There are many similarities between the beliefs described in the article, and those of Muslims on the issue.
For example, the article said:
"More than 40 million Americans believe the millennium will bring the second coming of Christ, according to a recent Los Angeles Times poll. Followers of biblical prophecy would add that such a day will launch the battle between ultimate good and evil."
To Muslims, the timing is speculative but no less probable than any other timing. However, Muslims acknowledge the symbolic importance of the millenium milestone and there is no question about the forthcoming occurrence of Armageddon, called al-Malhama al-Kubra ("Great Slaughter") in the authentic hadiths or Muslim prophetical texts.
The article further said that the Rev. Jerry Falwell had preached in January that "the antichrist must be Jewish because Christ was Jewish." Although this causality is inconclusive from a Muslim perspective, yet there is transmitted evidence in the authentic hadiths that a sizeable number of the Antichrist's followers will be Jewish.
The article quotes the Bible as saying:
"There will be the rapture, a time when the faithful will be raised to heaven. Then, a time of tribulation when catastrophes make the world susceptible to the lure of a false redeemer who will look like a godsend at first. After years of a violent rule, the dreaded battle of Armageddon will begin and the antichrist will be defeated. Christ the victor will usher in 1,000 years of peace."
In Muslim texts, the rapture of the faithful will take place not before but after Armageddon; that battle will pit two large armies one against the other, but will be followed by other battles. Christ shall slay the Antichrist and usher in a period of peace. Then he will die, things shall decline again, the rapture shall take place, none shall remain except the worst of people ever to walk the earth and no-one will even remember the name of God. Then the Trumpet shall blast three times, the dead shall rise, and the Day of Judgment shall begin.
"Revelation's Chapter 13 warns of a beast who gains control of the world and stamps his mark, 666, on human body parts. The number is a numerological calculation standing for an unnamed oppressor. The chapter does not suggest the beast is the antichrist, but many Christians have interpreted it that way."
Both the beast and its mark are mentioned in the Islamic texts. However, the beast's mark will differ according to whether the marked is a believer or an unbeliever. The beast itself will be kind to the former, terrible against the latter. The Antichrist himself will bear a mark that states "Apostate" on his forehead.
"Although Jews do not believe Christ was the savior, Jewish tradition does allow for the coming of a false messiah with evil intent."
The Qur'an stipulates that no Jew will be left on earth except they will believe in Christ before death.
Lastly, the article claimed:
"Muslims took up the Christian theme after their religion's founder, Muhammad, died in 632, and resistance to Islam led to violence and persecution. Many Muslims still believe that Christ, whom they consider a prophet but not the son of God, will come again and lead an end-time battle against Dajjal, Islam's name for the antichrist."
More accurately, Islam endorses what precedes it only on the explicit word of the Prophet Muhammad to that effect, either through the Qur'an or the hadith. Even so, the respective accounts differ both in sequence and precision, as shown in the above parallels. As for the Islamic belief in the second coming of Christ, it is the creed of Sunni and Shi`i Islam in its generality, not merely that of "many Muslims." But Allah knows best.
GF Haddad ©