As the time for Iran’s response to the civilized world (I mean, UN request that they cease their enrichment of nuclear materials) rapidly approaches, I was struck by the simplicity of this particular article found at the Northeast Intelligence Network, which assesses some of the beliefs of President Ahmadinejad, meaning that the words were able to penetrate this thick Texas skull. An article well worth a read in its entirety, one would do well to follow the links at the end of the story, as well:
During the Last Days, mainstream Islam teaches that a great Muslim leader will arise called the Mahdi. (pronounced MAH-dee) A direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, this man is the Islamic messiah. His mission is to:
1) Unite all the Islamic faithful,
2) Wage a victorious war against the enemies of Islam, which will result in,
3) the “liberation of the Middle East” bringing peace and prosperity.
4) This will allow all Muslims to retire to the Holy Land.
Both Shia and Sunni Muslims believe he is on the earth today, but differ in the details. The President of Iran believes that he is on a divine mission to hasten the Mahdi’s appearing by perhaps beginning that war. One can look at the news today and consider the implications of what could happen if someone in his or any other position of power holds these beliefs. A non-Muslim would be unsafe anywhere in the Middle East, or the world for that matter, even a Christian Arab. In reality, a peace treaty with Israel or any non-Muslim state would be meaningless. Nothing short of fulfillment of the Mahdi’s mission is acceptable. In this case, religion is going to supersede politics. Christians believe that Israel will be invaded by an alliance of nations in the last days as prophesied by Ezekiel in chapters 38 and 39. Muslims are waiting for the great war waged by the Mahdi to liberate the Middle East. The same event in the eyes of a Christian could look quite different to a Muslim. An American Christian could see an unjust invasion, while a Muslim sees a fulfillment of end-time prophecy.
The article outlines a brief view of the end-times philosophies of both Christians and Muslims. In light of today’s world, this is something with which we would all do well to attempt to familiarize ourselves.
As The Needle Bends