The Day That Death Will Die
Is Qiyamat Near?
One day, ‘Isa al-Masih’s disciples came to him and asked him, “what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age (qiyamat)?” In response, ‘Isa al-Masih gave them a very clear list of signs by which they would be able to understand whether qiyamat is near or not. This list is found in the Holy Injil in Matthew 24:4-14, which is reproduced here for your convenience:
Isa answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am al-Masih,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains. Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached to the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Holy Injil, Matthew 24:4-14)
As we ponder these words of the holy prophet Isa, several signs of the end are obvious:
1. Rise of False Masih (False Messiah, Antichrist) – Matt. 24:4-5 “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am al-Masih,’ and will deceive many.” “Masih” is the Arabic form of the Hebrew word “Messiah” which means “anointed one”, that is, one who is anointed with oil as a sign that he is chosen by Allah to fulfill a special task. The Greek form of this word is “christos”, often rendered “Christ” in English. All these words mean the same thing “one who is anointed (with oil)”. Kings of Israel were anointed in this way. So were priests who served in the Jewish temple. This anointing with oil was done to show that the kings and priests were chosen by Allah himself to fulfill their task. Masih or Messiah, was also a special title the ancient Jewish people knew referred to a special, one-of-a-kind individual whom Allah would send in the future to save them from all evil.
Eventually, the prophet Isa was born into this world through the virgin Maryam. Prophet Isa knew that he himself was this “Masih”. This is why Isa is called “Masih”, both in the holy Injil and in the holy Qur’an. “Masih” is not prophet Isa’s family name; it is a title given to him. When you say “‘Isa al-Masih” you are really saying “Isa, Allah’s chosen one”.
‘Isa al-Masih’s task was to save men from their sins. The angel announced on the day of his birth, “Today in the city of Dawud your Saviour has been born. He is al-Masih.” (Holy Injil, Luke 2:11).
This truth is also proven by the God-given name of Isa. The name Isa, in the Hebrew language means “Saviour”, or “he who saves”. This means not only that he was to intercede to Allah for men’s forgiveness, but more importantly, that he would do what was necessary to accomplish salvation for men. This explains why the angel Jibrail said to the husband of Maryam, Yusuf concerning the child, “You will call his name Isa, because he will save his people from their sins.” (Holy Injil, Matt. 1:21). Isa is “he who saves” people from their sins.
In the verses quoted at the beginning of this chapter, the prophet Isa says that many false Masihs will come during the time prior to qiyamat. This will be like a foretaste of the coming of the great false Masih, Dajjal (also called Antichrist), who will exercise power in the last days. Since the time of Isa Masih, many men have come and gone claiming to be the Masih or Saviour also. But this tendency of certain people to claim to be Allah’s Masih has multiplied dramatically in recent years. According to one source, over 1,100 religious leaders in different parts of the world in the last fifty years have claimed to be Masih and the Saviour of the world.
2. Much News of War and International Unrest – Matt. 24:6,7 “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.” Everyday in the newspaper and on the television news, there are reports of “wars and rumors of wars”. This situation was not always true. One hundred years ago, it used to take weeks, even months for international news like this to arrive. In many cases, people never got to hear of events occurring in distant lands. Now however, we hear of such events the same day they are happening, and sometimes even at the moment they are happening.
3. Famines – Matt. 24:7 “There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.” At one time, the World Health Organization estimated that approximately one-third of the world is well-fed, one-third is underfed, and one-third is starving. Today, the threat of famine in various places is always near.
4. Earthquakes – The previous verse mentions “earthquakes in various places”. Now that there are good, scientific methods for measuring earthquakes, we are more aware of “earthquakes in various places” than ever before. Each year there are many significant earthquakes throughout the world. For example, in just one year there were 76 serious earthquakes throughout the world. Many of them caused casualities or considerable damage.
5. Persecution of ‘Isa al-Masih’s Followers – Matt. 24:9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.” ‘Isa al-Masih knew that his followers would not be liked by certain people. Today, some people will speak of speak of followers of ‘Isa al-Masih as “Christians” or “Nasara”, in an uncomplimentary manner. Sometimes they are accused of worshipping Allah incorrectly. In some countries, they lose their property, homes, or employment opportunities. In other lands, they have been imprisoned or even executed for being a follower of Isa Masih. ‘Isa al-Masih himself predicted that this would happen to his people!
6. Apostasy and Unfaithfulness – Matt. 24:10 “At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other”. Possibly due to persecution, many followers of ‘Isa al-Masih will turn away from following him and become enemies of the believers. This happens sometimes today in countries where his followers are in the minority and are persecuted by believers in other religions or philosophies. It also happens in some cases where the children of believers are being tempted by worldly pleasures to forsake the faith of their fathers. It is not enough to be born into the family of a follower of ‘Isa al-Masih. Such children must also decide for themselves that they too will follow him.
7. Many False Prophets – Matt. 24:11 “and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.” Although most people cherish freedom of speech and religion (this writer included), one unfortunate disadvantage of such freedom is that it allows false religion to freely grow. ‘Isa al-Masih said that this would happen throughout the world and so it has. There are many false prophets in the world today and they somehow manage to obtain many followers. Without knowing it, anyone today who proclaims, “I am Allah’s prophet”, is fulfilling the prophecy of the true Masih, Isa.
8. Increasing Wickedness – Matt. 24:12,13 “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.” Not only has false religion increased, but so has corrupt behaviour. While wickedness has increased, love for fellowman has decreased. It is a rare thing to meet someone who is known as a loving person. But daily one can read in the newspaper about a man being killed by his neighbour, a wife being murdered by her husband, and so on.
9. The Injil (gospel) to be proclaimed in the whole world – Matt. 24:14 “And this Injil of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” ‘Isa al-Masih sent his followers out into the world to proclaim his Injil, or gospel (meaning “good news”) to all people. The good news is that anyone who calls to Allah for forgiveness through Isa the Saviour finds salvation from all his sins. Taking this message, the followers of Masih have gone to almost all of the peoples of the world. Someday in the near future, this good news will have been proclaimed in the whole world. When that day comes, you can be sure that the end will also come quickly.
Are You Ready for Qiyamat?
These nine signs of the end were spoken nearly two thousand years ago by a trustworthy prophet of Allah. In these days, every one of these signs is coming to fulfillment. Is qiyamat near? Yes, it seems to be so. But perhaps an even more important question is this, “Are you ready for qiyamat?” If the world ended today, would you be ready to stand before Allah? You see, there is a connection between the proclaiming of the Injil and the end times. ‘Isa al-Masih said that first, the Injil would be proclaimed in all the world, and then, the end would come. Have you heard and believed the message of the Injil? If you have, you are ready for the end. If you have not, then continue to read. As you read, pray that Allah will guide you into all truth so that you may understand how to become ready for qiyamat.
QUESTIONS: — Choose the most correct answers
1. The prophet Isa is called “Masih” in
a. the Injil only
b. the Taurat only
c. the Qur’an only
d. the Injil and the Qur’an
2. The word “Masih”
a. is a title given to all prophets
b. is just prophet Isa’s family name
c. is a special title of Isa which means “Allah’s chosen one”
3. The name “Isa” means “Saviour”.
4. ‘Isa al-Masih came to
a. conquer his enemies
b. start a family dynasty
c. save people from their sins
a. will exercise power in the last days
b. will be a false Masih
c. will claim to be a great Saviour
d. all of the above
6. Prophet Isa said that before he returns
a. there will be famines and earthquakes in various places
b. everything will get better and better
c. everyone will become followers of Allah
7. According to Isa’s prophecy, someone who becomes his follower
a. will be liked by everybody
b. will be misunderstood, persecuted and hated
c. will easily obtain good jobs and success
d. will be safe from all harm
8. Prophet Isa said that after his departure
a. another prophet like him would come to lead people to the truth
b. no one else would claim to be a prophet of Allah
c. false prophets will come and deceive many people
9. Isa said that before the end comes
a. all mankind will be destroyed
b. all disbelievers will be destroyed
c. the message of the Injil (gospel) will be proclaimed in the whole world