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In the Name of God بسم الله

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  1. In the Name of God A COMMON CALL FOR THE SAVIOUR Once I was reading a Christian theological book, written by one of the evangelists, surprisingly, I found the last chapter, dedicated to the doctrine of the future, to be very interesting. To me as a Shi’ite Muslim, whose way of thinking of Christianity was a religion subject to distortion throughout the history, it was really amazing to come up with great similarity between Shi’ite and Christianity as for the idea of the eschatology. Reading the genuine materials written by scholars whose concern is to speak of the eschatology, one is justified to say that they are resemblance in all aspects; principles, details, and the way that their scholars both Shi’ite and Christian, argue to articulate the various topics pertain to the study of “the last things”. However, what both Shi’ite and Christian followers desire to happen does not meet the way of their life, their daily behaviors, and their understanding of reappearance of their redeemer. Clearly, Shi’ite and Christian scholars alike have not pondered the similarities fall in various parts of the doctrine of future in accordance with their sacred scriptures. In both religions we see explicit declarations conveying large-scale understanding of the conditions world will experience before the coming of the promised man of God. For instance; The world would be full of injustice, tyranny and lies in wickedness. Christianity: “We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. 1 John 5:19” Islam: He will fill out the earth with peace and justice as it will have been full of injustice and tyranny.[1] Surly, the coming of Him will happen. Christianity : He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! Revelation 22:20 Islam: The Prophet Muhammad said, Even if the entire duration of the world’s existence has already been exhausted and only one day is left before Doomsday, Allah will expand that day to such length of time as to accommodate the kingdom of a person from my Ahlul-Bayt who will be called by my name.[2] Similar signs in Heavens precede His coming. Christianity :The sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven Matthew 24:29 Islam: Verily, the sun eclipses in the middle of Ramadan and the moon darken at the end of it before the advent of Mahdi.[3] In addition to above mentioned points, one might add the issue of predicting specified time for his coming that has to be considered wrong with regard to the teachings of both religions[4],[5]. Apart from all these similarities found in religious texts, the common trait both Shi’ite and Christian preachers seem to share is to promote their followers to long eagerly for his return or coming. The reason behind such encouragements is to keep the followers motivated in obedience to him up until the very moment of his coming. Moreover, the more believers are engaged in servitude of God, the less they will be caught up in enjoying sinful desires and actions and consequently they are more likely to experience the intimate and deep fellowship with God. As a matter of fact the reappearance of Imam Mahdi or Prophet Jesus requires some preliminaries in which to pave the ground for them to reign on the earth[6] which are yet not fulfilled. If they are to come and bring the righteousness and justice and establish the kingdom of God on earth, there have to be such loyal followers ready to undertake difficulties required for uprising against unbelievers. Pious believers who are fed up with this world, the ones who experienced vital need for coming of the man of God have to exist to stand firm with Imam Mahdi and Prophet Jesus to overcome all unrighteous and evil governments. So that, the more believers look for providing such preliminaries the more his reappearance will be hastened. One of the crucial requirements for the advent of Imam Mahdi or the return of Christ to occur is to experience a real need for a savior, a real need for deliverance from lust, redemption from captivity and spiritual bondage. As long as human beings are entangled in sins, lies, and lust and they are neglected of this relentless hidden ignorance that drives them live without any feeling of deficiency Imam Mahdi will never come. Back to what we have already cited from religious corpus, we see that the world before their coming is experiencing the utmost level of injustice, immorality, sins etc. Hence, only when people reach this awareness that their urgent need which precede every other material stuffs is the need for redemption we could hope the savior, whether Imam Mahdi, Prophet Jesus or they both together, to come and redeem the world. To practice an eager longing for the savior, believers, besides taking care of their daily deeds to keep them in deep fellowship whit the savior, have to pray for his coming since this seemingly simple behavior demonstrates the degree to which they long for him. It is narrated through the Islamic traditions that the people of ancient Egypt –Bani Israel- were promised of a savior that would put an end to wretchedness and misery they suffer from under the government of Pharaoh. They decided to pray to God and cry for 40 mornings. All of the believers in the community attended this spiritual gathering. After the 40th morning God inspired them that, “the time you were supposed to long for your savior has been hastened 170 years, and Moses is coming.” Imam Sadeq, peace be upon him, has quoted this story warning the Shia believers that such appeals to God, since it is a real measure of our vital need, might hasten the coming of Imam Mahdi.[7] References: Ibn Abi Zaynab, Mohammad b. Ibrahim, al-Ghaybah lil'Nu`mani, 970, Sadouq Press, Tehran, 1976. Majlisi, Mohammad Baqer b. Mohammad Taqi, 1698, Bihar al-Anwar( Tibb( a) Bayrout), Beirut, 1982, Dar Ihya' al-Turath al-Arabi Kulayni, Mohammad b. Ya`qoub b. Is-ha, 940, al-Kafi, Tehran, 1986, Dar al-Kutub al-Islamiyyah Irbali, Ali b. Isa, 1292, Kashf al-Ghummah fi Ma`rifah al-A'immah, Bani Hashemi, 1961. [1] - al-kafi, Vol1,P335 [2] - al-Ghaybah lil'Nu`mani, P23 [3] - al-Ghaybah lil'Nu`mani, P271 [4] - Imam Sadeq, all predictors[ about the time of his coming] do lie. al-Kafi, Vol 1, P368. [5] - Matthew 24:44: Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. [6] - Kashf al-Ghummah fi Ma`rifah al-A'immah, Vol2, P477 : the people from East will come and pave the ground for Mahdi reign. Mark 1:15 : and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” [7] - Bihar al-Anwar, Vol 13, P140
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