Signs of the Hour-Part 3 (Analysis of Imran Hosien’s book “Jerusalem and the Qur’an”)
In our last phase of critical examination of Imran Hosein’s work “Jerusalem in the Qur’an“, (which made its bold appearance in USA in the year 2002) we can take up the theme that dominates his book. He suggests that after a predictable collapse of American currency and military power, Israel will take over as the Ruling State of the world. It will wage a big war resulting in the dramatic territorial expansion of the State ‘from Nile to Euphrates’ – the long time dream of the Judeo-Christian world. It will seize control of the Suez Canal and the oil of the Arabian Gulf. It is at the end of his third phase (the first two were figurative, in the past) that the Anti-Christ (Dajjal) will appear in his full and final human form to take control of the State of Israel. Thereafter, Jesus Christ will descend, overcome Dajjal, and rule the world from Jerusalem, establishing peace everywhere.
The above sounds attractive, especially to those who believe that USA is the demonic state whose collapse will be a blessing to mankind, and that Jews have such hidden power that American military collapse is sure to give rise to Israel as the next Super Power. Both are unlikely, at least not in the near future. US economy is one-third of the entire world economy. It is solidly based on advanced science and technology. So long as the rest of the world’s economy is also based on science and technology, USA’s economy cannot collapse like a house of cards. World economy is so intricately interlinked now, that collapse of any large economy will severely reflect on every other large economy. This should partly explain why China has been lending money to USA in hundreds of billions every now and then. The US has spent 3 trillion dollars on Iraq war, has lost close to 75,000 men there, with close to a million warrior-returnees visiting hospitals at home, a 9 trillion debt on the nation’s ego, and, as a result of its housing woes, has 60,000 people (mostly whites) living in tents and make-shift houses in Los Angeles alone. Yet, the people’s confidence is so high, that these facts and figures worry none but a few, who in any case are hoping for an upturn soon. No doubt, the dollar’s free fall will severely affect the quality of life for the common man in USA, but will not lead to its collapse.
Collapse of the dollar cannot lead to collapse of the US economy, but only to re-adjustments of currency values, with the dollar becoming as good as Indian Rupee. But India Rupee has its own intrinsic value, and the dollar too will retain its intrinsic value. American economic power is based not on dollar, but on research, industries, farms, livestock, universities, armaments – all backed by science and technology – and a sound economic system that guarantees rewards to those who put in the efforts. It is the conviction of economic justice (despite the social justice missed out) that drives the people to work and produce, and such a system cannot collapse. If it took a few hundred years for the USA to become a great power, it will take at least several decades to collapse. As we can see, even its social and moral bankruptcy has not led to its collapse, although it will work as an enzyme – as it gradually, invisibly, eats itself from within.
We have an example in the much propagated, Western media-hyped, collapse of the Soviet Union. With economic bankruptcy and failure in Afghanistan venture, it was predicted to collapse. Some in the West had already touched wine cups exuberantly over the issue. But having been there on the map for centuries, Soviet Union did not get shred to pieces. It lost some territories, but has already re-emerged as a power to reckon with. Militarily, it still ranks next to US. Superpowers cannot be shred to pieces, except by Allah’s intervention through a natural calamity. Persian and Roman powers did not collapse in years, but in decades, if not in centuries. The often quoted British example is incorrect too. To begin with, it never was a Super Power. It did colonize a pretty good portion of the world and stole a lot of wealth. But that did not make it a Super Power (except by the propaganda machine). It could not avoid defeat in America (its richest colony), and could not beat Germany in 2nd world war. The truth is, the fellows sang their own song of glory, and beat a lot of drums too long. When the drum-beating lasted a while longer than it should have, the drums broke, and lo, it was hollow from within.
Nonetheless, one can still envisage a few powerful ways of quicker collapse of the USA than what calculations would suggest: (i) A serious political upheaval leading to civil war, resulting in disintegration of the country. (ii) Although, the pride of the Americans in their nation is still quite high, discontent is growing fast enough. Given the violent nature of the nation (20-25,000 murders a year), and a strong reaction to anything that is deemed to be a threat to their – the American – dream, its people can start shooting at each other for a minor reason, which could lead to a nationwide escalation, especially, if millions of the deprived ones start looting. (iii) A disastrous war in the M.E. leading to closure of the major oil fields, and destruction of the refineries. This cannot be ruled out altogether. American leaders, with goodly numbers behind them, believe in the power of the gun and not in the power of the true word. They are fanatical too. Iraq is an example. They could start a new war, hoping to divert attention from Iraq and thus keep their noses high when the bleeding stops. If, as a result, oil supplies are suddenly and fatally disturbed, lasting over a year or so, not the American economy, but world economy will collapse, leading to a frenzied state of human existence, where nothing would be predictable. (However, if this happens, it is the industrially advanced nations that will suffer most; while pastoral and agricultural societies the least). Israel is morally, politically and economically a bankrupt state that thrives on billions of dollars from USA and European countries. If they collapse, Israel disappears. (iv) An uncontrolled rise in the price of oil threatens not only American, but many unions. At the present rate of escalation in price, it could double in a 2-3 years. USA economy will certainly be severely strained. If the food prices that have doubled up last year, double up again, and then a third time in a few more years, breakout of riots is inevitable in the US. Nonetheless, forces working at maintaining the unity at every threat, have to be taken account of. In other words, given human temperament, although the possibility exists, predictions can never be made. Only Prophets could do that.
The collapse of the American military power, which is not unlikely, as against the less likely American collapse, cannot lead to Israel emerging as the RulingState of the world or the region. There will be three contenders: Russia, China and European Union. (European Union is economically strong, but ethnically and politically weak). Moreover, to be a Power, of one kind or another, a nation has to have some sort of intellectual basis. But Israel (not Diaspora Jews) has not much to boast about. It cannot treat an American national whose nation has donated a trillion dollars to Israel, as equal to a Jew within Israel. The greatest Jewish (and not Judeo-Christian) intellectual achievement so far has been the Talmud. It is unprintable: for reasons too rosy to discuss. Israel has neither made, nor will ever make, any contribution to the world. Fanatical states do not have room for creative minds. Further, a nation has to be an economic power to achieve a regional power status. Israel’s greatness is charity-based. Another condition for a nation to become a Super Power is to have the right size of population. There are too few Jews in the world, to ever set up a Super Power state, even if they were all brought together into Israel. Given the lands of their dream, Hejaz to Lebanon, Nile to Euphrates, the Jews will be so thinly spread to be invisible. In Iraq, reduced to stone-age through 13 years of bombing, and a destructive invasion, Americans imprison themselves in the Green Zone and dozens of military bases, or get blown up by the improvised explosive devices (IED’s). Israel has been watching the amazing Iraqi Sunnis locking up the Supreme Power in its own prisons, or hide behind the locally raised army and police when there is need to venture out. Israel knows also, that it will be suicidal to expand its territory. Despite the West’s solid support to Israel, this Christian outpost with Jewish soldiery to manage it, has had to build five meter tall walls to feel secure from Palestinian stones. With the most advanced weapons supplied by the USA, the Jews could not squarely face the Hezbollah in Lebanon, and the reverse emigration (from Israel to USA and other countries) picked up pace. Reduce, (and not remove) West’s support, and Israel will start dissolving like salt in water, like Dajjal before Jesus Christ.
Nuking the Gulf States may be a jubilant idea for the Zionists and American far-right Christians; but the rest of the world is not going to celebrate. The socio, economic, political, and ecological fallout of any nuclear attack on the region will be simply disastrous for the rest of the world. No one will be left for Shumley’s Israel to lord over, (even the Israeli Jews will flee to USA before the winds blow their way). Other nations might decide to undo Israel: brick by brick, block by block. USA tried depleted Uranium weapons in Iraq. But, quite a sizable number of its own million injured crusaders are reported to have been affected by the jubilant idea put to test. Israelis quietly learn the lesson, as American soldiers visit hospitals in tens of thousands in the USA.
Thus, we do not see how USA will collapse and Israel become the next RulingState. Indeed, despite the size of US economy, against which Israel is no more than 1/60th, the USA is not the RulingState now. It is a failure in South Africa, Sudan, Somalia, M.E., Iraq, Iran, Venezuela, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, N. Korea, Malaysia, China, Japan, the entire Soviet block – and many other countries – where it could not impose its will. With a debt of $9 trillion to its credit, the next American president would do well to send delegates to the nations of the world, requesting a partial write off. How should one envisage the puny Israel becoming a RulingState?
Finally, our Prophet’s predictions do not support the theme that dominates Imran’s book. [As an aside we may point out that many non-Muslims think that the Prophetic predictions are of the same class and nature as those of the Jews and Christians: viz., the Messiah would be one of them, and will annihilate the rest, especially the Muslims, in order to give supreme earthly power to Jews (according to the Jews), or to Christians (according to the Christians). The Prophet’s predictions on the other hand are not particularly about Jews, Christians, or Muslims, and do not promise that Muslims will rule the world for ever and ever as the Jews and Christians think will happen with the advent of the Messiah. His predictions do not draw a rosy picture for the Muslims, as Jewish or Christian predictions draw for their followers. They are primarily Signs of the Last Hour, several scores, which include the destruction of Ka`bah at the hands of an African. A careful study shows that the majority of Muslims will undergo great suffering and many will perish fighting alongside anti-Christ. This is a proof of the Prophet’s authenticity; and the Jewish and Christian predictions are proofs of their fabrication].
To continue, and although it cannot be said with any certainty, most scholars have thought the following sequence of events as the most plausible:
Wars will remain between the Crusaders and Muslim of the Middle-east until the former will bring in a million warriors. The best of Muslims of the time will come out in defense, will suffer great losses, but will ultimately emerge victorious. That will be followed by the first three major Signs: three caving in of the earth, one in the East, another in the West and a third in Arabia. (Could the trillions of barrels of oil that is being extracted, as water is pumped in place, lead one day to caving in of the crust above? This is a question that Geologists can rightly handle). Then will appear Dajjal, followed by `Isa ibn Maryam and Ya’juj and Ma’juj. Thereafter a wind will blow that will take away the lives of all believers (even if they are in the deepest of caves). Next, the Sun will rise from the West which will be such a major Sign of Allah’s existence, that no one’s repentance will be accepted thereafter. Next, the Beast of the Earth will appear, followed by the Smoke. Ultimately, a fire will start in Yemen that would push people to Syrian lands for Resurrection.
The above sequence is not from a hadith (although the ten Major Signs are from the hadith), but quite a few leading scholars have foreseen things happening that way.
Dozens of our Prophet’s predictions concerning Dajjal and Ya’juj & Ma’juj lead us to believe that their appearance will be in that phase of human civilization when either oil would be exhausted, or too expensive to excavate and hence today’s weaponry that depends on oil for manufacture, transport and delivery, will be useless. Dajjal’s own movement will not be by air. If he could use aircrafts, he would fly away to USA with the appearance of the Messiah. (In fact, Jesus Christ will kill him, as Prophetic report says, at a place called Ludd, now called Lod where BenGurionAirport is located). By implication, the so-called Space-age of our time (which is, incidentally, a failure) would be a past nostalgic glory. If not, Dajjal – the sole ruler of the world – would take off seeking refuge in one of the new-found earths out in space. Indeed, it is Jesus Christ who will enjoy the true space-travel: descending down, resting his hand on the shoulders of two angels. In simpler words, Dajjal will not enjoy the technological advances of this present-day world, which, having burnt out its oil, and, battered by an economy cooled down below freezing point, and a weather ever unpredictable, would be a story much discussed near firewood, if there is much firewood left to burn.
However, before the appearance of the first of the ten Major signs, prophesies say that a Muslim reformist will appear, called Muhammad b. `Abdullah. Reports suggest that an army will start off from Khorasan (the area that covers east of Iran, the whole of Afghanistan, and perhaps parts of Pakistan) bearing black flags. (The Prophet’s own flag was black colored). At that time, Arabs will be few in the Arabian Peninsula. The promised Mahdi will be one among the black flag bearing army. He will be recognized as the Mahdi at the Haram, and the best of Muslims of Iraq, Syria and Egypt will hasten down to swear allegiance to him. An army will be sent from Syria (to wipe him out), but will be swallowed up by the earth in the desert.
Prophetic predictions say that (either just before, or after Mahdi’s appearance) a huge and prolonged war will take place in Iraq over treasures turned out by the river Euphrates. People of several nations will fight for the wealth, including the locals, resulting in a bloody series of battles that will take the life of 99 out of every 100 who fight. Whether the allusion by gold is to the golden quality oil that lies buried in central Iraq, which has brought the Americans here, has been disputed. Therefore, whether American invasion will ultimately lead to such a disastrous end is also disputed. The application of another hadith is also disputed which says that the people of Iraq will be denied bread by “Romans” (a hadith-term often used for the Caucasians). Although recent reports are saying that millions of Iraqis spend one-third of their income on obtaining drinkable water, which should say something about food conditions, there is still no strong reason to believe that this is the only “bread-blocking” the Prophetic prediction is referring to. There could be more in the future coming from the creators of the Western civilization, who do not seem to be, in their core-qualities, any different from those of their not-so-distant predecessors (ref. WWII and the Inquisition). What makes the prediction about Euphrates’ gold inapplicable to the ongoing war for oil is that the “Roman” losses have not been of the order predicted in the hadith. At best, or worst, they have lost no more than 75,000 (i.e., counting all those of their own they do not own up now), which is far below the 99 out of 100 predicted by the hadith. True, the ratio given by the hadith is not literal, but rather a way to impress the magnitude of huge human losses. Nonetheless, the condition is not yet met. It could, if, having already been defeated by the Sunni resistance, the American ego refuses to acknowledge and decides to fight on for pride, provoking the Shi`a and Kurds to join in. And since pride has often led noses to the dust, the hadith prediction under discussion could still come true.
In addition to the above, Prophetic predictions speak of another and final fight between the Crusaders and Muslims, resulting also in huge human losses. (This is perhaps the “malhamah” [a superlatively destructive conflict] of the hadith predictions, mentioned in passing above). Preserved by Imam Muslim, it runs as follows: The Prophet said,
”The Hour will not strike until the Romans (or Westerners; according to other reports, 1,000,000,000 in numbers) have descended at A`maq [or may be he said Daabiq (a town in Syria, near Halab)]. An army will emerge from Madinah, the best of the earth’s dwellers that day. When they face each other the Romans will say, ‘Remove yourselves from between us and those of our people that you have imprisoned. We wish to fight them alone,’ (alluding perhaps to Muslims of Western origin and recent conversion). The Muslims will reply, ‘No by Allah. We shall not remove ourselves from between you and our brothers.’ So they will fight. A third will flee whom Allah will never forgive. A third will be killed: the best of martyrs in the sight of Allah. A third will emerge victorious. They will never be tested again.”
“They will then conquer Constantinople. While they are distributing booty among themselves, having hung their swords by the olive trees, the Devil will raise a cry among them: ‘The Messiah (Dajjal) is behind you among your kinsfolk.’ But the news will be false. However, as they return to Syria he would have appeared. And while they are preparing themselves for a battle, straightening up their rows for the Prayers, lo, `Isa ibn Maryam – may peace be upon him – will descend. He will lead them (in the battle). When Allah’s enemy (Dajjal) sees him, he will start dissolving like salt in water. If he was left alone, he would dissolve by himself and die. But he (Jesus) will (go after him, find him at Ludd), kill him with his own hands and show the people his blood on his weapon.”
The fall of Constantinople will be, according to other reports, miraculous, almost without a battle. Is it possible that as decades pass by, the city will fall into the hands of infidels, or, namesake Muslims, from whom the true Muslims will retrieve it? This was suggested by Rashid Raza al-Masri. A report in Muslim’s collection tells us that the army that will go to recapture Constantinople will consist of 50,000 of the Banu Is-haq. That is, descendents of Isaac. Many commentators have thought that there was an error by the narrator. It should have been “Banu Isma`il,” and not “Banu Is-haq.” With due respect to their opinion, which were normally well considered, is it possible that among the many contingents that will advance to join the main army heading towards Constantinople, one will be a 50,000-strong detachment of Jews converted to Islam? Some versions of the prediction use the figure 70,000. Ibn Kathir suggests that perhaps a large number of “Romans” will embrace Islam at the time close to the release of Dajjal and that it is they who are alluded to in this hadith – since, after all, all those who are not Banu Isma`il can be referred to as Banu Ishaq. It is also thought that they are the ones that will be sought after, by the one-million army of Crusaders when they land at Daabiq.
Prophetic traditions are quite clear that when Ya’juj and Ma’juj appear they will be armed with bows and arrows. Similarly, a hadith of Ahmad tells us that when Dajjal and his forces lay siege to Madinah, he will have forces armed with swords. Again, the Muslims who will capture Constantinople, will be carrying swords. These reports imply – as discussed above – that the modern technological age of fire-power, will be a thing of the past. By implication, this present-day technological civilization would have been replaced by another. Therefore, Imran’s theory that Dajjal will operate with the help of most advanced technology, has to be re-looked into.
The prophecy that Dajjal will appear accompanied by 50,000 Jewish followers of Isfahan from a district called “Al-Yahudiyyah” and the prophesy that Dajjal will never enter Jerusalem, lead us to believe that the present Israeli state will already be disintegrated and the Jews dispersed, some of them migrating to, and living in a district of Isfahan (in Iran). Or, will it happen that Dajjal prepares his grounds as the Promised Mahdi, beginning with Isfahan converting many people there to Judaism? (Last year, a kind of Mahdi – rising from among the Shi`ah – was massacred along with thousands of his followers in Southern Iraq, by Shi`ite forces). Dajjal’s most culpable followers will be Jews, but former Muslims too will be there in no small numbers – and women. (A hadith says that a man will bind his aunt, wife or sister with ropes, so that they do not escape to join Dajjal).
Several reports coming from the Prophet in connection with the events of the Last Hour give us to believe that except for they being the bulk of Dajjal army, and getting killed at the hands of Jesus and his followers, the Jews will not play any major role, and would not be in possession of a State of their own. Muslim scholars had predicted the establishment of the State of Israel, even before the Zionists had appeared in Europe. They had then predicted that such a State would not last long. The Jews not being in control of Jerusalem at that time also indicates that Israel would have disintegrated, or maybe a small state would be left in the north, no more than the size of a district (like the little Samaria of the past), to be finally wiped out by Jesus Christ, on whom be peace. Thus, we do not see strong grounds for the central theme that occupies greater part of Imran’s book.