Mahdi Spirit vs Daesh Spirit
Dabiq is a small town in northern Syria, close to the border with Turkey, with only a few thousand inhabitants; but it is important to Daesh (Isis) because this village (according to one solitary Hadith) is supposed to be the place where Muslim and Christian armies will “in the end of days”, face each other; and the Crusaders will be destroyed.
Daesh would often end its videos with a clip of one of its jihadists walking with a black banner hoisted above him as the voice of Abu Musab Zarqawi, considered to be the group’s spiritual father, says that while the “spark” of the caliphate was lighted in Iraq, “its heat will continue to intensify... until it burns the Crusader armies in Dabiq.” Dabiq was recently liberated from Isis occupation with very few casualties because its Isis defenders abandoned it.
And because Daesh rejected the Hadith that warns: “Beware! Whoever is cruel and hard on a non-Muslim minority, curtails their rights, burdens them with more than they can bear, or takes anything from them against their free will; I (Prophet Muhammad) will complain against that person on the Day of Judgment.” (Abu Dawud 10)
Like Judaism and Christianity, Islam has a powerful eschatological strain. It anticipates the end to the world as we know it; a final historical confrontation between the forces of good and evil; after which human life will be transformed.
Of course, Isis is selective in its use of Hadith. For instance, other Ahadith have it that Jesus, will return to a place east of Damascus and will join forces with the Islamic messiah, the Mahdi, in a battle against the false messiah, the one eyed Dajjal, Armilos in Jewish tradition.
After the death of both the Dajjal and the Mahdi, the Muslim Jesus will rule the Earth. This Hadith is less useful to Daesh, though its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, looks to some observers to be trying to style himself as the Mahdi. Most important, the Hadith say that these events will come to pass when Islam itself is threatened from within by its own corrupt fanatics.
As ibn Babuya writes in Thawab ul-A'mal, "The Apostle of God said: `There will come a time for my people when there will remain nothing of the Qur'an except its outward form, and nothing of Islam except its name, and they will call themselves by this name even though they are the people furthest from it. The mosques will be full of people but they will be empty of right guidance. The religious leaders (Fuqaha) of that day will be the most evil religious leaders under the heavens; sedition and dissension will go out from them and to them will it return."
Secularists believe that these religious apocalyptic visions of the future are absurd, although many secularists themselves fervently believe that run away genetic modification of food and/or extreme climate change is going to doom all of human civilization in the next generation.
The basic difference between the pessimistic, humanist secularists and the religious optimists is that those who believe in the God of Abraham also believe that God's inspiration guarantees that the spiritual forces of good will overcome all the world's evils at the end of days; and justice, peace and religious pluralism will prevail. Or as the Biblical Prophet Micah envisions: (4:1-5)
In the end of days the mountain of the Lord’s Temple will be established as the highest mountain; it will be exalted above the hills, and peoples will stream to it. Many (not all) nations will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the Temple of the God of Jacob. who will teach us His ways, so that we may walk in His paths.’
Torah will go out from Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. God will judge between many (not all) peoples and will settle disputes among powerful nations far and wide. They will beat their swords into ploughs, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war any more.
Everyone will sit under their own vine and under their own fig-tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the Lord Almighty has spoken. All the nations will walk in the name of their gods, and we (Jews) will walk in the name of the Lord our God for ever and ever.”
Thus, the Bible and the Qur'an's final judgement is the self-destruction of violent, hate filled terrorism and narrow 'my way or death' philosophy and the victory of kindness, love, justice and religious pluralism.
Topics: Anti-Christ (Dajjal), Daesh, Interfaith