Islamic Eschatology
Chapter Three
By Joel Richardson
Danish translation: Islamisk Eskatologi
Source: Answering Islam
Published on October 4, 2012

Most books on Islamic eschatology primarily consist of the author’s best attempts to gather, compile and relay the most reliable Hadith and various traditions relating to the end-times. Beyond this of course, most Islamic eschatology books also contain commentary from the author as well. Because I am not a Hadith scholar (nor do I aspire to ever become one), and because I do not want to merely present my own interpretation of what Islam teaches regarding the end-times, I have strictly utilized either Islamic traditions or commentary from those Islamic scholars and authors who have already written extensively on these subjects. As such, much of this book will be heavy with such quotations and references.

The majority of Islamic studies of eschatology are divided into two categories, the Minor Signs and the Major Signs. The Minor Signs are sometimes thought of as the equivalent of what Jesus referred to as “the birth pangs” which is to say that they are those signs that precede the Major Signs. To a degree this is true. The difference however, is that many of the Minor Signs actually take place concurrently with the Major Signs. Thus the Minor Signs should not necessarily be thought of as the first signs, but rather the Lesser Signs. Some of the Minor Signs are quite interesting, but for the purpose of this study we will not delve into them. Instead we will move directly into the Major Signs.

The Major Signs

Crucial to this study is a clear understanding of just what Islam teaches regarding the Major Signs. The Major Signs or the Greater Signs, obviously speak of far more significant events than the Minor Signs. These signs relate to issues such as the coming of the Muslim Anti-Christ (Ad-Dajjal), or the return of the Muslim Jesus (Isa Al-Maseeh) or most importantly, the coming of the Muslim Savior/Messiah figure (Al-Mahdi). They do not relate to, for instance, the increase in immorality, or religious ignorance, or other such general signs. While some of the Minor Signs are both fairly vague and debatable as to their legitimacy, the Major Signs are absolutely a non-negotiable entity to the Muslim mind. In order to understand the importance of the Major Signs to Muslims, one must first understand the importance of end-time belief among Muslims.

Priority Of The Last-Days In Islamic Belief

The Quran mentions five things that a Muslim must believe in order to be a Muslim. These five things have, as a result, become a creed of sorts within Islam. From the Quran we read:

It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces to the East and the West; but righteous is he who believeth in Allah and the Last Day and the angels and the Scripture and the prophets… -Surah 2:177 (Pickthall)

Notice the order of the five tenets of belief:

1. Belief in Allah.
2. Belief in the Last Day.
3. Belief in angels.
4. Belief in the Scripture.
5. Belief in the prophets.

This is much different than with Christianity. Unfortunately while end-time belief plays a prominent role in the New Testament and in the life of the early church, today belief in the last-days has become essentially optional or generally ignored by most. But not so with Islam: There are no true Muslims who do not believe in the Last Day and the events which precede it. Understanding the Islamic perspective regarding the last-days and specifically the Major Signs therefore is crucial if we wish to understand the central religious anticipations of the 1.3 billion Muslims worldwide. It is to these core beliefs that we now turn.

Joel Richardson is foremost an ambassador of Jesus Christ, a husband and a father committed to the pro-life and adoption movements. He is an artist, human rights activist, New York Times Bestselling author, internationally recognized speaker and regular columnist for WND. Joel has a long history of outreach to the Muslim community and has a passion to see Muslims come to Christ. Joel is also a recognized expert on Biblical Prophecy and the Middle East. Joel is the author, co-author or co-editor of the following books:

When af Jew Rules the World: What the Bible Really Says about Israel in the Plan of God
Mideast Beast: The Scriptural Case For an Islamic Antichrist
Islamic Antichrist: The Shocking Truth About the Real Nature of the Beast
God’s War on Terror: Islam, Prophecy & the Bible
Why We Left Islam: Former Muslims Speak Out

Table of Contents

Book Information

IntroductionA Note From The Author

Part One: Introduction to Islamic Eschatology And Doctrine

Chapter 1.           Why This Book? Waking Up to The Islamic Revival
Chapter 2.           The Sacred Texts of Islam
Chapter 3.           Islamic Eschatology
Chapter 4.           The Mahdi: Islam's Awaited Messiah
Chapter 5.           Comparing The Biblical Antichrist and The Mahdi
Chapter 6.           The Muslim Jesus
Chapter 7.           Comparing The False Prophet and The Muslim Jesus
Chapter 8.           The Dajjal: Islam's Antichrist
Chapter 9.           Comparing The Biblical Jesus and The Dajjal
Chapter 10.         The Revived Islamic Empire of The Antichrist
Chapter 11.         The Dark Nature of Muhammad's Revelations
Chapter 12.         The Antichrist Spirit of Islam
Chapter 13.         Islam's Ancient Hatred for The Jews
Chapter 14.         End Time Martyrdom And Islam's Practice of Beheading
Chapter 15.         Jihad And Islam's Goal of World Domination
Chapter 16.         Understanding Deceit and Dishonesty in Islam
Chapter 17.         The Great Apostasy, Terror and Islam's Conversion Rates
Chapter 18.         Summary of Comparisons

Part Two: Further Analysis

Chapter 19.         Potential Problems With The Thesis
Chapter 20.         Further Thoughts

Part Three: How Should We Respond?

Chapter 21.         Responding with Prayer
Chapter 22.         Responding with Outreach
Chapter 23.         Preparing for Martyrdom

Appendix: Embracing Biblical Eschatology