Posted by Salma Javid Khan
Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
[In The Name Of God, The Most Gracious, The Ever Merciful]
Reason and history bear witness to the fact that when darkness of sin overshadows the earth, when all sorts of transgressions prevail in the world and evil is supreme; when the spiritual sensibilities are deadened and the earth is growing impure with immoral practices; when the love of God being numbed in the hearts of men and a poisonous wind begins to blow, the mercy of God then ordains that life should again be breathed into dead hearts and the earth should be quickened afresh. As there are changes of seasons in the physical world, so there are revolutions in the spiritual world.
There are periods of light and darkness which follow each other successively like day and night. At certain stages of the history of the world, mankind is stripped of spiritual excellences and the characteristics of of humanity like trees in the autumn, while at others a wind blows from heaven which breathes life afresh into their hearts like the beautiful spring season which regrows all colorful leaves and flowers and makes all atmospheres look so gorgeous.
This ‘our time’ is the beginning of a spring, both in the physical world and the spiritual sphere.
In accordance with this time-honored law, Almighty God prophesied through the mouth of His prophets that after nearly six thousand years from the time of Adam (pbuh) when great darkness would prevail upon earth and an irresistible flood of passions would make the love of God wane and iniquity predominate, God would breathe into a man the soul of truth and love and knowledge spiritually after the likeness of Adam (as), and he would be called the Messiah, because God would Himself anoint his soul with the ointment of His love.
‘This Messiah who on account of the promise of God concerning his appearance is called the Promised Messiah in sacred books.’
It is foretold that after mighty struggles, the Messiah of God would drive back the powers of darkness of satanic virtues from this world, and the glory, majesty, unity and holiness of One God would be proclaimed upon earth and would continue to be declared till the dooms day. People will be ultimately made to follow One Book of the One religion of the One lead of Prophets of the One Lord.
Then will be the end.
However, there’s this one thing:
It is very interesting to note that almost all the major world religions (faiths) attach a significance to this age in terms of advent of a final messiah: A messiah, a new world reformer who would destroy evil and unite the world in matters of faith.
A number of spiritual teachers have prophesized about the advent of a Messiah (Divine Reformer) in the latter days.
Buddhist and Hindu scriptures have clearly alluded to the appearance of a Reformer in the latter days.
The Gospels – Amos 8:9; Matthew 24:29 and the Holy Q u r’an 75:9-10, have also referred to the second advent of Jesus (as).
There are a very good number of religions that expect their promised prophet to appear.
Prophecies further said that every eye would witness the arrival of the Messiah. The Holy Prophet (saw) of Islam had mentioned an exact timetable for not only the advent of the Mahdi (Messiah of Islam) but also defined his life and works and foretold how every eye would be able to recognize Him. Never before has a heavenly Sign given testimony to the arrival of a Prophet. But for the promised Messiah (as) who is the Mahdi for Muslims, Jesus (as) for Christians and Jews, Buddha (as) for Buddhists and Krishna (as) for Hindus, a heavenly Sign would appear so that every eye which has vision to see would be able to witness it, along with many other specific signs, of course!
The Christians think that the time is coming when all the nations of the earth will accept the doctrine of the Divinity of Jesus (as). The Jews entertain the fond hope that their Messiah will soon appear and make them the inheritors of the whole earth and bring the gentiles into the Jewish faith. The Islamic prophecies also give the hope of the advent of an Imam Mahdi who would make Islam the predominant and universal religion of the world, and the promised time of advent goes no further than the commencement of the 14th century of Hegira.
And at this very moment the Pundits of the Sanatan Dharm are anxiously waiting for the advent of an avatar who would spread the true faith in the whole world. Nor has the Buddhist religion remained behind in this movement, for it is also showing signs of activity and reform.
In short, the competition of religions has grown hot and every sect is inspired with the zeal to make acquisitions from other faiths. There is a commotion in the religious world more violent than the commotion which is caused in the sea by a storm, and as the billows roll down upon one another, so do at present the different religions.
Let us now take a closer look at the concept of the messiah in different religious traditions to determine whether the different faiths anticipate several individual Messiahs, just or one awaited messiah for the entire planet and all religions. Let’s see for whom the many faiths of this world are waiting for….
The other day we read:
Prophecies related to the coming of The Promised Messiah & The Mahdi of Muslims @ www.themuslimtimes.org/2013/10/religion/islam/prophecies-related-to-the-coming-of-the-maseeh-the-mahdi-of-muslims-lets-put-the-facts-together
Now, lets read more on…
The Concept of The Awaited Messiah in World Faiths
I want you, if you can, to match your religious book’s prophecies given about the coming of the Messiah and compare with the ones I now present before you. May peace be with you, always.
Return of Shree Krishna (as)
Hindus expect the reappearance of their Lord, Shree Krishna(as) at the time of the Kali Yuga / Kalyug. They believe when the world is in darkness, Krishna(as) will return in judgment in the form of a new avatar. According to their description of the Kali Yuga, they believe that we are currently at the age for his return, when the world is in an age of spiritual decadence. This is to be followed by a regenerated era. Krishna(as) himself declares the progressive line of prophethood in the following text:
Whenever the Law declines and the purpose of life is forgotten, I manifest myself on earth. I am born in every age to protect the good, to destroy the evil, and to re-establish the Law. (Bhagvad Gita, 4:7-8)
The age in whichKrishnais to come again is called Kalyuga in the Hindu Scriptures. Maha Rishi Vuyas has mentioned a large number of signs in the Gita, for the recognition of Kalyuga:
“There will be a gradual decay in righteousness and faith, civilization and culture, piety and purity, age and strength. Peoples statures will be short and there age on average 30 years only. The rich will be looked upon with honour and respect and the poor will be decided as unclean and untouchable. Brahmans only sign will be his sacred thread, where as that of Sanyasi, his leopard skin cloak. The unlearned and the ignorant will pose as wise holy men and will deliver sermons from the high pulpits. By growing long hair and nails on their bodies, people will become Wahatura. Sadhus will renounce jungle life and will return to the cities and indulge in adultery.
A large section of the people will be atheist and turn away from the worship of one true God. Places of worship will be deserted and desolate, and wine shops and taverns will be much frequented. People, inspite of being poor, will indulge in sensual pleasures. Hairdressing of different styles will be considered as a mark of beauty. Women, with uncovered faces, will walk about in the bazaars like prostitutes. Girls of eight will become mothers. Sons will call their parents fools. The produce of the land will be small, the rainfall scanty and out of time. Rivers will deviate from their courses. The rulers will oppress and exterminate their subjects. In Kalyuga, Kings will sit upon the thrones of England, Turkey, Japan and China. It is at this time when Shri Jishkalan Avtar will appear on the stage of the world. But, like Nasi Bhagat, he will be raised from a place which will not be in accordance with the expectations of the Hindus, and the superficial observer therefore, will not be able to recognize him.”
There is also a tradition of Kalki, the final Hindu avatar who would appear from the west mounted on a white horse. Kalki is also known as conqueror of dualities and of darkness. The texts describe the advent of Kalki:
When the practices taught by the Vedas and the institutes of law shall nearly have ceased, and the close of the kali age shall be nigh, a portion of that divine being who exists of his own spiritual nature in the character of Brahma, and who is the beginning and the end, and who comprehends all things, shall descend upon the earth… he will then re-establish righteousness upon earth; and the minds of those who live at the of the Kali age shall be awakened, and shall be as pellucid as crystal. The men who are thus changed by virtue of that peculiar time shall be as the seeds of human beings, and shall give birth to a race that shall follow the laws of the Krita age, the Age of Purity. (Vishnu Purana, 4.24)
Here, the verses first give an indication of the state of the world when the Kalki avatar would appear in terms of lawlessness and a lack of spirituality. It then proceeds to show us the scene of Kalki re-awakening the spiritual minds of people and signaling the dawn of a new spiritual (Krita) age.
The question whether Kalki will come just forIndiaand for the Hindus only or whether Kalki would have a more global message and scope, remains.
Let’s move further.
There are other local traditions of a similar nature among the Iranians.
Saoshyant – Zoroastrian Messiah
The Zoroastrians believe that Zoroaster (as) would return in the form of Saoshyant, the new Persian messiah at the onset of their twelfth millennium (around 2000 CE). The nature of Saoshyant is preserved in the following text:
He shall be the victorious Benefactor (Saoshyant) by name and World-renovator (Astavat-creta) by name. He is the benefactor because he will benefit the entire physical world; he is the World-renovator because he will establish the physical living existence indestructible. He will oppose the evil of the progeny of the biped and withstand the enmity produced by the faithful. (Avesta, Farvardin Yasht, 13.129)
This text describes the character of Saoshyant as being World-renovator, a characteristic shared by Maitreya Buddha as we shall see soon.
Zoroaster (as)had a local mission for the people of Persia (modern Iran), whereas Saoshyant seems to have a wider scope to his future mission as he is described as ‘World-renovator’ and we are told that he will ‘benefit’ the entire physical world’. He will stand up against evil.
Another text describes the state of the world after Saoshyant arrives:
The victorious World-renovator and his helpers … shall make the existence renovated – ageless, deathless, un-putrifying, un-corruptible, ever-living, ever benefitting, ruling at will. The dead shall rise up, life shall prevail indestructible, the existence shall be renovated at the will of God! (Avesta, Zamyad Yasht, 19.11)
In this text, an interesting point is the use of similar terminology as seen in the Bible. Where this text says that ‘the dead shall rise up’, it means the spiritually dead shall be reawakened, rather than a literal meaning of the world being filled with the walking dead.
Immanuel – Jewish Messiah
The Jewish faith has a concept of the prophet or messiah called Immanuel. In the Old Testament (Torah), there is a record of the visions of Daniel:
I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man. He came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and kingdom that all peoples, nations and languages should serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away. And his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed. (Daniel 7:13-14)
The Jewish race have been anticipating the advent of a warrior king messiah for many millennia to free them from slavery from the Roman powers. Immanuel will be from bloodline of King David(as) and will restore the Jewish race to their lofty status of the Chosen People.
The danger for the Jews is that if they have missed the actual advent of their expected Messiah, the conditions of his fulfillment will now be totally out of context two thousand years later as they are not in bondage in the world, rather they themselves hold power over the media and politics; so who is the Messiah supposed to free them from?
Moreover, the Jewish race has always guarded its privileged position as a chosen race, superior to the rest of humanity. However, the vision of Daniel describes a man whom ‘all peoples, nations and languages’ would serve. Does this imply that God would now hold all men on an equal footing, and their Jewish race would no longer have an exclusive path of communication with God? Let’s see more of it then.
Re-advent of Christ – Christians
Matthew tells about the time of the re-advent of Christ:
1. The Divine Signs
Immediately after the tribulation of those days [latter days], the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven will be shaken; then will appear the son of man in heaven, and then all tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory; and he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other (Matthew, 24:29-31)
This verse describes the signs of the latter days in a way that tends to suggest that both the sun and the moon would be eclipsed as signs of the second coming of the son of man (Jesus (as). The same theme occurs elsewhere in the Bible in Mark 13:24 and Luke 21:25.
Interestingly, we shall come across a similar prediction for the Mahdi of Islam later.
It is interesting to note that in his mission, Jesus (as)always limited his scope to the Jews, whereas in reference to the second advent of Jesus (as), Matthew describes how ‘all tribes of the earth will mourn’, implying a more global message as we have seen with traditions of other religions already.
2. Regarding the place of the appearance of the Promised Messiah, Christ states:
“For as lightening cometh from the east and shineth unto the west, so shall the coming of the son of man be.” (Math.24:27)
Jesus was inJerusalemwhen he mentioned this prophecy.
You’ll be surprised to know that even the Quetzalcoatl in Mexico has prophesized of coming of the Promised Messiah … from the direction of the rising sun,…
We will see a similar prophecy being said for the Imam Mahdi of Muslims.
3. “And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying; tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them. Take heed that no man deceive you…. And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in diverse places.” (Matt. 24:3-7)
The world wars one and two and what is happening through-out the world right now is ample prove that this sign has been fulfilled. Floods, Famines and Earthquakes in diverse places …aren’t these that the news is all about these days?
4. Condition of Faith in the latter day has been described in the following words:
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God: Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
Isn’t this the condition of man today? And in this context Christians of today… match well, don’t they?
Jesus’ knowledge was not co-extensive with knowledge of God concerning the day and hour of his second coming, after setting out certain signs, he said:
But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the son, but the Father. (Mark 13:32)
Christianity has been in turmoil over the last hundred years with scholarship challenging long-held concepts such as Trinity, Resurrection and Ascension. There have been discoveries such as the Dead Sea Scrolls which have challenged the context and nature of the message of Jesus as portrayed by Christians.
There are now many cults around the world who having taken the passages of the Book of Revelations in the Bible literally, are predicting doom for the world, raising their own claimants to the throne of messiah, and leading people to suicide in anticipation of the picture of carnage which they have conjured up. Such a messiah would not be in keeping with our experience of previous Messengers having delivered a message of peace; why would Jesus’ second come be any different?
Amida or Masitreya Buddha
The Buddhists around the world attach great significance to the next advent of Buddha (as) as Maitreya (World Unifier). Prophet Buddha (pbuh) is claimed to have said regarding Maitreya:
I am not the first Buddha [awakened one] who has come upon the Earth, nor will I be the last. In due time, another Buddha will arise in the world, a Holy one, a supreme enlightened one, endowed with auspicious wisdom embracing the Universe, an incomparable leader of men, a ruler of gods and mortals. He will reveal to you the same eternal truths which I have taught you. He will establish his Law [religion], glorious in its origins, glorious at the climax and glorious at the goal in the spirit and the letter. He will proclaim a righteous life wholly perfect and pure, such as I now proclaim. His disciples will number many thousands, while mine number many hundreds. He will be known as Maitreya (Digha Nikaya, iii.76)
The term Buddha is referring to a prophet of God or awakened one, and in this quote, Gautama Buddha (as) is clearly showing that he is one in a line of prophets or Buddhas. The final Buddha’s message would be global in scope and would attract a large following as is suggested in the expression ‘His disciples will number many thousands, while mine number many hundreds.’ Clearly there are more than a few hundred Buddhists in the world, so this expression is metaphorical showing a difference in scales and scope for the message of Maitreya.
Gautama Buddha (as) also tells of the time when Maitreya would arrive as being in the latter days:
‘Three leaders have there been: Kakusandha, Konagamana, and the leader Kassapa too. I am now the perfect Buddha; and there will be Maitreya too before this same auspicious eon runs to the end of its years. (Anagatavamsa)
Another recorded text expands on the achievements of the Maitreya to come:
Listen attentively with one heart. A man whose spirit shines brightly, a man whose mind is completely unified, a man whose virtues excels everyone – such a man will truly appear in this world. When he preaches precious laws, all the people will be totally satisfied as if the thirsty drink sweet drops of rain from the heaven. And each and every one will attain the path of liberation from struggles. (Sutra of the Great Accomplishment of the Maitreya)
The Mahayana Buddhists expect their messiah to be Christ-like and to return to South Asia(due to his similarity to Bodhi dharma) 25 centuries after Lord Buddha (as) under the name of Amida Buddha. This again brings the timing around 2000 CE. In Japan, Honen (1133-1212) in the 12th century taught that those people of pure hearts and child-like simplicity would find peace in theWestern Paradise of Amida Buddha.
A Japanese monk on MountHieicalled Kuya (903-972 CE) wrote a simple poem about Amida and used to sing it in open market places, and people would join him in this invocation to Namu Amida Butsu. Amida Butsu is derived from the Sanskrit figure Amitabha who voluntarily postponed his own salvation until all human beings have been saved.
Remarkably, the name Amida is close to the Islamic name Ahmad, and this may have some significance.
Confucius (as) on the Messiah
Prophet Confucius (as) spoke of the characteristics and power of a divine moral man who will come:
‘As soon as such a man shall make his appearance in the world, all people will reverence him. Whatever he says, all people will believe it. Whatever he does, all people will be pleased with it. Thus his fame and name will spread and fill all the civilized world, extending even to savage countries, wherever ships and carriages reach, wherever the labor and enterprise of man penetrate, wherever the heavens overshadow and the earth sustain, wherever the sun and the moon shine, wherever frost and dew fall. All who have life and breathe will honor and love him. (Doctrine of the Mean, 31-32)
While he didn’t name the Messiah or when he would appear, or even where, the characteristics of the age and of the person have similarities with other such messianic expectations.
However, the expressions ‘all people’ clearly tells that the Prophesized Messiah would be for the whole world. And again the promise saying… his fame and name will spread and fill all the civilized world, extending even to savage countries, wherever ships and carriages reach, wherever the labor and enterprise of man penetrate, wherever the heavens overshadow and the earth sustain, wherever the sun and the moon shine, wherever frost and dew fall.”
How wonderful is it that a very similar prophecy is attached with the Imam Mahdi (as) of Muslims! Holy is my Lord! God is the Greatest!
Sikhism of the Final Days
Guru Baba Nanak was a very righteous and holy man who indeed received revelations from God. His words are recorded and preserved in the Holy Book of the Sihks. We find.
“The reign of the Mughals shall last from 1578 to 1897 of the Bikram era, then a Reformer shall rise. (Janam Sakhi of Bhai Bala pg. 272)
“A time shall come in the later age when people shall cease to act upon their scriptures and observe no fasts or prayers, Jogies, Sanyansies, Barhamcharves and Brahmins would be labeled as Gurus. Then a perfect teacher shall crush them all. Such is the decree of heaven, which shall surely come to pass. . (Janam Sakhi pg.. 527)
Guru Nanak also prophesized that he would be a Muslim, righteous and true, and that he would come from near Batala in the district of Gurdaspur and that he would be from the Mogul Tribe. (Janam Sakhi pg… 234, 251 and 452)
The similarities between Guru Nanak’s prophecies and those of Christ found in the New Testament are obvious. They indicate the same general location of his appearance in the east and both agree that he would be a person of great wisdom.
Finally the Sikh faith talks of a destined time when the world would be united:
Now is the gracious Lord’s ordinance promulgated, no one shall cause another pain or injury; all mankind shall live in peace together, under a shield of administrative benevolence. (Sri Raga M.5, p.74)
The Sikh faith appears to have a clear concept of world unity and harmony… pleasing
The Eskimo people live in the Arctic regions of theNorth America. They have a tradition of an olive-skinned messiah with a long beard who will come from the East.
In 1912, many of their shamans claimed to have had a dream of a strange and wondrous white figure ‘towering over all humanity, with special servants under him, guiding the masses of the people to God’.
The timing of the dreams of the shamans are consistent with the advent of The Promised Messiah… you’ll find more matching details soon.
The Maoris of New Zealand during the late 19th century CE began to abandon their pagan traditions and tried to gather people and forerunners of the forthcoming Judaeo-Christian messiah. This great messianic expectation took hold from 1820 to the start of the 20th century CE, again at the time of the ministry of The Promised Messiah.
Quetzalcoatl in Mexico
In Mexico, there is a long tradition of the king known as Quetzalcoatl which means ‘Twin Brother’. Regarding the re-advent of Quetzalcoatl, the tradition states:
A great teacher with olive skin and bearded will come from the direction of the rising sun, flying in a huge canoe with massive wings a few centuries after the coming of the white brother.
The white brother was the arrival of the Spanish inMexico, and their destruction of the Mayan and Aztec culture. They systematically subjugated the Mexican peoples and took away their treasures. After a few centuries, the Mexicans anticipate that their saviour will return from the East, to restore their dignity.
North American & Hopi Indians
Just as the Mexicans look forward to a redeemer to return their dignity and status after their suffering at the hands of foreign invaders, similarly the North American Indians have many traditions in which they foresee justice for the Europeans. Hopi Indians have similar traditions as well.
Mahatma Surdasji has mentioned the prophecy that when Kalki Autar would appear, the moon and the sun would be eclipsed. He wrote:
“Both the moon and the sun will be eclipsed and there will be much violence and death.”
In the holy book of the Sikhs, Sri Guru Garanth Sahib, it is written: “When Maharaj will come as Nahkalank, the sun and the moon will be his helpers.”
Didn’t we read earlier that at the time of re-advent of Jesus as well … the moon will not give its light…remember? We’ll have a similar statement in the prophecies of the coming of Mahdi for Muslims, see below.
Messiah & Mahdi for Muslims
Oh… we’ve already been through this, haven’t we?
Those who haven’t, please check: Prophecies related to the coming of The Promised Messiah & The Mahdi of Muslims… lets put the facts together.
Continue reading at: A Conclusion on the Prophecies mentioning the coming of The Promised Messiah @ http://www.themuslimtimes.org/2013/10/religion/a-conclusion-on-the-prophecies-mentioning-the-coming-of-the-promised-messiah