Is the world coming to an end in 2011?

Category: Americas, Life & Society, Nature & Science Topics: Nature And Environment Views: 12103
12103

The Theology of Apocalypse

Margaret Pease uses a bullhorn to proclaim May 21 as judgment day Thursday. She and a few others were spreading the word on Division Avenue near the Grand Rapids police station in Michigan.

May 21, 2011 might prove to be a decisive day for some American Christians in one way or the other.

A California-based radio evangelist group of Harold Camping is claiming that Judgment day will take place on May 21, 2011. Exactly five months later the world would come to an end.

What if they are proved wrong?

Life would go on as usual as it has gone for thousands of years amidst all the doom's day prophecies. Well-known Christian scholars have predicted the end of time at least 44 times in the last 2,000 years and each time God proved them wrong. It is interesting that a wrong that is proven wrong is never accepted wrong. New dates are announced and a new theology is born. The confusion creates more confusion causing panic and fear among some people. Every time a dooms day prediction is made, the sale of books predicting the end of time increases, some people start selling their homes, and others start conserving food and other resources to meet the challenge of the time.

How do they determine the end of time dates?

The group that is predicting the end of time on May 21 claims that the flood of Noah took place some 4990 years before the birth of Jesus and it was in the year 4990 BC that Noah was told there would be yet 7 days until the flood of waters would be upon the earth. Now, each day is counted equivalent to 1000 years, we get 7000 years. And when we project 7000 years into the future from 4990 BC, we find that it falls on the year 2011 AD. 

The group claims that the year 2011 AD will be the 7000th year from the flood of Noah's day. It will be the end of the length of time given to mankind. 

Why is JUDGMENT DAY on MAY 21st, 2011?

The group claims that on May 21st, 1988, God finished using the churches and congregations of the world for good work. The Spirit of God left all churches and Satan entered into the churches. Thus the group believes that churches all over the world are being ruled by Satan for the last 23 years. 

In the view of the group the full 23-year tribulation period concludes on May 21st, 2011 as it is the exact day that the great tribulation comes to its end.

The group claims that on May 21st God will raise up all the dead that have ever died from their graves. Earthquakes will ravage the whole world as the earth will no longer conceal its dead. People who died as saved individuals will experience the resurrection of their bodies and immediately leave this world forever to be with the Lord. Those who died unsaved will be raised up as well, but only to have their lifeless bodies scattered about the face of all the earth. Death will be everywhere and On October 21, the world would come to an end. 

The group is silent on the return of Jesus and his role after his return. There are other Christian groups that believe that Jesus would return soon, some predict that by the end of this year, he would be back in this world to lead an armed struggle against Jews for allegedly torturing and killing Jesus, a struggle that will cause more than two thirds of Jews to be killed by Jesus and his followers and one thirds of them to convert to Christianity. Interestingly, the current pope has recently absolved the Jews from plotting against Jesus.

In the doctrine of the end of the world, the coming of a Messiah plays a central role. With the exception of Buddhists, almost every religious group including Muslims has been waiting for the return of a Messiah who would rid the world of all evil.

In the apocalyptic theology, the Messiah's role would be to establish a peaceful world through the killing of all the trouble makers. The trouble makers are defined as those who do not believe the ideas accepted in the religion that is promoting the claim of the return of Messiah. Thus for Christians, all those who are non-Christians are trouble makers. For Muslims, all non-Muslims are trouble makers, for Hindus all non-Hindus are the deviants and for Jews all non-Jewish people are the rebels. Imagine if the so called Messiahs of all religious communities appear at the same, what would be the fate of the world?

There are also a number of Muslims who believe in the second coming of Jesus and the arrival of Mehdi. One can find an assortment of Muslim literature, old and new that outlines this type of apocalyptic predictions. However, no one has quoted a single verse from the Quran in justification of their position. Many quote from the books of ahadith (Saying of the Prophet) about the end of time without referring to the decisive Quranic words that say that end time is known only to God almighty.

Currently, there are some fifteen theories circulating in our world about the end time. A brief description is given here so that we can get a better understanding of this topic from various sources.

Nostradamus - While Nostradamus is very vague, he has predicted the end of the world through his past prophecy and drawings to be around the year 2000. The exact date is never given, but he indicates that the world will end through nuclear warfare or some other possible cause, by the means of "the heavens will catch on fire." 

Web Bot - A computer program used to search through data and pull together important data that can predict future events. It was built for investors and since then has a built a record for the prediction of the future events.

The Bible - The Bible predicts that the world will come to an end when the Antichrist rises. Some believe the Antichrist is already among us and the countdown to the end of world has already begun. 

The Antichrist - Nostradamus and the Bible predict the end of the world to occur when the Antichrist rises. A number of extreme Christian groups are claiming Obama to be the Antichrist. They hold that when his presidential term is just about done the world will come to an end.

Mayan calendar ends on 12/21/2012, symbolizing the end of a cycle and into a new one as earth enters the "cosmic womb." Some believe that a transformation through other forms of life in our solar system will come to earth or earth will completely perish.

Polar Shift - Polar shift can cause increased weather patterns and potentially catastrophic climate change. The polar shift wouldn't cause earth itself to end, but rather an increased amount of damage dealt upon earth via earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanoes and so on.

Planet X - A new planet in our solar system that is suppose to collide with earth in 2012. The orbital pattern of the planet comes within very close proximity of earth and provides relatively strong evidence for the collision of earth. Though this evidence may seem conclusive, other calculations have been made to show that it will pass by earth.

Comets - Comets from Planet X as it approaches earth can enter earth's atmosphere and either reach earth or disintegrate upon entering the atmosphere.

Meteor - A large meteor can collide with earth causing everything on earth to become extinct. This is a very similar scenario to the extinction of Dinosaurs.

Nuclear Warfare - Everything will end through war and the destruction of atomic bombs. This theory is highly unlikely saying as someone needs to be alive to launch the last bomb thus proving at least some civilization will live.

The Alignment - Potentially earth can be lost in a black hole during the winter solstice in 2012. Since earth will be at the center of the Milky Way, where a black hole is located, some astrologers believe we will become lost within it. No one knows the actual outcome of this and it just seems to be another proposed theory of a 2012 predictions.

The I Ching - An ancient text used to predict random events. It was calculated out into a timeline and when doing so it mysteriously ends on the year 2012. Since it is based on sequence of events people are suspicious about how it could just end on that date.

Solar Storms - NASA has now confirmed that in the year 2012, the sun would have reached its peak of solar storms. It will be unlike anything earth has experienced.

Tibetan Monks - With the use of Remote Viewing, the monks are able to predict the future. The Tibetan Monks have declared doomsday to be in the year 2012 through nuclear warfare. They also declared that we will be saved by extraterrestrial life.

Depression - Some economists believe that a great depression is to occur in 2012. 

In the case of Muslims, the best source about end time is the divine message preserved in the pages of the Quran. Only God knows about the end of time, says the Quran repeatedly. The Quran reminds people to be ready for their end every second of their life.

Life can lose its connection with the physical body any moment, the Quran asserts. Thus every second is an end time. This Quranic guidance empowers us to take control of our own lives and discipline ourselves on the basis of guidance from God rather than rely on some one else to change us.

The Quran says that Allah does not change the condition of a people unless they change themselves. The Quran does not say that conditions will be changed only with the intervention of a Messiah or a Mehdi, whose arrival dates are not known to anyone. The belief in the theology of Apocalypse, in reality, challenges the foundation of the fundamental Quranic message that says that those who believe in the divine guidance and act accordingly are the ones who succeed ultimately. The Quran also says that they would not be questioned for a future that they are not aware of; rather they would be questioned for the present in which they live.

Some people point to the increased number of disasters in our world to support the theology of Apocalypse. We must understand that the disasters, earthquakes, tsunamis and cyclones have been taking place around us since time immemorial. For instance, the US Geological Survey estimates that several million earthquakes occur in the world each year. They occur on the basis of laws that God imbued in rocks at the time of their creation. If we learn those laws, we might be in a position to avoid human population in those areas where they occur. Many go undetected because they hit remote areas or have very small magnitudes. We feel the impact of some of these events more on our lives because of two major factors. The information about these events now travels much faster than it used to. Secondly, human population around disaster prone areas has increased by many folds over since the last 500 years.

Let us not be consumed by issues that are only known to God. Come May 22 or October 22 we can be rest assured things that are supposed to occur based on the laws of God will happen. For now let's make the best of today.

Dr. Aslam Abdullah is director of the Islamic Society of Nevada, President elect of the Interfaith Council of Nevada and Editor-in Chief of America's largest circulating Muslim weekly, the Muslim Observer.


  Category: Americas, Life & Society, Nature & Science
  Topics: Nature And Environment
Views: 12103

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Older Comments:
ZAHIDA FROM SOUTH AFRICA said:
I trully agree with the contents of thi article..May22 and Oct22 passed n we are still alive. Even the bible states clearly that no one knows the day nor the hour..it will come like a thief..so good people let us prepare now for the end for we know not when it will come.
2011-11-15

RAFIQ FROM CANADA said:
ASAK,

I absolutly agree with this article. Allah (S.W.)'s book is 100% true. And it is the word of Rasul PBH. In quran Allah repeatedly says that "Varily, this is the word of an honurable massanger."(surah Alhaakkah 69/40). I don't know from where those books came from, those go against quran. There is no reference of any of those books in quran and still whole community beleive in them. This is rediculous and they claim themselves to be true muslims. Allah says, Wa man lam yahkum bima anzalallaho fau-laika humul kafirun. So the thind is very clear. In 2/74 Allah says, They write some thing by their hands and say this is from Allah. Aren't those so called Aalims doing the same thing?
2011-06-05

TAHEERAH WALIYYUDDIN FROM USA said:
Shukran...I thank you for this article. The only positive thing I can say is that Maybe...just Maybe Mr. Camping is trying to get people to stop and worship ALLAH (GOD) at that hour. Bring the world to a standstill for that hour. Make people think for that hour. No more fighting for that hour. Maybe just maybe something positive can come out of a negative.

As-Salaam-Alaikum.
2011-05-21

RASHAD ABDUL-AZEEM FROM USA said:
Excellent article. So many people in the world have become so caught up in a savior complex, that they fail to address the immediate problems that are right in from of them. Such a view saps the energy, mental focus and resolve from them to attempt to solve the many problems that confront us today. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this issue.
2011-05-04

AYJAZ HUSSAIN FROM KUWAIT said:
See these are non important issues to be discussed. No one can deny that he will die one day or the other, so what's the big issue it is dooms day or whatsoever.
Try to be a true human being and be Compassionate with others.
2011-05-02

MUSLIM SISTER FROM U.S. said:
Asalaamu Alaykum,

I get the overall point of the article, but one thing is definitely wrong about this article and that is the author dismissed the hadiths of the Prophet! SubhanaAllah, in some hadiths of the Prophet, it's narrated that he, the Prophet PBUH, does mention the signs of the last day. There are a number of things that will happen, including the arrival of Prophet Isa before Judgement day, and when all of this will happen, only Allah knows. I felt he was making a mockery by saying Muslims and Jewish and Christians are saying the same stuff like Prophet Isa coming back. And that's not right. Our main source is the Quran, but hadiths are very important in Islam as well and the author left them out completely which is worng! That's my two cents

Salaam
2011-04-30

ROBERT BUNDY FROM WA said:
If there a fatwa to all to buy gold and silver, it will be end of banking world! As Jesus was on this earth! He turn the money changer table for their dishonest parities!
2011-04-29

MUSHTAQ FROM INDIA, KASHMIR said:
The issue was highly needed to through light on because there are many a people, not having profound knowledge of Qur'an & Hadith, who get dubious at times. So it is right time that u have debated over it. May Allah bless u.
2011-04-29

ASLAM ABDULLAH FROM USA said:
Rather than focusing on the issue, some readers have already called it a Quran vs hadith issue. It is not. Those who are projecting it this way ought to look at the life of the Prophet and focus on the Quranic message. It is a very serious issue, because our understanding of deen is directly related with it. Millions of people throughout human history have been duped by this apocalyptic ideology. Thousands of people have been condemned and killed in the name of Messiah for being anti-Christ or Dajjal. Millions of hours have been wasted on discussing an issue that is so clearly defined by the divine in his last book, the Quran, when it says that everything that exists will come to an end and a new beginning will take place where those who acted according to the divine will would move forward and succeed. The Quran was meant to clear the confusion and bring humanity out of the irrational ideas. The Quran is supreme and no other book comes closer to it in authenticity, legitimacy and validity. The Quran is the criterion to determine the validity of other books written by Muslims in the name of Islam. Evey book should be judged on the criterion outlined by the Quran. Afterzll, the Quran and the divine message was the reason that the whole institution of prophethood exists.
This is not the time to debate the authenticity of ahadith quoted as regards the end time.
This is also not a time to discuss the life after death.
Suffice is to say that the belief in the day of judgement is fundamental to a Muslim's belief system. It makes no difference how does that end come and who brings it out. What matters is that we prepare ourselves for the life hereafter by following what the Quran tells us and what Our prophet, the last of the messengers and prophets did to put the Quran in practice. We are told by his wife, Ayesha, May Allah be pleased with her, that he was a living Quran.
2011-04-28

SAM FROM SOUTH AFRICA said:
Further to support the coming of Isa (a.s)we look into the Islamic signs as based in the Quran and Hadees.
Let me quote from Sahih, Muslim - "Narrated Hudhayfah ibn Usayd Ghifari:
Allah's Apostle ('alaihi al-Salaam) came to us all of a sudden as we were(busy in a discussion)
He said: What do you discuss about? (The Companions) said: We are discussing about the Last Hour. Thereupon he said: It will not come until you see ten signs before and (in this connection) he made a mention of the smoke, Dajjal, the beast, the rising of the sun from the west, the descent of Jesus son of Mary ('alaihi al-Salaam), Gog and Magog, and landslides in
three places, one in the east, one in the west and one in Arabia at the end of which fire would burn forth from Yemen, and would drive people to the place of their assembly.

The Qur'an affirmed the return of Jesus as the 'Sign of all Signs' of the Last Day:
"And surely he (i.e., Jesus) is the Sign of the Hour".
(Qur'an, al-Zukhraf, 43:61)

Also Prophet Muhammad ('alaihi al-Salaam) went on to reveal that prior to the return of Jesus ('alaihi al-Salaam) Allah Most High would release a False Messiah (al-Masih al-Dajjal) into the world in the Last Age

Please read the book by Sheik Imraan Hosein called Jerusalem in the Quran that proves through Quran,Hadees and the signs that are unveiling in todays world that its natural conclusion will be the return of the true messiah,Isa to destroy Dajjal.
2011-04-28

AHMAD BELLO FROM NIGERIA said:
As a Muslim, my brother should not have resorted to this sensational, un-Islamic title. The charge directed at some Muslims who believe in the hadith is uncalled for,if Dr Abdullah wanted them to give, as some Xians do, a calendar day for the certain event. The survey of the extant theories about this event is, forgive me, irrelevant to the Muslim. It falls within the category of what our scholars describe as "issues the knowledge of which is not useful and the ignorance of which is unharmful". Indeed, reading such stuff could be harmful to the extent that it prevents one from reading ahadith on tayammum, prayer times, dtails of zakat, etc, which the Qur'an does not provide! I hope my brother is not one of those Qur'aniyyuns, who dismiss hadiths and believe in only what the Qur'an states.
2011-04-28

ZAHIR FROM MALDIVES said:
Its amazing that the Author never mentioned even a single Hadith (saying of the Prophet PBUH)when there are plethora of them on the topic in question.

I would like to remind Brother Aslam that Islam as we call it and a one in that regard will not be there when you leave aside the sayings of the Prohet PBUH and his tradition.

How could we understand the Qur'an without its receiver and best interpreter?

Yes no human being will know the Hour. But Allah bestowed the Prophet knowledge of some things unfolding before the our comes. Even the Qur'an speaks about some events that will happen in human history as Doomsday draws closer. "Do they then only wait for the Hour― that it should come on them of a sudden? But already have come some tokens thereof..." (Muhammad, 18)."But Yajuj and Majuj are let loose and they rush headlong down every height (or advangate). Then will the True Promise draw near" (Holy Qur'an 21:96-97). 'Dwell Ye in the promised land; and when the time of the promise of the Latter Days come, We shall bring you together out of the various people.'" (The Holy Qur'an 17:105)

The Author also seems to suspect that the Qur'an refers to the end of time as demise of individual's life on this earth rather than a complete annihilation of the entire creation.If so that will be a totally erroneous view. The Qur'an says: "When the sun (with its spacious light) is folded up; When the stars fall, losing their luster; When the mountains vanish (like a mirage)... (at-Takwir, 1-13), "When the Sky is rent asunder..." (al-Inshiqaq, 1-5. "....Heavy were its burden through the heavens and the earth...."(al-Araf, 187).

Nowadays,some Muslims think that Islam as a heavenly guidance will be knowable from the Qur'an alone without any recourse to the Sunnah and Hadith. That's then against the very essence of the Qur'an.

2011-04-28

SALIM SHAIKH FROM INDIA said:
If you believe in the hereafter. The world coming to an end statement becomes immediately relevant only to those who at that moment are alive and are preparing to go to office and find that the world has suddenly ended. But for those already dead right from the time of first death, when Cain killed Abel, the long awaited moment of truth about the hereafter has come into the picture eventually, as the end of the world is also attached to the day of judgment, for those who have already lived their full life, and as well as those whose life is interrupted by this sudden event, which is as inevitable as death itself. Because only after death the aspect of hereafter will begin. Which is a new beginning to hope for, except for the sinners who dread it all the time. The fact is it doesn't matter on which date it will happen, the important aspect is are you ready to face the judgment day at any given moment or time??
2011-04-27

ASLAM ABDULLAH FROM USA said:
Sam quoted the following verse of the Quran in support of his argument that Jesus will come back to taste death. "we killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah"- But they killed him not, nor crucified him, but the matter was made dubious to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of surety they killed him not.Nay, Allah raised him up unto himself; and Allah is exalted in power, wise" (Holy Quran 4: 157- 158).
If you read the verse carefully, you will reach to the conclusion that Allah is debunking the claim that they killed or crucified Jesus. Allah uses the expression raised him up for Prophet Idris, PBUH too.
Among the Jews of Jesus time was the notion that the death on a cross is a cursed death and Jesus died the death of a cursed man. Allah clarified the situation and said that they did not kill or crucify him. Allah elevated his status among the people and made his message living.
We also use the expression that Allah recalled us or we returned to Allah or Allah raised us up when describing the death of any person.
If our Apocalyptic theology is based on Christian sources then we must examine it. The fact that previous scholars had this opinion does not prove that it is right. For almost 5,000 years scholars including those from Rome and Greece used to believe that the Earth is flat Based on our understanding of the Quran, we can reach to the truth. Let us look at the issue from a Quranic perspective rather than what historians have told us.
2011-04-27

MADINA FROM USA said:
Did we forget that we have been thought by the best teacher ever our Prophet Mohammed (SAW) and we do not need anyone else to tell us what is going to happen! No one can claim that they know this day ONLY Allah knows. It could be before this day they picked or after million years........ We were told by our Prophet Mohammed (SAW)
The major signs come right after the other; i.e., in a sequence.
According to the Companions of the Prophet (Sal Allahu 'alaihi wassallam), there are TEN major signs of the Day of Judgment, altogether.
1. Smoke (Dukhaan)
2. Anti-Christ (Ad-Dajjal)
3. Daabbah (Beast)
4. Coming of the sun from opposite direction
5. Coming of 'Esa ('alaihi salaam)
6. Gog and Magog (Yajuj and Majuj)
7. Earthquake in the East
8. Earthquake in the West
9. Earthquake in the Arabian Peninsula
10. Fire that starts from Yemen
2011-04-27

SAM FROM SOTH AFRICA said:
The writer says,"There are also a number of Muslims who believe in the second coming of Jesus........However, no one has quoted a single verse from the Quran in justification of their position.
I like to correct the writer.Allah says in the Quran--
That they (Jews of Talmud) said (in boast), "we killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah"- But they killed him not, nor crucified him, but the matter was made dubious to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of surety they killed him not.Nay, Allah raised him up unto himself; and Allah is exalted in power, wise" (Holy Quran 4: 157- 158).

The Quran says the Jesus(PBUH)was not killed and in Surah Al-Ankabut -- Allah says,"Every soul shall have taste of death(29:57)
Thus if Jesus was not killed and Allah says that every soul must taste death...then it reasons that Jesus has to die a natural death...if not then Almighty Allah is not truthful and the Quran is incorrect.Thus Jesus has to come to earth were He will die a natural death as Allah has promised in the Quran that every soul shall taste death and ALLAH IS ALWAYS TRUTHFUL for HE IS TRUTH ...thus the Quran proves the return of the Messiah,Jesus(Isa alaysalaam).Isa (as)will come as a messiah not a prophet for prophethood was ended with our Nabie Alaysalaam.THE 2ND COMING OF JESUS is the core belief of mainstream Islam which is a majority of the Muslim world
2011-04-27

RAUF NASSOUH FROM SWITZERLAND said:
A positive comment. The idea regarding second coming of Jesus and of someone called Mehdi is unsound. There is no divine authority for this idea. There is no reason to believe that Jesus did not die the normal death (not on the cross) at the end of his earthly life. Mehdi is an invention of the Shia branch of Islam, a necessity for them to keep their belief system alie and survive at a given time in history. This idea has been repeated so often that it has been unthinkingly accepted as a divine promise.
Please keep up with your original work. Regards. Nassouh
2011-04-27

ABDULLAHI FROM NIGERIA said:
Thank you Dr. for this article, God bless you. Ameen.
2011-04-27

HANIF FROM PAKISTAN said:
Great work!
2011-04-27

DR SYED MOHAMMAD ARIF FROM BANGLADESH said:
Thank the editor for this article. i am against this view of May 21 dateline.
2011-04-27

MAYA V FROM AK said:
There will be all sort of prophecies until there are people to go behind it. Everytime they are proven wrong, the humanity is saved. May be, fear and fantacy are sold easily.
2011-04-26

MARYAM FROM MEXICO said:
I am not against the article, I just do not agree... as Muslims we know that the date of that day is only known by ALLAH SWT... that is all... Allah Hafiz
2011-04-26

AHMED ISMAIL FROM SAUDI ARABIA said:
Generally the article is well written. However, in places it leaves much to be desired. I know it is only an article but there could be much more 'meat' put in it. Still, it gives one a picture of foolishness that is not based on scriptural analysis or hadith analysis but on blind whims and feelings.

For a much more depth and analysis of this subject, any person can visit my website - islamtheway.org.

Yours,
Ahmed Ismail
2011-04-26

WILLY FROM USA said:
Every president since Kennedy have been accused of being the anti-Christ by someone which I see as trying to make a name for themselves. In fact other leaders like Hitler have also been accused. I could name others but my spelling isn't good. Personally I find them humorous. Most Christians know this and pay little to no attention to them. These maybe the last days but to say when judgment will happen no-one knows. The Bible does say that it will come when you least expect it. So for me when someone says this I feel that there is still more time. But this is my opinion.
assalum alaykum my friend
2011-04-26

HENRY ORLANDO FROM UNITED STATES OF AMERICA said:
I'm a Christian. The Bible forbids the setting of Dates and Times regarding the end of the World. Jesus himself said No one knows the Time or Date, only God in Heaven knows. Any one who Predicts an actual Day or Time is a false Prophet.
2011-04-26