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 The Return of Imam Mahdi and Jesus Christ: A Comparative Eschatology

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تاريخ التسجيل : 22/09/2010

مُساهمةموضوع: The Return of Imam Mahdi and Jesus Christ: A Comparative Eschatology   الأربعاء أغسطس 26, 2015 10:59 am

 The Return of Imam Mahdi and Jesus Christ: A Comparative Eschatology
By: Dr. Leonardo N. Mercado 

Finally, when the Trumpet is sounded, that will be—that Day—a Day of Distress. 
--Holy Qur’an,. 74:8-9 

For the Lord himself with a word of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God, will come down from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 
--Holy Bible, 1 Th. 4:16 

I. INTRODUCTION 
A branch of theology called eschatology (from eschaton, last, furthest + logos, study of) is concerned with the final destiny of humankind. Particularly it deals with topics like the resurrection of the dead, the second coming, last judgment, heaven and hell. The purpose of this study is to compare the eschatology of Islam and of Christianity. However, since Shia Islam focuses more on Imam Mahdi than what Sunni Islam does, this study will focus more on the Shiites. A central focus of Shiite doctrine is the return of the Imam Mahdi at the end of the world. We shall contrast this doctrine with the Christian doctrine on the return of Jesus Christ. 
However, we shall also refer to commonalities which also touch the Sunnis. While both Sunnis and Shiites are united in accepting the Qur’an as God’s word the basic principles of Islam as a faith, the split between the Sunnis and Shiites was caused on proper choice of the Prophet’s successor. The Sunni claim succession to Abu Bakr as the first caliph. But the Shiites claim succession through Ali. However, the split was not primarily on the question of the successor but on “who should be the successor of the Holy Prophet as what the function and qualifications of such a person would be” (Tabataba’i 1975:10). 
According to the Shi’ite view the successor of the Prophet of Islam must be one who not only rules over the community in justice but also is able to interpret the Divine Law and its esoteric meaning. Hence he must be free from error and sin (ma’sum) and he must be chosen from on high by divine decree (nass) through the Prophet. (:10) 
In short Shia Islam follows Ali and his successors (or the Twelvers) after the Prophet died. 
They were originally the same group of friends and supporters of Ali who, after the death of the Prophet, in order to defend the right of the Household of the Prophet in the question of the caliphate and religious authority, began to criticize and protest against prevalent views and separated from the majority of the people. (:83-84). 
We shall be primarily quoting the Qur’an and the Bible and less from the hadith or sayings and traditions from the Prophet. 
Besides the meaning of eschatology which we have defined above, another term which needs clarification if the word imam. We take the definition from a Shiite scholar. 
Imam or leader is the title given to a person who takes the lead in a community in a particular social movement or political ideology or scientific or religious form of thought. Naturally, because of his relation to the people he leads, he must conform his actions to their capabilities in both important and secondary matters. 
Shi’ism believes the since Islamic society is in dire need of guidance in each of these three aspects [namely, perspective of Islamic government, Islamic sciences and injunctions, and of leadership and innovative guidance in the spiritual life], the person who occupies the function of giving that guidance and is the leader of the community in these areas of religious concern must be appointed by God and the Prophet. Naturally, the Prophet himself was also appointed by Divine Command (Tabataba’I 1975:173) 
We shall proceed in the following manner. We shall treat about the signs of the end-time, such as cosmic signs, human unrest, the rise of false messiahs, death and resurrection of humankind. These are preparatory signs to the return of Imam Mahdi and Jesus Christ. We shall point out the similarities and differences between Muslim eschatology and Christian eschatology. 
2. SIGNS PRECEDING THE END TIMES 
We find commonalities and differences on the signs of the end of the world as well as the signs preceding the return of Imam Madhi and of Jesus Christ. Both Islam and Christianity hold that the world will come to an end. The end will be marked by cosmic signs, wars, the appearance of the antichrist or false messiahs (al-Masikha ad-Dajjal), the resurrection of the departed and their final judgment (as to whether they go to final damnation or eternal reward in heaven). In Shiite doctrine, the signs of distress at the end of the world also point to the return of Imam Mahdi. 
Such chaos will serve as test of the purity of the faithful who will remain In the final stage of this process, the Mahdi will reappear to usher in a new era of restoration and to reconfirm the validity of Gods’ revelation. (Crow 1987:479) 
Let us treat the details. 
1. The End 
Both the Qur’an and the Bible speak predict the end of the world. But although the end is predicted, when that will exactly happen has been kept secret. In hundreds of places the Qur’an speaks about the Day of Judgment (or the Day of Recompense, the Day of Sorting) which will take places at the end of the world. When is the end of the world? Only Allah knows (Q 7:187). Likewise the Bible says that only God the Father knows when it will take place (Mk. 13:32): “But of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, or the Son, but only the Father.” 
2. Cosmic signs 
Cosmic catastrophes will precede the end times. The Bible predicts: “the heavens will be dissolved in flames and elements melted by fire” (2 Pet. 3:12). “The heavens will pass away with a mighty roar and the elements will be dissolved by fire, and the earth and everything done on it will be found out: (1 Pet. 3:10). “Then there were lighting flashes, rumblings, and peals of thunder, and a great earthquake. It was such a violent earthquake that there has never been one like it since the human race began on earth” (Rev. 16:18). Huge hail stones will rain (Rev. 16:21). Rev. 17 foretells the destruction of pagan nations. Other signs: “the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the starts will be falling from the sky, and the powers of heaven will be shaken” (Mk. 13:24-25). “The sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heaven will be shaken” (Mt. 24:29). The Book of Revelations predict the seven plagues that precede the end of the world. 
On the part of the Qur’an, the cosmic signs will include having a new earth: “One day the Earth will be changed to a different Earth, and so will be the Heavens and (men) will be marshaled forth, before Allah, the One, the Irresistible (Q. 14:48). The moon will be split: “The Hour (of Judgement) is nigh, and the moon is cleft asunder” (Q. 54:1). 
The Rise of False Prophets and the Beast 
Antichrist/s and the false messiah/s will deceive the faithful (2 Th. 2:1-12; 1Jn. 2:18-23). “False messiahs and false prophets will arise and will perform signs and wonders in order to mislead, if that were possible, the elect” (Mk. 13:22) The coming of false prophets (Mt. 24:11) and false Christs: “Many false prophets will arise and deceive many.” But Christ will defeat Satan or the primordial Serpent: 
Islam also holds Al-Dajjal (the false savior or Antichrist) will appear before the end of the world. All the above-mentioned unrest and chaos will purify the faith who will remain until the end. 
Another sign will be the Beast: “We shall produce from the earth a Beast to (face) them: he will speak to them for that mankind did not believe with assurance in our Signs” (Q. 27:82). The commentary says that the said beast represents gross materialism and “will be the embodiment of fat worldly triumph, which will appeal to a misguided and degenerate world” (Ali 1989:956). 
3. Human unrest 
The human unrest will entail warfare and chaos. “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be famine and earthquakes from place to place” (Mt. 24:7). Christ predicts hatred persecution to his followers (Mt. 24: 8-9). 
The end battle is called the Armageddon or the battle between the Antichrist/Satan and Christ. After Satan’s defeat he will be put in the bottomless pit for a thousand years. Then Satan will gather Gog and Magog, peoples of two specific nations (Q.18:94; 21:96). 

The name stands for wild and lawless tribes who will break their barriers and swarm through the earth. This will be one of the prognostications of the approaching Judgement” (Ali 1989:816). 

The same is reported in Rev. 20:8 (cf. Ex. 38-39) where Gog and Magog are symbols of pagan peoples. But Satan and those whom he led stray “will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Rev. 20:10). 

4. Final death and resurrection 
The Qur’an speaks about the finality of death and the resurrection (Q 17-14-26) wherein Allah will reward the just and punish the evildoers (Q 37:20-21; ! 98:6-7). Then the sound of the trumpet will signal the resurrection from the dead. We find this point both in the Qur’an and in the Bible. According to Q, 50:20: “And the trumpet shall be blown that will be the Day whereof warning.” That sound summons the dead to resurrect and be ready for the Judgment. In another passage: “Then, when one blast is sounded on the Trumpet, the earth is moved, and its mountains, and they are crushed to powder at one stroke” (Q. 69:13-14). Who will sound the trumpet? 
According to many post-Qur’anic commentaries, the Day of Judgment will be announce by two from the trumpet of the archangel Israfil, whereupon souls will be reunited with bodies in the graves, resurrected, and assembled. Their deeds will be read out of the heavenly books... Saved believers will cross safely into the Garden (Waldman 1987:154). 
On the part of Christians and according to the Bible, the following signs precede the Final Judgment, trials that will test the faith of the followers (Mt. 24:12). Christ predicted persecutions on his followers (Lk. 21:12-19; Jn. 15:20) 
But after the death of all humanity through world catastrophe will follow the resurrection of all people, good and bad. The sound of the trumpet will signal that moment. “We shall not fall asleep, but we will all be changed, in an instant, in the blink of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Cor. 15:51-52). Likewise, Paul writes (1 Th. 4:16): “For the Lord himself with a word of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God, will come down from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first.” “And he will send out his angels with a trumpet blast, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other” (Mt. 24:31). 
5. The final judgment 
Islam and Christianity hold that all peoples at the end of their lives shall answer before God. The Qur’an calls it the Day of Sorting Out (Q. 37: 20-21; Q 78:17) or the Day of Judgment. 
In the Christian perspective (Mt. 25:31-45), the basis of salvation or condemnation to Hell is not based on adherence to religion but on concrete deeds, whether one has feed the hungry, drink to the thirsty, welcome to strangers, clothing the naked, visiting the imprisoned. And condemnation to Hell fire will be for those who did not do such deeds. 
After the Judgment, the just will be rewarded in Heaven (Q 89:23-30). The final judgment is either a person goes to the torments of Hell or enjoy Paradise. Hell is pictured as punishment by fire: for those who deny God, will have a “garment of fire” and “will be poured out boiling water” (Q. 22:19-20; Q 38:27). 
The Picture of Heaven 
Heaven is the reward according to God’s mercy (Q. 29:21; 3:129). Heaven is described graphically as a cool garden with fine food and the just with their spouses reclining upon couches and have what they need (Q 36:55-57). “Allah hath promised to believers…gardens under which rivers flow, to dwell therein, and beautiful mansions in gardens of everlasting bliss” (Q. 9:72). In spite of the promise of unlimited food and drink, and companions, Heaven has pleasures that exceed the sensual pleasures. The faithful will be granted the beatific vision of their Lord. 
The Bible depicts Heaven in various metaphors: light, peace, wine of the kingdom, the Father’s house, the heavenly Jerusalem, paradise. as a never-ending banquet of the marriage of Lamb and his bride, the Church or people of God. Therefore heaven is “the ultimate end and fulfillment of the deepest human longings, the state of supreme, definitive happiness” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no.1024). 
The foregoing Qur’anic and Biblical data about the signs of the end-time converge. Even the metaphors, like the sound of the trumpet to call the dead, are found in both faith traditions. These signs precede the return of Jesus Christ and of Imam Madhi which we shall discuss next. 
2. THE RETURN OF JESUS CHRIST AND OF IMAM MAHDI 
While there has been a family resemblance between Shiite Islam and Christianity on the foregoing points, they diverge on the issue of the return of Imam Mahdi and of Jesus Christ. We shall first deal about the return of Jesus Christ and then the return of Imam Mahdi. 
2.1. THE RETURN OF JESUS CHRIST 
Let us now see the return of Jesus Christ from the Islamic and Christian perspectives. 
From the Islamic perspective 

The Qur’an says that Christ’s second coming (Q 4:159; 43:61) is a sign of the Hour of Judgment. “And (Jesus) will be a sign (for the coming of) the Hour (of Judgment); therefore have no doubt about the (Hour), but follow ye Me: this is a Straight Way (Q. 43:61). The following passage (Q. 4:158) concerning Jesus reads: “Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself; and Allah is exalted in Power, Wise.” How Allah “exalted” Jesus has different interpretations. Concerning this passage Abdulah Yusuf Ali (1989:236) comments thus: 
There is difference of opinion as to the exact interpretation of this verse. The words: The Jews did not kill Jesus, but Allah raised him up (rafa’a) to Himself. One school holds that Jesus did not die the usual human death, but still lives in the body in heaven, which is the generally accepted Muslim view. Another holds that he did die (v. 12) but not when he was supposed to be crucified, and that his being “raised up” unto Allah means that instead of being disgraced as a malefactor, as the Jews intended, he was on the contrary honoured by Allah as His messenger… 
The passage in Q. 4:159 has a different comment which reads: “And there is none of the People of the Book but must believe in him before his death; and on the Day of Judgement he will be a witness against them for the iniquity of the Jews We made unlawful for them certain (foods) good and wholesome which had been unlawful for them in that they hindered many from Allah’s Way.” According to commentary of Abdullah Yusuf Ali (1989:236): 
Before his death. Interpreters are not agreed as to the exact meaning. Those who hold that Jesus did not die [on the cross] refer the pronoun ”his” to Jesus. They say that Jesus is still living in the body and that he will appear just before the Final Day… 
Many hadiths say that Jesus as a Muslim will return at the end of the world. According to Shiite doctrine, the return of Jesus will be in the context of the struggle which also involves the fight of Mahdi against the Antichrist. Jesus will help Mahdi to kill ad-Dajjal and his followers. Furthermore, Shiite doctrine says that Jesus will correct the “mistakes” in Christianity because Muslims believe that Christianity is a corruption of the true religion, which is Islam. Then the other people of the book, namely, the Jews and Christians will become one community with Islam. Then there will be an era of peace. 
From the Christian Perspective 
The Catholic creed begins with “I believe in one God, maker of heaven and earth.…” This belief in the one God is spelled out into the Trinity as summed up in the Apostles’ Creed (or the Nicene Creed as adopted in the ecumenical council of Nicea in 325 AD) which partly states: “I believe in God the Father… I believe in Jesus Christ…. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day he arose again. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.” 
The foregoing signs precede the Last Judgment where all secrets will be revealed in Christ’s second coming or parousia. “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him” (Mt. 25:31-33). According to Mark (13:26-27): “And then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory, and then he will send out the angles and gather [his] elect from the four winds, from the end of the earth to the end of the sky.” In Matthew (24:30-31) we find a parallel version: “And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a trumpet blast, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the earth to the other.” 
The manner of Christ’s reappearance or descent at the last day will be the reverse of his ascension, as the angels told the apostles on Christ’s ascension: “Men of Galilee…, this Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven” (Acts 1:11). Furthermore, his coming will be will worldwide and sudden: “For just as lightning comes from the east and is seen as far as the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Mt. 24:27). 
While Islam says that Christ is just a prophet and did not die on the cross, Christianity however, holds that Jesus is both human and divine. Furthermore, the Christian doctrine does not mention the role of Imam Mahdi which is particular in Shiite Islam. 
2.2. THE RETURN OF IMAM MAHDI 
The Qur’an (6:90) entrusts the followers to the prophets. But the role of prophet and of imam “may be joined in one person who is then appointed to the functions of both prophet and Imam, or to both the reception of the Divine law and its preservation and explanation” (Talababa’I 1975:186). The Sunni and Shiite branches of Islam differently view the return of Imam Mahdi. Let us explain those viewpoints. 
The Sunni View 
Imam Madhi, a messianic figure, is more popular in Shi’ah than in Sunni Islam. 
Two of the four fundamental collections of Sunni traditions…make no mention of the Madhi…Yet Sunnis accept the general Muslim belief in a Renewer or Reformer (mujaddid), who appears every century in some part of the Islamic world and whose function as the reviver of the faith and the strength of the community partly parallels the role awarded the Mahdi (Crow 1987:479-480). 
Sunni and Shia Muslims are divided on Imam Mahdi. 
Some Sunni Muslims…say that no one can know the identity of the Mahdi until he actually appears and makes his claim, while others limit the function of the Mahdi to Jesus alone. He is to appear like an ordinary man whose career is that of a reformer or conqueror, although some Sunnis accept that the Mahdi is hiding with no suggestion of supernatural concealment (Crow 1987:479). 
We said that Sunni theology downgrades the role of Imam Madhi. 
Belief in the Mahdi is not an essential part of the Sunni creed, but is integral to Shi’ite Islam, where it is connected with the doctrine of the Hidden Imam. Sunni Islam does affirm that there will be a final restorer in the eschatological drama, but not that he will be called al-Mahdi. (Leirvik 2010:41). 
The Shiite View 
According to Crow (1987:478): 
The Mahdi was understood as a prophetic eschatological figure who had disappeared from mortal sight and subsisted miraculously in a semiparadisial state until the time of his awaited reappearance; according to prophetic tradition, at that time he would lead the army of the righteous and initiate the terrible drama of the eschaton… He functions both as the avenger for the wrongs suffered by the Shi’ah and the herald of the ultimate theocracy on earth, when punishment for wickedness and tyranny will be administered, followed by the inauguration of a blissful reign of social and religious perfection preceding Resurrection Day. 
The same author writes: 
Beliefs touching on the sinlessness of the imam/Mahdi, his supernatural knowledge, the mode of his ascensional being, his power of intercession and remission of sin, and his future glory and vindication were developed and in time admitted as integral to the Mahdi figure among the largest body of the Shairah, the Twelvers (Crow 1987:479). 
The Shia Muslims believe that the twelfth imam, Muhammad al-Mahdi, who was born in 869 CE and was hidden by God at the age of five in 874 CE. He has been in hiding (or occultation) and awaiting for the time that God has decreed. The signs of distress as mentioned above point to the return of Imam Mahdi. Since Shi’itite Islam bases its roots to Ali as the first successor of the Prophet, it follows that the succession should continue from the line of Ali, whose full name was Amir al[-mu’minim Ali. He was the wife of Fatimah, the Prophet’s beloved daughter from Khadijah. Shi’itite Islam, as mentioned above, traces its roots to the Prophet through Ali, the first imam, the first of the twelve imams. The twelfth imam was Madhi (born in 256/868), son of the eleventh Imam. Imam Madhi is “usually mentioned with his title of Imam-‘i Asr (the Imam of the ‘Period’) and Shib al-Zaman (the Lord of the Age)” (Tabataba’ i 1975:210). 
After the martyrdom of his father became Imam and by Divine Command went into occultation (ghaybat). Thereafter he appeared only to his deputies (na’ib) and even then only in exceptional circumstances. (:210) 
His occultation as the twelfth Imam has two parts: 
The first, the minor occultation (ghaybati-i sughra) which began in 260/872 and ended in 329/939, lasting seventy years; the second, the major occultation which commenced in 329/939 and will continue as long as God wills it.” (:211) 
Shi’ite Islam believes that Imam Madhi is still alive and in hiding; he will return at the end of the world. But is it possible for a human to live for centuries? By today’s reckoning, he would be more than twelve centuries old. While Sunnis says that to survive for more than twelve centuries is impossible. But the Shiites claim this miraculous feat is because God wills it. 
It can never be proved that the causes and agents that are functioning in the world are solely those that we see and know and other causes which we do not know or whose effects and actions we have not seen nor understood do not exist. It is in this way possible that in one or several members of mankind there can be operating certain causes and agents which bestow upon them a very long life or a thousand or several thousand years. (:214) 
In the meantime, 
The Imam watches over men inwardly and is in communion with the soul and spirit of men even if he be hidden from their physical eyes. His existence is always necessary even if the time has not as yet arrived for his outward appearance and the universal reconstruction that he is to bring about. (:214) 
In short, according to Shiite theology, Imam Mahdi will come with Jesus Christ: 
The Mahdi will arrive at the end of a long period of disintegration culminating in the appearance of al-Dajjal, whom he will kill, just as he will kill all the enemies of the family of the Prophet. By then Jesus will have returned and will rule for a time, after which the Mahdi…will reign in peace and justice, fulfilling the mission of all the prophets. The family of the Prophet will participate not only in intercession but in judgment as well, in the persons of ‘Ali or Fatimah or Husayn (Waldman 1987:134). 
Both Sunni and Shia Muslims agree that Imam Mahdi is a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad of the line of Fatimah. The Imam’s coming will be accompanied by the appearance of the Antichrist, that he will fill the world with justice and fairness at the end of time. 
4. CONCLUSION 
From the foregoing signs, both the biblical and qur’anic data are almost unanimous on the details, such as cosmic and human disasters. Both the Qur’an and the Bible agree that Jesus Christ will return at the end-time. However, Shiite and Sunni Muslims have varied opinions on the return of Imam Mahdi. 
Belief in the Mahdi is not an essential part of the Sunni creed, but is integral to Shi’ite Islam, where it is connected with the doctrine of the Hidden Imam. Sunni Islam does affirm that there will be a final restorer in the eschatological drama, but not that he will be called al-Mahdi (Leirvik 2010:41). 
In short we find similarities and dissimilarities concerning Imam Madhi and Jesus Christ. Islam has varied views on Imam Madhi although both Sunni and Shiite Islam agree that Imam Madhi descended from Muhammad in the line of Fatimah. Shiite Islam holds that Madhi was born in 869 CE and was hidden by God at the age of five, is still alive and awaiting the time when God will decree the return. Both Islam and Christianity hold that the world will come to an end, that signs (cosmic and human) that will precede the end. On the other hand, The Qur’an considers Jesus as a prophet second only to Muhammad. Hence Jesus is human. But Christianity holds that Jesus is both human and divine, that he is inseparable from God the Father and the Holy Spirit, forming the One God. 
In spite of doctrinal differences and similarities, will this all matter at the end? Will the world’s religions continue in the afterlife? Here the opinions are varied. The Qur’an (29:46; 3:113-115) enjoins tolerance and respect between the People of the Book, that is, Jews, Christians and Muslims who all claim Abraham to be their common ancestor. Furthermore, “any who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward” (Q:2:62). Furthermore, the Qur’an (22:17) encourages a neutral position toward all non-Muslims According to St. Paul (1 Cor. 13:8-13): 
Love never fails. If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing; if tongues, they will cease; if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing. For we know partially and we prophesy partially, but the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I used talk as a child, think as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things. At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then, face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known. So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 
In other words, there will be no need of faith and religion in the afterlife because what we believe and hope we shall have been attained. 
Here we must give the nuances between faith and religion because the meaning of a word depends on its usage. Faith is one’s personal response to God’s love. Now this response can become systematized and institutionalized into practices as reflected in a people’s culture according to its beliefs, laws, rites and the community. This gives way to expressions like Muslim faith, Christian faith as synonymous respectively to Muslim religion and Christian religion. 
We believe that religions then are just vehicles in the journey to the other world. Buddhism classifies such vehicles as Mahayana Buddhism (or the big raft) and Hinayana or Theravada Buddhsim (the small raft) in the life’s journey to attain enlightenment or salvation. But once the destination is reached, the vehicles are no longer needed. So in our discussion of eschatology or the last things, religions will disappear at the end. There will be no need for theological debate. What will remain is love. 
REFERENCES 
‘Ali, ‘Abdulah Yusuf (trans. and ed.). 1989. The Holy Qur’an. Brentwood, Maryland: Amana Corporation. 
Adams, Charles J. 1987. “Qur’an: The Text and its History. The Encyclopedia of Religion, XII:156-176. 
“Armageddon.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armageddon. Accessed 10 March 2011. 
Catechism of the Catholic Church. 1994. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana. 
Crow, Douglas S. 1987. “Islamic Messianism.” The Encyclopedia of Religion, IX:477- 481. 
Goldziher, Ignaz. 1981. Introduction to Islamic Theology and Law. Trans. by Andras and Ruth Hamori. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. 
“Imam Mahdi and the Signs that will Precede Him.” http://www.inter- islam.org/faith/mahdi1.htm. Accessed 5 Feb. 2011 
“Islamic Eschatology.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_eschatology Accessed 10 March 2011. 

“Islamic Eschatology.” http://www.al-islam.org/encyclopedia/chapter2/4.html. 
Accessed 28 Feb. 2011. 

“Jesus in Islam.” Wikipedia.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_in_Islam #Second_coming. Accessed 11 March 2011. 
Ladaria, Luis F. 1994. “Eschatology.” In Dictionary of Fundamental Theology. Ed. by R. Latourelle and R. Fischella. NY: The Crossroad Publishing Co. Pp.273-275. 
Leirvik, Oddbjorn. 2010. Images of Jesus Christ in Islam. 2nd. ed. New York: Continuum International Publishing Group. 
“Mahdi.” Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahdi Accessed 5 Feb. 2011 
Madelung, Wilfred. 1987. “Shiism: An Overview.” The Encyclopedia of Religion XIII:242-247 
Tabataba’i, ‘Allamah Sayyid Muhammad Husayn. 1975. Shi’ite Islam. Trans. by Seyyed Hossein Nasr. London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd. 
Waldman, Marilyn Robinson. 1987. “Eschatology.” The Encyclopedia of Religion, V:152- 156. 
Weblowsky, R. J. 1987. “Eschatology.” The Encyclopedia of Religion, V:152-156. 

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The Return of Imam Mahdi and Jesus Christ: A Comparative Eschatology
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» Permissibility of Celebrating Mawlid from Qur'an & Hadith!!‏

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كنزالعلوم الاسلامية :: المنتدى الخاص بالامام المهدي والاحاديث والعلامات-
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