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   Many live under a cloud of doom and foreboding during these times. Suddenly the world appears fragile and our personal sense of security threatened. Some put this down to the superpower’s doctrine of a New World Order, one in which the superpower reigns, smiting or threatening all those who dare to challenge its global domination.

   Others believe that we are on the path to Armageddon, the defining battle between good and bad when the Messiah will triumph.

    Armageddon, known in Islam as Al-Malhamah Al-Kubrah (the Great War), is prophesised in the religious books and writings of all the Peoples of the Book - Islam, Christianity and Judaism, but with certain differences.

    Moslems believe that the devastating battle will take place in Syria as the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) said: “The place of assembly of the Moslems at the time of Al-Malhamah will be in Al-Ghutah near a city called Damascus one of the best cities in Sham”. (Abu-Daoud).

    The Prophet (pbuh) further foretold events that would occur before Armageddon, including the return to earth of the Messiah (the prophet Isa, known to Christians as Jesus), who would pray behind the Mahdi or “the Guided One”. The prophet Isa would then destroy the unbelieving armies of Gog and Magog (thought to represent two different European races), before restoring peace and brotherhood to the planet.

The signs

    But before this defining battle can take place, Moslems are told to watch for certain signs and to ready themselves. 

     Minor signs include the disappearance of knowledge and the appearance of ignorance; the consumption of intoxicants will be widespread; women will outnumber men; the nations of the earth will gather against the Moslems like hungry people going to sit down to a table full of food; rain will be acidic or burning; great distances will be traversed in short spans of time; leaders of people will be oppressors; men will begin to look like women and women will look like men; the Jews will return to live in Bilad Canaan (Palestine); people will compete with each other to build taller buildings; earthquakes will increase and smog will hang over cities.

    One sign, which will, no doubt, resonate during these times is this: The people of Sham will receive no food and no money due to oppression by the Romans (Europeans/Westerners).

Al-Dajjal/The anti-Christ

    One of the most important signs is the advent of Al-Dajjal (see boxed insert for a description of Dajjal). Other major signs include the sun rising in the West, three major landslides and a fire, which will drive the believers into their final gathering place.

    Christians call this entity the anti-Christ, the Son of Perdition, the Wicked One, the Beast, the Man of Sin among other titles and believe that he will be charismatic with “a mouth speaking great things”.

    In Christian writings the anti-Christ is described as having a stern look and will be stout, proud and boastful. He is also thought to be a master of political intrigue, a military genius and will bear the mark of the beast: 666.

    Preludes to Armageddon for Christians include: war and rumours of war; famines; pestilences and earthquakes. Men shall be greedy, boastful, proud, blaspheming, false accusers, and lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.

Christian fundamentalists

    While it is evident that many signs indicating Armageddon is near have come to pass, there is a burgeoning Christian fundamentalist movement, which is not content to wait for the natural unfolding of prophesied events.

    Certain evangelical or Born-again Christian sects believe that Armageddon will take place during the lifetime of their present adherents, and that non-believers will be destroyed, good Christians saved and anyone remaining will convert to Christianity.

    Such is their eagerness for the Messiah to return to earth that they are doing their utmost to usher-in what they call “end-times”. Right-wing evangelical Christians make up much of George W. Bush’s political support base and helped him campaign against John McCain, his former Republican rival.

    There are several prominent persons in the U.S. government who are evangelical Christians, including the President himself and Attorney General John Ashcroft, but we cannot be sure of their personal beliefs concerning end-times. We do know that Bush enjoys using Biblical terminology such as “evil-doers” and that two of George W. Bush’s mentors, frequent visitors to the White House, are strong subscribers to the fundamentalist Christian end-times theory.

    One such is Billy Graham who believes that Armageddon is at hand and that Bush is a blessed leader of the righteous. The television preacher has expressed the view that after a mighty battle in Iraq, approximately 144,000 good Christians “ will be lifted up to heaven, with the rest left to burn in a roaring conflagration. This process is known as ‘the Rapture’.”

    Graham and others of like mind believe the Jews must control “Israel”, including current Palestinian territories, which they call Judea and Samaria, before Jesus can manifest. Hence, the support this preacher and his gullible flock offer to the Israelis in the form of not only cash but also political leverage.

    In 1948, Graham is on record as declaring: “The three gravest menaces faced by orthodox Christianity are communism, Roman Catholicism and Mohammedanism (Islam)” and several times made anti-Semitic remarks during telephone conversations with former American President Richard Nixon. He is, therefore, no friend to either Moslems or Jews.

    His website reads: “The Scripture describes this great battle (Armageddon) in the sixteenth chapter of the Book of Revelation. The sixth angel will pour out his vial upon the great river Euphrates (in Iraq). We are told that the waters of the Euphrates River will be dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.”

    If the Americans start draining the Euphrates, we should all begin to worry.

   Graham’s son, Franklin Graham, has called Islam a “very evil and wicked religion” and is poised to send his missionaries into Iraq with food, water, medicines and Christian Bibles.

    Even after heaping insults on Islam earlier this year, he was invited to give a sermon at the Pentagon and under Bush’s ‘Faith-based Initiative’ is likely to receive U.S. government funding for his proselytising in Iraq.

Unholy alliance

    A book by a former White House speechwriter Grace Halsell entitled Prophecy and Politics looks at the growing relationship between Messianic Israelis and Evangelical Christians, who believe that World War III is inevitable preparatory to the Second Coming.

    She writes about the battle of Armageddon “where new and totally destructive nuclear weapons will be unleashed and blood will flow like mighty rivers”.

    Halsell was with Falwell during two of his sponsored visits to Israel where she learned of the Born-again Christians’ desire to destroy Jerusalem’s most holy Islamic site before the prophecy of Armageddon could unfold.

    So how do religious Jews view Armageddon and why are they so eager to join hands with Zionist Christians who are basically using them as a step to fulfilling their own theological ambitions?

    Some Messianic Jews know full well that Born-again Christians, while holding out their hands in friendship, have another, sinister agenda, but they are happy to receive benefice from such Christian groups anyway. Others are more skeptical and want nothing to do with them.

    Religious messianic Jews have their own agenda, which they hope the Christian right will help them fulfill. This hangs on the rebuilding of their temple, they call Beit HaMikdash. This, they believe once lay under the Haram Al-Sharif in Jerusalem, the site of Al Aqsa and The Dome of the Rock from where the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) ascended to heaven.

Al Aqsa under threat

    Halsell writes of a visit to Jerusalem when her Israeli tour guide pointed to Al Aqsa and said: “There, we will build our third temple.” She continues: “As we left the site, I remarked to Clyde, a retired Minneapolis business executive, that the guide said a temple would be built there. But I asked, what about the mosque? It’s one of the three most sacred shines in all Islam”

    “Oh”, said Clyde, “the mosque will be destroyed. One way or another it has to be removed”.

    Halsell talks about a Temple Mount Foundation established by evangelicals to raise money so that ‘Jewish terrorists’ can destroy Al Aqsa. She said that she spoke with several members of this group including the Reverend James DeLoach of Houston’s Second Baptist Church.

    “The Rev. DeLoach visited my apartment in Washington, and was proud to tell me that he had raised and spent tens of thousands of dollars to defend Jewish terrorists charged with assaults on the mosque. He was also pleased to relate that he had entertained, in his Houston home, Jewish Yeshiva students who were studying how to slaughter animals, to be used as sacrifices inside the temple they hope to build.”

    Thus far, despite controversial archaeological excavations in tunnels under Al Haram Al Sharif, there is no concrete evidence to suggest that the second Jewish temple ever existed there.

    Such an absence of proof, however, did not deter Israel from demanding that the Palestinian President Yasser Arafat sign a document acknowledging that the ruins of the temple lie under Al Haram Al Sharif complex before they would put any peace proposals in writing. This, President Arafat refused to do fully cognizant of the probable consequences such a concession would have engendered.

    Sheikh Mohammed Sayyed Tantawi, Al-Azhar’s top cleric, once told a group of university students: “the temple of our Lord Solomon is not to be found underneath Al Aqsa mosque as the Jews claim.”

The Jewish Temple

    Messianic Jews believe that one of the signs of the imminent rebuilding of their temple is the birth of a red heifer, one without even a single non-red hair. This, they are attempting to bring about by genetic manipulation and cloning.

    As far back as October 1989, the Chief Rabbi of Israel sent a team of scientists to Sweden to purchase the frozen embryos of a particular breed of red heifers so as to breed one that would fulfill their scriptural requirements. They later plan to burn this animal as a sacrifice when it is three years old, its ashes used to purify the temple. Texan evangelical cattle breeders have also tried to come up with an unblemished red heifer and are said to have succeeded.

    Rabbi Chaim Richman of The Temple Institute in Jerusalem says that the institute is preparing for the time when it will be possible to rebuild the temple. He says that the institute has prepared temple vessels “to the exact requirements and nuances of Jewish law for the expressed purpose of use in the Third Temple.” Among these are a copper washbasin and stand, the golden crown of the High Priest, silver trumpets and priestly garments.



    His website maintains that “advanced computer graphics and images have been utilized to create a functional blueprint and design for the Holy Temple and that all 11 ingredients of the incense offering from all over the world have been identified and assembled”.

    Once everything is prepared, a male of at least 13 years old who has been raised ‘in a bubble’ is required.  The boy who will perform the sacrifice must never have touched the earth or anything considered ritually unclean.

    This year, the President of Israel Moshe Katzav asked the Prime Minister of the Vatican, Cardinal Angelo Sudano, as to which Temple artifacts were in the Vatican’s possession and said that he wanted a list of them.

    The question being asked by Moslems, Jews and Christians is whether or Al-Dajjal or the anti-Christ is on earth now.

    There has been much discussion as to whether the anti-Christ is a person or represents a body or an ideology, such as the United Nations or the EU. Even communism, the Papacy and the New World Order have come under the spotlight.

    Pope John Paul II is said to be extremely concerned about the state of the world and was vehement about his anti-war stance over Iraq. Before he became Pope he said: “We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through”.

    There are those who believe that the anti-Christ has come and gone in the form of Hitler or Stalin. Others think that there are those here and now who are paving the way for his arrival. Perhaps there are yet others who seek to mould an individual into the shape of an anti-Christ with similar appearance and outward attributes to justify their own ambitions - whether messianic or political.

    Another view is that Dajjal is the predominance of Western influence or that Dajjal could be symbolic meaning of a nation or a group of nations. For example wheat-coloured skin, a stout build and short curly hair could describe Caucasian peoples. Reference to blindness in one eye could refer to narrowness of vision or lack of spirituality.

    Whatever will be will be. It is written. Only the Creator knows the truth and we can only wait, watch, wonder and ultimately pray for the future of mankind.

Al Dajjal, the false prophet

     Al Dajjal is described in various hadith, or sayings of the Prophet, as being short, blind in one eye with one protruding eye, thick hair on his body and crooked legs.

     This false prophet is said to have a thick fingernail-like object in his left eye, while the letters ‘kaa’, ‘faa’ and ‘raa’ (meaning apostate) will appear on his forehead to all Moslems, regardless of whether or not they can read. He is said to have a complexion like wheat and will claim divinity by performing unusual feats.

     It is foretold that Dajjal will remain on earth for a period of 40 days but the length of the first day will be as one year, the second day equal to one month, the third day equal to one week and the remain days a normal 24 hours.

     He will not be able to enter either Mecca or Medina because angels will be guarding the holy cities and so he will proceed towards Syria where the Prophet Isa will eventually kill him at Lydda (area around Israel’s Ben Gurion airport, near Jaffa).



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