Is the arrival of the Mahdi nigh?

The Muslim world by and large has embraced the fact that our state of affairs is so weak and have individualised to such an extent that a lot of those pious among us have stopped making any efforts to drive towards change. Despite having a firm belief in the faith and regularly fulfilling their individual obligations within Islam, they often bring regress in communal aspects citing that the efforts that we make are in vain on the larger playing field. That our state of affairs have regressed to such a degree that there is no solace for the Muslim world that would alleviate the societal burdens that breed utter despair and inability to combat influences by ideologies that stand in complete polarity with Islamic morals. They have a different perception of how to deal with the problems.

These people, in a vast majority of the cases, if not all, are people that have come to firmly believe that it is high time for the arrival of the Mahdi. Often rallying behind conspiracy theories purported by certain segments of our Ulama and further amplified by ignoble youth that string up theories by picking hints from fox news, BBC and Wikipedia, they have a very erroneously fallacious concoction of facts and fiction.

They are passive advocates of Luddism and have borrowed an apocalyptic perception of the future which they have adopted from our Christian counterparts and also ever so often being influenced by Shi’ i theology which has compelled Twelver Shi’as to await for the Mahdi ever since Muhammad Ibn Hassan Al Mahdi went missing mid 9th century. Often alleging theories of Jews having the technological capacity to control the weather, leaders of Muslim countries that are reluctant to abide by Sharia as ethnic Jews and other antisemitic drivel. Many segments among those that await the arrival of the Mahdi have also adopted a very syncretic eschatological tradition that borrows and connects intensively from and with Judeo Christian and Twelver Shi’a traditions. They also often try to allegorise and interpret certain Islamic traditions as metaphors in order to relate them to modern circumstances and also to draw connections with the eschatology of other faiths and sects.

It is of course not to say that Zionism has not caused any problems and is praiseworthy of the atrocities they have committed against Palestinians that can be defined as no less than genocide and ethnic cleansing. It also is not to neglect the fact of how instrumental Zionist pressure groups were in painting a false perception of Muslims and Islamic morals whilst also keeping in mind that Israel still has a strong lobby in the United States and have conducted numerous false-flag operations to incite the United States to declare war against countries within the United States (Lavon Affair, for instance, was a false-flag operation conducted by the Mossad in Egypt to get the US to declare war against Egypt). But rather it is to bring to light certain guidelines we are to follow that is from the Quran and Sunnah.

Abdullah ibn ‘Utbah reported: Umar ibn al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “Verily, people were judged by revelation in the time of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, and the revelation has ceased. We only judge now what is manifested outwardly of your deeds. Whoever shows us good, we will trust him and bring him close. It is not for us to judge anything of his inner secrets. Allah will hold him accountable for his inner secrets. Whoever shows us evil, we will never trust him or believe him even if it is said his intentions are good.”

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 2641

The use of eschatology as justification and a form of legitimacy has also played a very instrumental role in polarising Muslims across the world by pseudo Mujahids that claim to fight oppression but end up killing more innocent Muslims than they do kill enemy soldiers. They also misinterpret the Quran and Sunnah in order to justify harms meted out against innocent civilians including women and children regardless of faith. Eschatological justification is boasted by many Kharijite groups and has been a huge driving factor behind a large number of geopolitical turmoils within the Muslim world and abroad. It mainly feeds on the superiority complex of Muslims that would love to believe that they are among the thousand people worthy of fighting side by side with the Mahdi and Isa ﷺ.

To conclude, it is high time that we started being serious about the misuse and harms of Islamic eschatology and as seekers of truth, should be very critical about certain theories and lies that have infiltrated into Islamic traditions and the adverse effects that they have at a communal and international level. It is not eschatology alone that should shape our geopolitical stance but rather, we should take stances with the Quran and Sunnah and apparent reality in mind without indulging in the propagation of views that are a concoction of the unseen and adoption of certain dogmas from those that follow ideals contradictory to Islam.

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