Abu al-Rayhan Muhammad b. Ahmad al-Bayruni was born in the outer part (bayrun) of Kath, the capital of Khwarazm (`Madinah Khwarazm’) on Thursday, the 3rd of Dhu al-Hijjah, 362 A.H. (973 A.D.) and died in Ghazni in 443 A.H. Known by the honorific title of `al-Ustadh‘ (`The Master’) he was an intellectual giant of his times. He remained in pursuit of knowledge for all his life, and even while on the death bed he inquired from a friend who had come to see him, about the number of rotations which a particular planet made.
Figure 2. USSR stamp, Abū Rayhān al-Bīrūnī, 6 copecks, 1973
Bayruni conducted advanced research and wrote original standard works in different areas of knowledge – such as mathematics, astronomy, astrology, physics, pharmacology, cosmology, mineralogy, geography, history, chronology and cultural anthropology. The number of books he wrote on these subjects would count up to 180. He excelled in his knowledge of classical languages as well as vernaculars of Central Asia, wrote both in Arabic and Persian, translated from Sanskrit and also composed verse in it.
Bayruni studied in Kath and was already an accomplished scholar, scientist and author when under the changed political events in his native country, grave otherwise but fortuitous for him, he got the long awaited opportunity to conduct his researches on ‘Indian’ subjects under the liberal patronage of Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni. In 407 A.H.
(1016-17), when Bayruni was serving as a trusted courtier and advisor to Prince Abu al- ‘Abbas al-Mamun of Khwarazm, the army rebelled and assassinated the Prince who was a brother-in-law of Sultan Mahmud. Thereupon, the Sultan occupied Khwarazm, punished the rebels, and patronized the learned men of the Mamunid Court including Bayruni. For long, Bayruni had been in search of original source books on Hindu astronomy and he now saw it clearly that for his Indian studies Ghazni was his future destination. The Sultan’s favour and patronage offered a welcome opportunity to him to accompany the Sultan to Ghazni. There he conducted his research without any interference and to his entire satisfaction.
Figure 3. Google honors Al-Biruni’s Birthday with this Doodle
From Ghazni, Bayruni continued on his field studies, undertook journeys into the interior of the Subcontinent and traveled as far as Multan and possibly more southwards to Sind. Sometime during the years 411-414 A.H. (1020 – 1924 A.D.) he visited and stayed at Fort Nandana (Jhelum district) and conducted his memorable experiment whereby he determined more precisely the length of one degree of the arc of the meridian circle, and calculated the radius and the circumference of the Earth — his figures coming very close to the modern ones. He made oral inquiries, studied the source materials, obtained Sanskrit texts and collected all information he possibly could during a period of about 12 years (408-420/1017-1029), and wrote as many as 28 works on the Indian subjects. His extensive studies and expositions had developed a full- fledged discipline of `Indology’.
Figure 4. An illustration from al-Biruni’s astronomical works, explains the different phases of the moon
The most celebrated of his works on this subject is the INDICA or ALBERUNI’S INDIA. These are brief and convenient titles improvised by modern scholars, the latter one by Edward Sachau. Bayruni himself gave his book a much more expressive and versified title. It would seem that in a delightful moment of having seen the book completed, he couched its title in verse as if symbolizing the local Sanskrit tradition in which the texts were usually composed in verse:
Kitaab mali al-Hind min maqulah maqbulatun fi al-aql ano mardhulah.
Translated literally it would mean:
“The Book is Based on the Indians’ own Tradition Acceptable to Reason, or Prone to Rejection”.
Bayruni had collected the needed information both from oral and written sources and he authored this book at Ghazni during the course of 5 months (30 April – 30 September) in the year 1030 A.D.
Figure 5. The Bakhshali manuscript (discovered in Peshawar, Pakistan) contains the oldest recorded example of the symbol that we use for zero today, 3rd-4th Century C.E
The INDICA is comprehensive in exposition of the cultural achievements of the Indians, predominantly though not exclusively of the Hindus. Historically, it happens to be the first book on record, demonstrating ‘complete, objective and scientific description of a culture’. Thus, Bayruni became ‘Father of the Science of Cultural/Social Anthropology’. Edward C. Sachau, the producer of “Alberunis India” (an English version of Bayruni’s original text) observed in 1888 as follows. “In general, it is the method of our author not to speak himself, but to let the Hindus speak, giving extensive quotations from their classical authors. He presents a picture of Indian civilization as painted by the Hindus themselves” (Preface p. xxiv). “As far as the present state of research allows one to judge, the work of Alberuni has not been continued” (Preface, p. xiii). Indeed, in its scheme and exposition of the Indian culture in all its essential dimensions, the INDICA stands unsurpassed to this day.
Sometimes when things do not happen the way we want , we get upset . We get irritated . Even though our lips do dhikr and even though We believe in Qadr , we sometimes get carried away by our nafs. We complain of our provision , we compete with Others.
Story of Musa (alayhi salaam) and an Old man with a piece of Bread
Once an Old man was sitting in his usual place. He was busy chanting the beautiful names of the Almighty. He was pre-occupied with the loaf of bread which was going to be his sustenance for the day.
“Always the same….. One loaf of bread “- He thought
Not long thereafter, Prophet Moosa passed by. Then the old thought to himself: “Here is my chance to send a message to the Almighty”. He greeted the Prophet of the Almighty, Moosa (a.s) and said somewhat falteringly: “Oh! Holy man, when you speak to your Creator, can you please ask Him to increase my Rizq (sustenance)…. For so long now, all I have is a single loaf of bread per day. I long for more. Can I not have more than this….? If you ask Him, the Almighty, O! Moosa, surely He will answer your request and grant me more…..”. Without hesitation the reply he got from Prophet Moosa was in the affirmative. The latter promised to present the old man’s request to the Creator of the heavens and the earth.
When eventually Prophet Musa met his Lord, he requested that the man’s sustenance should be increased. But he was told that the old man’s destiny in life was to receive one loaf of bread per day. When Prophet Musa met the old man again, he delivered the message he received from the Almighty. The old man was overjoyed. Surprised by this reaction Prophet Musa asked him the reason for his joy. The man replied, “If it is written, then so it shall be!!!! I have nothing to worry about. At least I will always receive one loaf of bread for the rest of my life……” and with that he went back to his prayers.
Now as months passed, the man’s tranquility increased with the knowledge that he need not worry about his sustenance anymore. He was contented that a loaf bread would always be his no matter the situation he found himself. This enabled him to focus more on his remembrance of his Creator; he began to show less concern for the acquisition of the pleasures of this world. Soon, a loaf of bread became too much for him; his appetitive desires witnessed a down turn. What remained of the loaf of bread every day, was put in a corner. Soon, the pile in the corner began to increase, until it became a huge heap.
One morning a herdsman was passing through the village and stopped to speak to the old man. He was looking for hay for his livestock – but there was none to be found. The old man said to him : “why don’t you take the stale bread that is lying in that heap, soften it with water and give it to your animals…..” The herdsman did this and his herd happily ate every last crumb. The herdsman, to show his gratitude, gave the old man a nanny goat, and went on his way.
Days passed into months, months passed into years. One day Prophet Musa (a.s) passed by the abode of the old man again. To his surprise, he discovered that the spot where the old man used to sit had been transformed into a garden. There were fruit trees growing nearby, and animals grazing not very far away. There was a field with grain, and a general atmosphere of abundance and wellbeing. Prophet Musa found out that all this belonged to the same old man. Having had the knowledge of what had been destined for the old man- – a single loaf of bread per day -he wanted to know what had led to the wonderful transformation in the life of the old man.
Days passed into months and a few years had gone by when Sayedna Moosaa (alayhi salaam), happened to be passing this way again. To his astonishment he found the that the spot where the old man used to sit had been transformed into a garden.
There were fruit trees growing nearby, and animals grazing not very far away. There was a field with grain, and a general atmosphere of abundance and well being. Sayedna Moosaa (alayhi salaam), found out that all this belonged to the old man.Puzzled, because he knew what was written in the old man’s destiny – a single loaf of bread per day – Sayedna Moosaa (alayhi salaam), went on his way determined to find out what this was all about.
“How could this be?” “A loaf a day is all that was written………., yet he had so much more …”
The answer when it came is something we should all take heed of….. “One loaf of bread was the (RIZQ) . sustenance that had been written for the old man. The fruit trees, the live stock and field of crops were the blessings (BARAKAH) which came from has acceptance of what had been written, as his lot in life.”
It was his reward for his complete trust in Almighty Allaah. The Barakah (Abundance) was the result of his shift in focus from what he wanted, to enjoying what he had, to such a degree, that even after eating as much as he wanted, he still had some left. His needs had become so small. The abundance this created in the old man’s life was compounded by his generosity and willingness to share what he had.
So Rizq is written. But, Barakah comes when we Trust in Almighty Allaah, when we are generous with what we have , when are grateful and when we put the Remembrance of Almighty Allaah above and beyond everything else.
May Almighty make us his grateful obedient servants آمِيْن يَارَبَّ الْعَالَمِينَْ
History is more than a mere record of events. History not only records the constant changes that take place in the world but also seeks to interpret that phenomenon of change. An analysis of the historical process, of the movement of history, and of the end of history, emerges from the interpretation of change in the world. It answers many nagging questions.
Is change taking place randomly, or is there a pattern to change? Is the historical process one that would persist unto eternity, or would there be a Last Age and an end to history?
A strange and mysterious Euro-world-order now controls the entire world in its iron grip. It has derived unprecedented power from a continuing scientific and technological revolution that completely changes the whole world. But its power rests on foundations that are essentially godless, decadent and corrupt.
It possesses great powers of deception to the extent that it makes falsehood appear to be truth and vice versa.
It tells monstrous lies while relentlessly and unjustly pursuing the goal of oppressing all those who resist its supreme authority.
It establishes world government in the name of universal democracy but imposes, instead, universal dictatorship over all mankind.
It proclaims the doctrine of free trade but establishes a usurious economy that destroys the fair market.
It rips off mankind through a process of legalized theft that reduces the masses around the world to permanent poverty and destitution.
It reaps far more blood-stained income in its capacity as the money-lender par excellence of the world than it deceptively doles out in face-saving aid and debt-forgiveness.
It is racially, culturally and intellectually arrogant and assumes itself to be not only superior to non-Europeans but that it is the ‘white man’s burden’ to ‘civilize’ the rest of mankind.
It is only when non-Europeans imitate their European way of life that they would be recognized as civilised.
It leads mankind to dual feminist and sexual revolutions which bring in their wake so much sexual promiscuity and perversity that the institution of the family itself begins to fail and self-destruct.
It brings about a mysterious alliance between Christians and Jews, and this is something previously considered impossible. It then uses that mysterious Euro-Christian/Euro-Jewish alliance to liberate the Holy Land, bring the Israelite Jews back to the Holy Land after 2000 years of divinely-ordained exile, and restore a State of Israel in the Holy Land.
There is absolutely nothing in history that can explain the emergence of that strange and mysterious Euro-world order. Is it itself a sign of the Last Day? And can such a civilization and world-order continue to dominate the world indefinitely, or is the world a moral order with a historical process that must eventually culminate with victory for truth, justice, peace, happiness, righteousness, sexual chastity and modesty, racial fraternity, freedom, and equality?
The period 1965-66 was the most exciting of all in our student life at the Aleemiyah Institute of Islamic Studies in Karachi, Pakistan. The head of the Institute, and my learned teacher of blessed memory, Maulana Dr. Muhammad Fazlur Rahman Ansari, succeeded in persuading his distinguished colleague, the philosopher of history, Dr. Burhan Ahmad Faruqi, to leave the city of Lahore and to join the teaching staff of the Institute in Karachi. Dr. Faruqi and Dr. Ansari were colleagues at the Aligarh Muslim University in the 1930s where they both studied philosophy under the guidance of that formidable Muslim philosopher, Professor Dr. Syed Z.afarul Hassan. Dr. Faruqi wrote his doctoral thesis in Islamic metaphysics on the topic, ‘A Mujjadid’s Conception of Tauheed’. He courageously undertook, in that book, a critical comparative evaluation of Muhiyuddin Ibn ‘Arabi’s theory of ‘wahdah al-wujud’ (i.e., that all existence is a real unity) with Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi’s rival theory of ‘wahdah ashshuhud’ (i.e., that all existence only appears to be a unity). More than half a century has passed since he wrote that book and it remains unsurpassed as a landmark in modern Islamic metaphysics. Dr. Ansari’s doctoral thesis, on the other hand, was written on the topic of ‘The Qur’anic Foundations and Structure of Muslim Society’ (in two volumes) and that book remains unsurpassed as a landmark of modern scholarship in Islamic moral philosophy. (If I may, I would like to recommend both these books to the gentle reader.)
These two intellectual giants, Dr. Faruqi and Dr. Ansari, interacted with each other at the Institute with sparks flying in all directions. We, the students, were tremendously stimulated by their exchanges. Dr. Faruqi taught us the Islamic philosophy of history for two unforgettable years before he returned to Lahore. It was Dr. Ansari’s far-sightedness that opened for us those doors to Islam’s conception of the philosophy of history. Such studies are conspicuously absent from today’s Dar al-Ulum where rote learning carries the day.
It is with that philosophy of history that we now attempt to explain Islam’s view of the end of history and to locate the place of the ‘Signs of the Last Day’ in the scheme of things. Let us begin by explaining that Islam conceives of the ‘end of history’ and the ‘end of the world’ as two quite different things.
The ‘end of the world’ would occur with the earth, and skies above, transformed into something spatially and temporally different. Mankind would then be resurrected into the new world to face judgement.
However, the ‘end of history’ would occur sometime prior to the ‘end of the world’, and when it occurs it would close the door of free choice through which human beings could accept the divinely revealed truth and be rewarded for such choice. Islam has provided a substantial body of information known as ‘Signs of the Last Day’ concerning events that would culminate with the ‘end of history’. Only Allah Most High, of course, has knowledge of when the world itself would end.
The Qur’an itself has revealed that the supreme sign of the end of history would be the return of the true Messiah, Jesus, the son of the virgin Mary. And Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah Most High be upon him) went on to inform that the Messiah’s return would herald the final triumph of truth over falsehood, and of justice over oppression and tyranny. The European war on Islam which commenced with the barbaric European crusades, and which witnessed its present foolhardy phase in the brutal and bloody western occupation and oppression of Afghanistan and Iraq, would then end with the divinely ordained destruction of the oppressor. An essentially godless and decadent western civilization would self-destruct through disease. An unstoppable Muslim army that would emerge from Khorasan (i.e., modern-day Afghanistan and neighbouring territories), would eventually sweep away every obstacle in its path as it liberates all occupied territories all the way to Jerusalem. Thus history would end with victory for Islam.
The non-Muslim reader must pause to ask himself a question. What would be the consequence for him if Muhammad (peace be upon him) is indeed truthful when he declared that he is a Prophet, like unto, Abraham, Moses and Jesus (peace be upon them all), and that the Qur’an which he delivered to mankind is indeed the true and uncorrupted word of the One God?
Let us note at the time of writing of this essay that the armed Islamic resistance to the oppressor in both Afghanistan and Iraq has not only emerged but is already demonstrating a capacity to stay the course for the next 20 or 30 years until victory is achieved. I doubt whether this final war of all wars would take more time than that to end.
The word of Allah Most High has declared such an end to history, and the ‘Word’ of Allah Most High never changes:
“For them (the believers in Allah Most High who, for example, resist the war on Islam) are Glad Tidings in the life of this world (i.e., victory for Islam) as well as in the Hereafter (the reward of paradise). No change can there be in the Words of Allah. This is indeed the supreme Felicity.”
(Qur’an, Yunus, 10:64)
Before we turn to the rest of the essays in this book and to ‘Signs of the Last Day’ in Islam, we attempt to make a very brief comparative review of the different conceptions of the historical process, the movement of history and the end of history in Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity and, finally, in the view of modern western civilization. The Hindu view is that the movement of history is continuously cyclic. The Jewish view is linear and regressive, and so too is the Christian view. Western civilization conceives of the movement of history as linear and progressive, while the Islamic view is that it is zig-zig since it is conditioned by the triumphs and failures in a moral struggle that is waged by essentially free moral agents.
THE HINDU VIEW OF THE MOVEMENT AND END OF HISTORY
Hinduism declares that the movement of history is cyclic, i.e., going round and round in circles and thus constantly repeating itself. When one cycle is completed, another one commences. In the view of many Hindu scholars today, as well as in the popular Hindu religious consciousness, the movement of history is now located at a point in time when one cycle is coming to an end and another is about to begin. Thus for the Hindu this is, in a sense, a last age, i.e., the end of this present cycle of history.
While Hinduism is prepared to recognize truth manifesting itself in the form of many rivers all flowing to the same sea, the fact is that Hinduism is also firmly insistent that when those rivers all reach that common sea it is the Hindu conception of truth that is certain to prevail. The logical implication is that a cycle cannot end without validation of the Hindu conception of truth.
What is that conception of truth? And what are the implications for the rest of mankind if such a conception of truth were to be validated? For the purposes of our present essay we need not look at more than one or two of those implications.
HINDUISM AND THE HOLY LAND OF BHARAT
Hinduism is built on the concept of a holy land, i.e., Bharat, that includes not only present-day India, but also much of the surrounding regional territory. Hinduism clings with evergreen nostalgia to a golden age in the distant past in which the gods and goddesses of Hinduism lived on earth and the truth of Hinduism dominated the then known world from that holy land. Hindus believe that Hinduism has an exclusive religious right to dominance in that holy land of Bharat, and that Hindus therefore have a religious obligation to ensure that the Hindu conception of truth prevails in that holy land.
Eight centuries of Muslim rule over that holy land, followed by the partition of the holy land to accommodate the creation of a Muslim Pakistan, Muslim Bangladesh, Muslim Maldives and a Buddhist Sri Lanka, inflicted a wound on the integrity of that holy land and, by implication, on the Hindu religious consciousness. It also set the stage for a struggle for restoring the integrity of holy ‘Bharat’. History would end, in the Hindu religious view, with such a validation of the Hindu conception of truth that would require Muslim Pakistan and Bangladesh and other surrounding territories that were once ‘Bharat’ to be reabsorbed within the holy land, and that an undivided holy land of ‘Bharat’ under Brahmin Hindu political, economic and religious dominance be restored.
The Brahmin Hindu conception of truth is firmly based on the belief that mankind was created unequally. The Brahmin Hindu is born into the highest caste and is thus the elite of mankind. The rest of non-Brahmin mankind are inferior to him. That belief in inherent superiority and inferiority of human beings naturally lends itself to the establishment of a system of dominance. The implication, in so far as the historical process is concerned, is that history cannot end without the political dominance of a Brahman-ruled ‘Bharat’ over all others within its sphere of influence. The political and economic life of South Asia is moving in precisely that direction.
There are political implications that emerge from this Hindu conception of the end of history. The first is that the approach of an end of the present cycle would necessarily give rise to the emergence of a Hindu religious nationalism that would impact ominously on political and economic relations with non-Hindus (particularly Muslims). That is already occurring.
Secondly it makes it inevitable that those Hindus with faith in the Hindu conception of the end of history would make common cause with those who are now waging war on Islam around the world. They would do so because of the perception of Islam as the major obstacle that stands in the way of Hinduism realizing its historic destiny. They would do so in order to realize the end of history that would validate Hinduism by way of restoring the integrity and undivided unity of the holy Hindu motherland of ‘Maa Bharat’ (mother India). It is precisely for this reason that India is now becoming, after USA, Israel’s most strategic ally in the world.
Let us hasten to note that there are Hindus who would reject this conception of the end of history with Brahmin dominance over the rest of mankind, and would insist that justice, and that fraternity with all of mankind who reciprocate such values, must be the goal of Hinduism in the end of history. It would always be possible for Muslims to build friendship and alliance with such Hindus.
HINDUISM AND REINCARNATION
In addition to the belief that history moves in cycles, Hinduism is also based on the belief that life itself is cyclical. We are born, we live, we die, and then we are reborn or we reincarnate.
There has never been any concrete evidence to support belief in reincarnation. Somebody in Sweden might claim to remember his previous life when he lived in such and such place, and might then produce memories of that previous life that cannot normally be explained. Hindus have often used evidence such as this to demonstrate the validity of re-incarnation. But it is not persuasive to others if someone in Sweden has that memory of a previous life. How does it affect the rest of mankind? A man might argue, “If I am to be convinced about this cycle of life in which one is reborn again and again, then I should have personal knowledge of my own previous life (if I did have one). But the fact is that I have no such memory.”
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah Most High be upon him) has prophesied an event that would occur in the Last Age that Hindus would certainly hail as a spectacular validation of the Hindu claim to truth. What is it?
The Prophet has declared, as only a true Prophet could declare, that a man who would appear to be someone’s dead father (who died some 30 or 40 years ago) would stand in front of him. He would have the physical appearance of that dead father. He would speak with that father’s voice and he would say things that only his father could know. When that happens most of mankind would be completely convinced that the dead was reborn. Would such a thing really happen? Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has prophesied such a ‘Sign of the Last Age’. Here are his words:
“And there will be raised with him (i.e., with Dajjal the false Messiah or Anti-Christ) Satans who would assume the form of those who are dead, and would then speak to those who are alive (i.e., to close relatives of a dead person) “Don’t you recognize me? I am your father; or I am your brother; or some other close relative.”
The Satans who would be raised with Dajjal would be Jinn (i.e., invisible beings who were created from smokeless fire) who are Kuffar (disbelievers). It would be these Jinn who would assume human form and would appear before someone in the form of his dead father and would then speak in the voice of his father and would claim, “I am your father. Don’t you recognize me son?”
Cloning appear to me the first step of the road that would lead to that momentous event. After the cloning of sheep, human cloning would become a natural development. When that happens, in another twenty-five years or so, a preserveed cell of a long-dead father would be used to create his clone, and a Jinn would then speak through that clone in the voice and with the memory of the real father. Then perhaps this prophecy of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) would also be fulfilled. Hindus would certainly respond to such an event by enthusiastically embracing it as a validation of Hinduism’s claim to truth. But Muslims with knowledge would be able the recognize the fraud.
THE JEWISH VIEW OF THE MOVEMENT AND END OF HISTORY
The Brahim Hindu and Jewish views of the movement of history and the end of history are remarkably similar. Both the Jew and the Brahmin Hindu conceive of themselves as the elite of mankind and conceive of all non-Hindus or non-Jews to have been originally created with an inferior status. And hence both seek to establish systems of political, economic, social and religious dominance which would ensure that the elite of mankind themselves would dominate over the rest.
Both cherish the memory of a golden age when their political, economic and religious dominance over all others within their sphere of influence was realized in history. Both believe in a holy land in which their respective golden ages were realized, and both believe that history cannot end without a re-realization of their respective golden ages in which they would again dominate the world around them from their respective holy lands.
The Israelites were expelled from their holy land more than 2000 years ago, and they lived for that long period in sorrowful exile. But it is of momentous and historic importance that they have now returned to the very heart of that holy land to reclaim it as their own. It is significant that they accomplished that return while riding on the backs of European Jews who pursued their goal with no concern for either truth or justice.
History reached its zenith in the golden age of Judaism when David and Solomon (peace be upon them both) ruled the world from Holy Israel. History after the golden age witnessed two periods of Jewish betrayal of the covenant with Allah Most High and hence, two periods of historical collapse and consequent Jewish exile from the Holy Land. The first was the Babylonian exile. The second, which commenced shortly after Jews rejected the claim of Jesus (peace be upon him) to be the Messiah and subsequently boasted that they had killed him (Qur’an, al-Nisa, 4:159), resulted in a two-thousand-year exile. Those 2000 years constituted, from their perspective, the Jewish Dark Age. The historical process is thus linear and regressive. But regression was punctuated by divine interventions which once brought the Jews back from Babylon to reclaim the Holy Land, and which once again would fulfill a Divine promise concerning the advent of a Messiah through whom Jews would re-realize the golden age when Holy Israel ruled the world.
Judaism believes itself to be the dominant force impacting upon the historical process at the beginning and at the end of history.
History is pre-eminently the history of Jews. But history is particularly the history of the Jews in their relationship with the Holy Land which they believe was divinely gifted to them exclusively and unconditionally, and with the holy State of Israel which once ruled the world from that holy land. History cannot end until the Jews have liberated the rest of the holy land beyond the present frontiers of the State of Israel. The Bible itself declares that the holy land stretches “from the river of Egypt to the river Euphrates” in Iraq. History cannot end until the holy State of Israel recovers control over the entire holy land, and rules the world as the ruling state one more time.
The historical process cannot end without the validation of Judaism as truth. But in order for such validation to be achieved it would first be necessary for the Jews to return to the Holy Land to reclaim it as their own. This they have already done. Secondly, a State of Israel would also have to be restored. This was achieved in 1948. Thirdly, that State of Israel would have to expand to encompass the entire territory of the holy land, and the Temple of Solomon would have to be rebuilt (which means that Israel would have to destroy Masjid al-Aqsa in order to rebuild the temple). Fourthly, the holy State of Israel would have to become, once again, the ruling state in the world. This is likely to occur soon. Finally, a Jew must rule the world from Jerusalem with a claim to eternal rule and declare himself the Messiah. When Jews recognize him to be the Messiah and accept him as such, that would constitute the end of history for Judaism.
Since Jews have now returned to the Holy Land to reclaim it as their own, and a State of Israel has been restored, and the temple of Solomon is likely to be re-built soon, most Jews believe that the historical process is approaching the end. So the Hindu view, like the Jewish view, is that we are now in the last stage of history. This belief that the historical process is drawing to an end has impacted on Judaism in the same way as it has impacted on Hinduism, and so we see secular nationalism being replaced in Israel by Jewish religious nationalism with all the attendant repercussions on the politics of the State.
The only significant force in the world perceived to be obstructing Jews from realizing Judaism’s historic destiny is Islam. This explains the present war that is waged on Islam to remove that road-block.
There are some Jews who are absolutely horrified by Israel’s injustice and oppression of the Arab Muslim and Christian peoples who lived in the Holy Land prior to the birth of the Euro-Jewish State. They have opposed the Zionist State and have supported the rights of the oppressed Muslim and Christian people in and around the Holy Land. It is very unlikely that these Jews would accept the claim of a Messiah who achieves his rule over the world through deception, lies, assassination, terrorism, injustice and oppression.
It may be possible for Muslims to build friendship and alliance with such Jews.
THE CHRISTIAN VIEW OF THE MOVEMENT AND END OF HISTORY
The Christian view is that all of history prior to the advent of Jesus was preparatory in nature, and that history reached its epoch when God incarnated in the person of Jesus, the ‘son of God’, the second person in the ‘trinity’. History would culminate when that ‘God’ returns to judge all of mankind on Judgment Day. The Christian view of the historical process is thus linear and regressive, but it conceives of history ending with another divine intervention that would validate the Christian claim to the truth.
History is indeed the history of truth. The historical process and the movement of history, according to Christianity, were determined by the incarnation of truth in history. God, who is truth, took human form and came to live on the earth in the person of his only begotten son, Jesus, who is also recognized as the son of the virgin Mary. The fact that God appeared in history and lived on earth implied that the age in which he lived was the golden age, and that after his departure every successive age witnessed a historical regression and departure from truth.
There is a consensus amongst Christians that the return of Jesus the Christ (i.e., the Messiah) is now close, and that we are consequently nearing the end of history. Many non-European Christians are persuaded by the dominant Euro-Christian argument that the birth of the State of Israel is a fulfillment of Biblical prophecy and that Christians therefore have a religious duty to facilitate the return of Jesus by giving their support to Israel and by opposing those who oppose Israel. They remain conveniently blind to the injustice, lies and deception with which so-called Biblical prophesy is being realized.
Indeed the birth of Israel is itself the result of a strange Jewish-Christian marriage that also gave birth to the present world-order.
As the moment of the return of Jesus draws nigh the world is already witnessing a resurgence of Christian religious nationalism impacting on Christian political thought with momentous implications. Nowhere in the world has the impact of end-time resurgent Christian nationalism made a more ominous impact on the world than in the establishment of the George Bush administration in USA.
This brief review of the viewpoints of these three religions is sufficient to demonstrate that they all believe in an end to history and, further, that the end of history is close.
MODERN WESTERN CIVILIZATION’S VIEW OF THE MOVEMENT AND END OF HISTORY
Perhaps the foremost philosopher of history of modern western civilization is the German philosopher, Fredrich Hegel. He gave a view of the historical process that begins with a thesis. It provokes an antithesis. And these two are then reconciled through the emergence of a synthesis. The synthesis in his philosophy of history represents a higher stage of history and hence, progress. The movement of history thus witnesses constant advance. The movement of history is linear and progressive, and the latest is always the best.
In the Hegelian philosophy of history the ascendancy and unrivalled dominance of modern western civilization represent the synthesis of all that preceded it. The fact that the west is dominant, remains dominant, and is growing in its dominance, indicates that its claim to truth is valid. It also implies that all previous civilizations
with their different conceptions of truth and of history, including Islam, have been synthesized and superseded by the present western dispensation, and have now become redundant and moribund. Since the modern west is secular, the implication is that religion is destined to enter the museum of history.
Modern western civilization not only claims that it is the latest and therefore the best, but curiously it also claims that it is the last since it represents the final synthesis in history. They believe their civilization has come to stay and will never be surpassed. They believe the historical process has reached the climax and that the end, whensoever it comes, would validate their claim to truth.
Francis Fukuyama recognized the ascendancy of modern western civilization as the end of history. Samuel Huntington differed. He believed that there is some mopping up operation left since civilizations other than modern western civilization still have some life in them. He envisaged a clash of civilizations before the end of history. The warned that the clash would be essentially between Islam and the West, but confidently expected that it would result with triumph for the west. (sic)
There is one philosopher of history of the western world, Arnold Toynbee, who still remains an enigma. He was a devout Christian and yet his thought was firmly planted in secular western civilization. He struggled to formulate a view of history that would accommodate the western as well as the Christian view of truth and history. His intellectual work contributed to forging the Euro-Jewish/Euro-Christian alliance that now rules the world on behalf of the Euro-Jewish State of Israel.
ISLAM’S VIEW OF THE MOVEMENT AND END OF HISTORY
Let us now turn to the Islamic view of the subject in which the movement of history is determined by the movement of truth in history. Allah Most High is al-Haq (i.e.,Truth):
“That is because He, Allah, is the Truth . . . . .” (Qur’an, al-Hajj, 22:62)
Not only is He, Most High, Truth, but Truth also comes from Him in the form of the revealed Word:
“And say, The Truth is from your Lord . . . . “ (Qur’an, al-Kahf, 18:29)
The Qur’an also describes everything in the world around us to be pregnant with Truth:
“Do they not reflect within themselves? Not but with Truth and for a term appointed, did Allah create the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them . . . .” (Qur’an, Rum, 30:8)
Truth (al-Haq) which comes from Allah Most High provokes confrontation with falsehood (al-Batil). The Islamic view is that the conflict between truth and falsehood is the dominant factor determining the movement of history. Human beings participate in this struggle because Allah Most High gave to them the freewill with which to choose. Although they possess limited freedom, it is nevertheless freedom:
“Say, truth is from your Lord-God. Let him who will, believe in it, and let him who will, reject it.” (Qur’an, al-Kahf, 18:29)
Mankind is free to chose, either to accept the Truth and to be rewarded for such a choice, or to reject it and to pay the price for that rejection. This self-directed-will and capacity for a free choice causes the historical process to move sometimes this way, sometimes that way. Dr. Burhan Ahmad Faruqi used the term zigzag to describe the movement of history. It moves now this way, and now that – sometimes progress and sometimes regress that reflect success and failure in the moral struggle. Islam thus rejects both the cyclic view as well as the linear regressive and the linear progressive views of the movement of history.
Divine intervention occurs in the historical process when Prophets are sent, and when Scriptures are revealed. Such intervention results in a Prophet inserting himself in the sweep of history and launching an effort to re-direct the movement of history so that it is restored to the straight path (i.e., Sirat al-Mustaqim). These divine interventions constitute landmarks of the historical process. The advent of Prophet Muhammad, however, witnessed the most decisive, the most comprehensive triumph of truth over falsehood ever to have occurred in history.
Dr. Faruqi used the Qur’an to demonstrate Islam’s view that history cannot end without another triumph of truth over falsehood.
Such an event, however, would validate the Islamic claim to truth since it would deliver a re-realization of the golden age of the Prophets, David and Solomon (peace be upon them both), when the Holy (Islamic State) of Israel ruled the world from the Holy Land, and the golden age of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who declared: “My companions are like the rain. I don’t know which shower is better, the first or the last”.
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah Most High be upon him) has provided a description of a Last Age that would precede the end of history. Many Signs of the Last Day reveal grave events that would occur in the Last Age. These events would seem like an evil storm blowing through the world while sifting the grain (i.e., those who have rue faith) from the husk (those who have no faith).
Allah Most High created that evil storm that will sweep everyone into the garbage bin of history—except those who have firm faith in the One God and in the truth that came from him. Islam declares that Allah Most High sent Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) as His last Prophet and Messenger to all mankind, and sent him with the Qur’an as the last divinely-revealed scripture. To the extent that he is indeed a true Prophet, and the Qur’an is indeed divine revelation, then only those who faithfully follow him, and who are guided by the Qur’an, would be able to survive the evil storm.
The essays in this book attempt to locate and explain some of those Signs of the Last Day as they are already appearing in the modern world. They depict the evil storm that is already unleashed and is sweeping all but the truly faithful into the garbage-bin of history. The greatest danger to the religious way of life that has come with that storm is an epistemological attack on the spiritual heart of religion.
THE EVIL STORM AND WAR ON THE SPIRITUAL HEART OF RELIGION
There are misguided and evil people in this strange modern world who continuously attack and seek to demolish the spiritual heart of the religious way of life. They have already demolished the spiritual heart of Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism and are now targeting Islam. They villify authentic Sufi scholars of Islam such as my learned teacher Maulana Dr. Muhammad Fadlur Rahman Ansari, and his illustrious teacher, Maulana ‘Abdul ‘Aleem Siddiqui (may Allah Most High have mercy on them both), and falsely accuse them of being profoundly misguided to the extent of engaging in acts of Shirk.
They are a people who have effectively joined the ranks of those enemies of Islam who are today waging war on Islam and Muslims around the world. They are themselves unaware that they have become instruments in the hands of a master-mind whose messianic objective is to obstruct Muslims from realizing the reality of the world today. That master-mind is Dajjal the false Messiah or Anti-Christ, who is himself one-eyed, and hence spiritually blind, and who knows that the spiritually blind cannot recognize the Signs of the Last Day.
Many of the prophecies of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah Most High be upon him) concerning ‘Signs of the Last Day’ have been conveyed to us in symbolic language that must be interpreted in order to be properly understood. That process of interpretation in turn requires the use of the Sufi epistemology of seeing with the internal eye (i.e., internal intuitive spiritual insight). It also requires a keen observation of events as they unfold in the historical process.
It was the good fortune of this writer to have been the student of an authentic Sufi Shaikh. The essays in this book are the fruit of a very humble attempt at interpretation of the historical process, and of events now ominously unfolding in the world, in the context of Signs of the Last Day. Perhaps these essays might assist others, more gifted than this writer, to understand and interpret the ‘Signs of the Last Day’ in a manner that would more conclusively demonstrate ‘Truth’ in Islam.
The Ahadith (i.e., words of Prophet Muhammad – peace be upon him) quoted below are but a few of the large body of Ahadith on the subject of ‘Signs of the Last Day’. The reader must exercise constant vigilance when studying Ahadith on this subject since they must have certainly been the prime target of those whose evil mission it was to so fabricate Ahadith as to mislead Muslims and corrupt their understanding of this vitally important subject.
Part of the methodology through which we can identify Ahadith of doubtful integrity is by first locating a consistent system of meaning which would explain a subject as a whole as derived from both the Qur’an and Ahadith. We can then suspend judgment in respect of such Ahadith as are not in harmony with that system of meaning. Nowhere is there greater need for such a methodology than in the study of ‘Signs of the Last Day’.
The text of the English translation of the following Ahadith is sometimes punctuated with our brief comments enclosed in brackets.In addition, we have sometimes offered a brief commentary of a Hadith:
Abu Hurairah narrated that Allah’s Apostle said: “The Last Hour would not come unless (and until) the Muslims fight the Jews and the Muslims kill them (i.e. so defeat them that) the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the Gharqad tree would not say that, for it is the tree of the Jews.”
This prophecy of the Last Day very clearly rules out the possibility of any peaceful resolution of the conflict between Jews and Muslims over Jewish oppression in the Holy Land and elsewhere in the world.
Anas ibn Malik narrated that Allah’s Apostle said: “Dajjal would be followed by seventy thousand Jews of Isfahan wearing Persian shawls.” (Sahih Muslim)
This indicates that the European Jews and the Euro-Zionist Movement who created the State of Israel, would eventually relinquish power and control over Israel and seduce the real Jews, i.e., the oriental Jews, to replace them. It is significant that an Iranian Jew is now President of Israel.
Jabir ibn Samurah narrated: I heard Allah’s Apostle say: “Before the Last Hour there would be many (great) liars.” There is an addition in the Hadith transmitted on the authority of Abul Ahwas of these words: “I said to him: Did you hear it from Allah’s Apostle? He said: Yes.”
Those great lies are already coming out of the Washington, London and Tel Aviv/Jerusalem. In addition, the world is subjected to a constant barrage of lies and misinformation that permeates the western-dominated international news media.
Hudhayfah ibn Usayd Ghifari narrated: “Allah’s Apostle came to us all of a sudden as we were engaged (in a discussion). He asked: What are you discussing? (The Companions) said: We are discussing about the Last Hour. Thereupon he said: It would not come until you see ten signs and (in this connection) he made a mention of the ‘smoke’, ‘Dajjal’, the ‘beast’, the ‘rising of the sun from the west’, the ‘descent of Jesus son of Mary’, ‘Gog and Magog’, and ‘landslides in three places, one in the east, one in the west and one in Arabia’ at the end of which ‘fire would burn forth from the Yemen and would drive people to the place of their assembly’.
See essay in this book entitled “Ten Major Signs of the Last Day— Has One Just Occurred?”
Umar ibn al-Khattab narrated: “One day we were sitting in the company of Allah’s Prophet when there appeared before us a man dressed in pure white clothes, his hair extraordinarily black. There were no signs of travel on him. None amongst us recognized him. At last he sat with the Prophet. He knelt before him placed his palms on his thighs and asked: Muhammad, inform me about al-Islam. The Messenger of Allah said: Al-Islam implies that you testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and you establish prayer, pay Zakat, observe the fast of Ramadan, and perform pilgrimage to the House (i.e., the Ka’aba in Makkah built by Abraham) if you are solvent enough (to bear the expense of) the journey. He (the inquirer) said: You have told the truth. He (Umar ibn al-Khattab) said: It amazed us that he would put the question and then he would himself verify the truth. He (the inquirer) asked: Inform me about Iman (faith). He (the Holy Prophet) replied: That you affirm your faith in Allah, in His angels, in His Books, in His Apostles, in the Day of Judgment, and you affirm your faith in the Divine Decree about good and evil. He (the inquirer) said: You have told the truth. He (the inquirer) again asked: Inform me about al-Ihsan (spiritual insight). He (the Holy Prophet) said: That you worship Allah as if you are seeing Him, for though you do not see Him, He, verily, sees you. He (the enquirer) again said: Inform me about the hour (the Last Day). He (the Holy Prophet) remarked: the one who is asked knows no more than the one who is inquiring (about it). He (the inquirer) said: Inform me of some of the signs (of the Last Day). He (the Holy Prophet) said: That the slave-girl would give birth to her mistress and master, and that you would find barefooted, destitute shepherds vying with one another in the construction of magnificent buildings. He (the narrator, Umar ibn al-Khattab) said: Then he (the inquirer) went on his way but I stayed with him (the Holy Prophet) for a long while. He then said to me: Umar, do you know who this inquirer was? I replied: Allah and His Apostle know best. He (the Holy Prophet) remarked: He was Gabriel (the angel). He came to you in order to instruct you in matters of religion.”
Here is a prophecy that is very clearly presented in symbolic language that must be interpreted. But the Hadith also directs our attention to al-Ihsan, or the spiritual quest, as part of the prerequisites required for responding to the ‘Signs of the Last Day’. “The slave-girl giving birth to her mistress” is a startling prophecy that can be interpreted only when one understands and penetrates the prophecies concerning Dajjal and Riba on the one hand, and Dajjal and the feminist revolution on the other.
Abu Hurairah narrated that the Prophet said: “The Last Hour (i.e., the Last Day) would not come before (religious) knowledge is taken away, earthquakes would be very frequent, time would pass quickly, afflictions would appear, murders would increase and money would overflow amongst you.”
The void in respect of religious knowledge can be easily understood in the context of the attack that has already been launched on the scholars of Islam and on the institutions of higher Islamic learning. This attack on the scholars of Islam forms part of the over-all war on Islam and Muslims.
Narrated Ubayy ibn K’ab: I heard Allah’s Apostle (peace be upon him) say, “The Euphrates would soon uncover a mountain of gold and when the people would hear of it they would flock towards it but the people who would possess that (treasure) (would say): If we allow these persons to take out of it they would take away the whole of it.” So they would fight and ninety-nine out of one hundred would be killed. Abu Kamil in his narration said: “I and Abu Ka’b stood under the shade of the battlement of Hassan.”
I believe the mountain of gold uncovered by the River Euphrates can be understood only as a symbol for oil (black gold) and that the deaths prophesied (99 out of every 100) would occur in the wars to gain control over that oil. Perhaps weapons of mass destruction such as nuclear weapons will be used in the future.
Here now are some more randomly selected Ahadith pertaining to Signs of the Last Day: S’ad ibn Abu Waqqas narrated: Allah’s Messenger said, “The Last Hour would not come until people come forth who eat with their tongues as cows do.” Ahmad transmitted it.”
Hudhaifah narrated that the Prophet said, “The Last Hour would not come until you kill your leader, fight together with your swords, and your worst ones inherit your worldly goods.”
Anas ibn Malik narrated that Allah’s Messenger said, “The Last Hour would not come until time contracts, a year being like a month, a month like a week, a week like a day, a day like an hour, and an hour like the kindling of a fire.”
Abu Sa’id al-Khudri narrated that Allah’s Messenger said, “By Him in Whose hand is my soul, the Last Hour would not come until wild beasts speak to men, the end of a man’s whip and the thong of his sandal speak to him, and his thigh informs him what his family have done since he left them.” (This appears to anticipate the modern cellular phone.)
Talhah ibn Malik narrated that Allah’s Messenger said, “One of the signs of the approach of the Last Hour would be the destruction of the Arabs (i.e., war on Arabs).”
Abdullah ibn Hawalah al-Azdi narrated: “The Apostle of Allah sent us on foot to get spoils, but we returned without getting any. When he saw the signs of distress on our faces he stood up before us and said: O Allah, do not put them under my care, for I would be too weak to care for them; do not put them in care of themselves, for they would be incapable of that, and do not put them in the care of men, for they would choose the best things for themselves. He then placed his hand on my head and said: Ibn Hawalah, when you see the Caliphate established in the Holy Land (i.e., when an imposter Euro-Jewish State of Israel rules the world from the Holy Land) earthquakes, sorrows and serious matters would have drawn near, and on that day the Last Hour would be nearer to mankind than this hand of mine is to your head.”
(Sunan Abu Daud)
Anas ibn Malik narrated that the Prophet said: “The Last Hour would not come until people vie with one another about Masajid (i.e. contesting with each other for control over Masajid).”
(Sunan Abu Daud)