God and the Hidden Imam, p. 36. 74Malise Ruthven, p. 196. 75Malise Ruthven, p. 78, 196 - 198. 76Of course, the seventh Imam of both Seveners and Twelvers is a different person. Thus, one might conclude that relative to Seveners there are six Imams of Twelver Islam that do not “qualify” (the seventh - twelfth Imams, beginning with Musa, the Twelver’s seventh Imam). However, “fallen” is defined relative to the seven heads of the beast, meaning Sevener Islam. This means we must begin with the seven Sevener Imams (through Muhammad Ismail), and count disqualification beginning with the Twelver’s eighth Imam. Of course, our count continues through Twelver’s twelfth Imam, and bringing us to five fallen Imams, not six. 77Need footnote 78Available at http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/intro/islam-ithna-ashari.htm. 79Cyril Glasse’, p. 186. 80Available at http://www.alseraj.net/maktaba/kotob/english/Beliefs/ProductOfIslam/hyla/wahabia/08.htm at April 25, 2007. 81 Karen Armstrong, Muhammad, A Biography of the Prophet, p. 52.
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