The Day That Death Will Die
Israel, The Nation that Refuses to Die
After Yaqub returned from Paddan Aram, Allah appeared to him again and blessed him. Allah said to him, “Your name is Yaqub, but you will no longer be called Yaqub; your name will be Israel.” So he named him Israel. (Taurat, Genesis 35:9,10)
The people today known by the name “Israel” are a very ancient people, tracing their lineage back to Prophet Yaqub (pbuh). As can be seen in the above verse, Allah gave Yaqub the new name, Israel. So when we speak of “the descendants of Israel” or “Bani-Israel”, we are speaking of the descendants of Prophet Yaqub. Yaqub (pbuh) was the grandson of Ibrahim (pbuh). Allah blessed Prophet Yaqub with twelve sons who became a great nation with many notable descendants. The most famous king of all time, prophet-king Sulayman (pbuh), known for his wealth and wisdom, and the builder of the Holy House in Jerusalem, was a descendant of Prophet Yaqub (pbuh).
Think of the many prophets who have come from this family. Prophet Yusuf, Musa, Harun, Ilyas, Al-Yasa, Dawud, Yunus, Zakariyya, and Yahya (peace be on them all), are just a few of the many prophets who came from Bani-Israel. Allah gave to Israel a special ministry of prophethood. These holy men prophesied to the children of Israel about the Messiah (al-Masih) who would come one day. They said that he would be their king and their Saviour from sins. Allah would also bless the entire world through the Messiah because he would one day rule a righteous kingdom in which there was peace and long life for all. But what actually happened when Isa the Messiah came? The children of Israel did not recognize him and so rejected him. This did not surprise Allah, for he knows all things. Hundreds of years before the rejection of the Messiah, the prophets said that this would happen:
He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. (Book of the Prophets, Shaya 53:3)
Prophet Isa also knew that the Jews would reject him and so he said:
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’
A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. Isa turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the barren women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ (Holy Injil, Matthew 23:37-39; Luke 23:27-29)
Less than 40 years later, these words were fulfilled as the Roman armies surrounded and destroyed Jerusalem. The Jews were scattered throughout the world as a result of this, and remained so for almost 1,900 years. But why? Why did Allah bless them so much and then turn around and curse them? They rejected Allah’s Masih, Prophet Isa, their Saviour, and so rejected Allah’s grace.
Even until the present time, most Jews continue to reject the claims of Isa al-Masih. They think of him as an imposter, a dajjal.
Some call it Palestine. Others call it Israel. But no matter what you call it, the land which gave birth to Isa al-Masih is a source of tension for many people around the world. And there appears to be no easy solution. Almost daily, you can read in the newspapers about Israelis killing Palestinians, or Palestinians killing Israelis, over that small piece of land. So people ask, “Whose land is it?”
As important as that question may be, there is a more important question in relation to Bani-Israel. The question is, “What is their relationship to Allah?” The Jews claim to worship Allah correctly, and believe that they are following the truth. But even though the Jews now live in the land of Palestine after 1900 years of exile, that which caused the exile in the first place has not been made right. Most Jews still reject ‘Isa al-Masih, the one whom Allah sent to them. We know that Isa is no ordinary prophet. He is unique in many ways. He is the only virgin-born person there has ever been. He has the distinction of being “the healing prophet”. He has more followers around the world than any other religion. He is the only one who rightfully bears titles such as “Allah’s Word”, “Masih”, and “Saviour”. Is it any wonder that Allah would show such great displeasure when Israel rejected such a one?
Israel then, is in one way an “enemy” of Allah (see Holy Injil, Romans 11:28), but that is only half the truth. Allah still loves Israel, because of his relationship to Prophet Ibrahim and Yaqub. Even though Israel is presently under the curse of Allah, the day will come in which Israel will once again receive Allah’s blessing.
Before Israel can receive Allah’s promised blessings, it must endure much more hardship. In the future seven-year time of great trouble, Jews will suffer terribly. It is common knowledge that during the era of Adolph Hitler in Nazi Germany, many many Jews died in concentration camps. However, Hitler may seem like a gentleman compared to the coming Dajjal. Dajjal will hate Jews intensely and even exceed the cruelty shown by Adolph Hitler. As Prophet Isa said:
…thenlet those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the roof of his house go down to take anything out of the house. Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now — and never to be equaled again. (Holy Injil, Matthew 24:16-21)
As terrible as this will be, Allah will use it in the lives of countless Jews to bring about repentance. In the day of qiyamat, the nation of Israel will have its eyes opened as to how it has rejected Allah’s Masih for all these centuries. Bani-Israel shall repent and believe in the Masih. Allah in turn, will forgive them and give them new hearts to fully obey him:
And I will pour out on the house of Dawud and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son. On that day the weeping in Jerusalem will be great, like the weeping of Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo.On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of Dawud and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity. (Holy Taurat, Zakariyya 12:10,11; 13:1)
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. You will live in the land I gave your forefathers; you will be my people, and I will be your God. I will save you from all your uncleanness. I will call for the grain and make it plentiful and will not bring famine upon you. I will increase the fruit of the trees and the crops of the field, so that you will no longer suffer disgrace among the nations because of famine. Then you will remember your evil ways and wicked deeds, and you will loathe yourselves for your sins and detestable practices. I want you to know that I am not doing this for your sake, declares the Sovereign Lord. Be ashamed and disgraced for your conduct, O house of Israel! (Taurat, Dhul-kifl 36:26-32)
Allah will bring blessing upon Israel in the future. He will bless them with eyes to see their wickedness. He will grant them repentance and faith in Prophet ‘Isa al-Masih. He will give them a new heart in exchange for their hard heart. He will let them live in the land promised to Ibrahim, and bless them with prosperity. What more could they ask for?
The call goes out to Israel today to “be ashamed and disgraced” for their conduct. But the same call goes out to us all to repent, and believe in Prophet Isa, the Saviour. Then similar blessings can be ours. Allah will give us a new heart, forgiveness of sins, and a beautiful place of our own in paradise.
But the question still remains, “Whose land is it?”
It is Allah’s land!
QUESTIONS: — Choose the most correct answers
1. The prophet to whom Allah gave the name “Israel” was
2. The term “Bani-Israel” refers to
a. the Jews
b. the physical descendants of Prophet Yaqub
c. a nation which gave birth to many prophets
d. all of the above
3. The prophets of Israel said a Messiah would come. He would,
a. be the rightful king of the Jews
b. save them from their sins
c. be a blessing to the entire world
d. all of the above
4. It was predicted that the Jews would reject the Messiah.
5. The Jews were scattered throughout the world for centuries because,
a. they were weak
b. they were on vacation
c. they had rejected Allah’s chosen Saviour
d. it was good for business
6. In the future, the Jews will
a. suffer greatly in the time of great trouble
b. turn to Allah in great numbers someday and accept their Messiah
c. receive Allah’s blessing once again because of their repentance
d. all of the above