بسم لله الرحمان الرحيم
In the name of God, the most gracious, the most merciful. All praise be to almighty God, the lord of all creation. All praise be to He that created Adam from clay, without the aid of a mother or father, and created Hawa (Eve) from Adam. All praise be to He who breathed into the womb of Mary and created Jesus, the Christ, the Messiah. May His peace, mercy and blessings be bestowed upon all of his prophets including Jesus Christ, and Muhammad.
Nowadays I seem to be seeing a lot of programs on channels like the History Channel, Discovery Channel, Science Channel, and others talking about different scenarios that could lead to the ultimate destruction of human life and of the Earth and universe itself. While these programs are indeed interesting from a scientific point of view, they are ultimately just entertainment. However after seeing such a program it reminded me of the many signs of the last days that either have come or will come to pass. One of these major signs is the return of Jesus Christ, the messiah, to usher in the final days of our time as a race on this Earth. Jesus Christ, is of course a well known figure amongst Christians and Muslims as a holy messenger of God. It is also well known by these folks that he will return in the final days, but it is not neccessarily well known to Christians what the Qur'an and the prophet Muhammad said about this holy prophet of God. So, my hope is that some Christians and other non-Muslim, and maybe even Muslim readers out there might benifit from it insha'Allah (God willing).
First of all, it may come as a shock to many Christians that yes Islam recognizes Jesus Christ as a holy prophet of God, and Islam is the only "non-Christian" tradition that does so. God Almighty quotes Jesus Christ in the Qur'an, "Lo! I come unto you with a sign from your Lord. Lo! I fashion for you out of clay the likeness of a bird, and I breathe into it and it is a bird by Allah’s leave. I heal him who was born blind, and the leper, and I raise the dead, by Allah’s leave. And I announce to you what you eat and what you store up in your houses. Lo! herein verily is a portent for you if you are to be believers. And (I come) confirming that which was before me of the Torah, and to make lawful some of that which was forbidden unto you. I come unto you with a sign from your Lord, so keep your duty to Allah and obey me. Lo! Allah is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. That is a straight path." (Qur’an 3: 49-51). The Qur'an also quotes Jesus as saying, "I am indeed a servant of God. He has given me revelation and made me a prophet; He has made me blessed wheresoever I be; and He has enjoined on me prayer and charity as long as I live. He has made me kind to my mother, and not overbearing or miserable. So peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life (again)!' Such was Jesus the son of Mary. It is a statement of truth, about which they (vainly) dispute. It is not befitting to (the majesty of) God that He should beget a son. Glory be to Him! When He determines a matter, He only says to it, 'Be,' and it is" (19:30-35)." In these holy verses, God almighty revealed to us something of the speach of prophet Jesus, and Jesus makes clear to us what his purpose was on this Earth.
Jesus came as a prophet and messenger to the Children of Israel. It is recorded that the priests and rabbis in Jesus's time were extremely currupt and it was Jesus who preached against the evil ways that they had made for themselves and the Children of Israel. His message was of worshipping God and God alone. Jesus also made it clear that he is not devine in and of himself, but that Everything he did, he did by God's permission. Many miracles were performed by Jesus including speaking as an infant in defense of his mother Mary, curing blindness, raising the dead, and breathing life into a clay bird. Jesus brought with him the Injil, or the Gospel as a revalation from almighty God. While most of the Injil has been lost or distorted, some parts may exist in the present day canonical Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, however these sources are regarded by many Muslim and non-Muslims scholars as not completely reliable at best.
While the event of the crucifixion did indeed happen, the Qur'an brought the news that it was not Jesus who died on the cross. God almighty says in the Qur'an, "And for their unbelief, and their uttering against Mary a grave false charge, and for their saying, 'We killed the messiah, Jesus son of Mary, the Messiah of God"…yet they did not slay him, neither crucified him, only a likeness of that was shown to them. Those who are at variance concerning him are surely in doubt the following of conjecture; and they did not kill him of certainty…no indeed; God raised him up to Him; God is Almighty, Allwise. There is not one of the people of the book but will assuredly believe him before his death, and on the Resurrection Day he will be a witness against them." (An-Nissa 4:156-159). Jesus Christ himself was not crucified but was raised up to God, and those who sought to kill him were tricked into thinking that they had killed him. Now many Christians might say, "then what about the taking away of our sins through God's sacrifice". The truth is that only we can be accountable for our sins. This was true of the Old Testiment and it is true of the Gospel, and it is true of the Qur'an, and it doesn't really make sense that God would "change his mind" at the time of Jesus (pbuh). We are born pure, in a pure state of submission to Almighty God, as His servants. It is only later in life that we stray, and sin through the influence of others. It is only God that can forgive sins, and he frequently refers to himself in the Qur'an as "Al Rahman, Al Raheem", the most gracious and redeeming, and the most merciful and forgiving. What is amazing about prophet Jesus is that unlike any other prophet, he is not dead! He still lives in heaven, and eagerly awaits when God will order him to return to Earth and fulfill his destiny, and that destiny will be to usher in the last days before the final Day of Judgement.
In regards to his return, prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said, "There is no prophet between me and him, that is, Jesus (pbuh). He will descend (to the earth). When you see him, recognize him: a man of medium height, reddish fair, wearing two light yellow garments, looking as if drops were falling down from his head though it will not be wet. He will fight the people who oppose almighty God. He will break the cross, kill swine, and abolish jizya(tax that was implemented on non-Muslims living in Muslim lands). Allah will perish all religions except Islam (meaning submission to God). He will destroy the Antichrist and will live on the earth for forty years and then he will die. The Muslims (those who submit to God) will pray over him." In this statement, the prophet Muhammad (pbuh) makes it clear that Jesus will unite all believers in God (i.e. Christians, Jews, Muslims, and all others) against the unholy Antichrist, in Arabic known as the Dajjal. He will rule as a completely just ruler, ending all wars between nations and tribes, and in that time there will only be two religions; the religion of 'submission to God' ( Islam in Arabic), and rejection of God (kufr in Arabic). This hadith mentions that he would break the cross, and this is because that cross has become an idol, and represents associating partners in worship to God, which is the biggest sin one can commit. As the ten Commandments say " Thou shall not have any gods except Me" (i.e. worshiping things, people, animals, trees, or even ideas along with or instead of God) and " Thou shall not maketh unto me, any engraven image" (i.e. idols). It also says that he will kill the swine or the pigs, but this is not because pigs are evil (no creature of God is evil), it will most likely be in order to stop the rapent consumsion of pigs which has become so common.
One big part of Jesus' future reign will be the destruction of the Antichrist. The Antichrist will be a horrible being that will lead many, maybe millions astray and away from the path of God. Many hadith, or sayings of prophet Muhammad, make clear that he will work miracles and claim to be God in human form. Many people will follow him. It is said that he will appear somewhere between Iraq and Syria (i.e. the Middle East). He will claim to offer paradise or heaven to those who follow him, and hell for those who oppose him. However, it is said in the sayings of prophet Muhammad (pbuh) that his paradise is actually hell, and that his hell is actually paradise. Jesus (pbuh) will lead an army of the righteous (Christians, Jews, Muslims and those who believe in him) against the Dajjal's army of the wicked ( those who reject Jesus, and the message of God). He will destroy the Dajjal and then usher in 40 years of peace, and it will be a worldwide peace unlike any the world has ever seen before. When he dies his funeral will most likely be the biggest in human history, and all those who believe will line up in rows for the funeral prayer on him, and insha'Allah (God willing) he will be buried in a grave that is still being reserved next to prophet Muhammad, peace be upon them both.
Now some of these details may come as a little odd to many Christian readers and that's ok. Many of them may question the authority of the Qur'an and of prophet Muhammad (pbuh) on this issue. I don't consider myself a scholar of either my own religion or of Christianity, but I would ask my Christian friends to look to the words of Jesus Christ himself, as recorded by the Bible. In John 16:7 he is quoted as saying, "But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Paraclete shall not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you." Now I included the actual Greek word Paraclete in this quotation for a reason. In later translations and interpretations of these verses the word "Paraclete" was translated as the "Holy Spirit", in truth the word Paraclete means roughly "one whom people praise exceedingly". The Holy Spirit is said in Christian theology to have been present in creation from the very beginning so it wouldn't make sense for it to be coming "after" Jesus. Interestingly enough in the Aramaic language or the orginal language of Jesus, Paraclete can be translated as "Ahmed" as it is done in the film "The Passion of the Christ". Aramaic and Arabic are also closely related linguistically and "Ahmed" in one of the names of prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. It is clear from this word Paraclete that Jesus is referring to a person. But who? Jesus also says reffering to the Paraclete, "He shall Glorify Me!". Now if the Paraclete is indeed a person, then Muhammad is the only viable candidate for the Paraclete because he is the only major religious leader, as the name as well as Jesus' describtion would imply, that praised Jesus in the two thousand years after Jesus. These are only a few tidbits for interested Christian readers to chew on if they like.
Ultimately it comes down to the simple fact that Jesus Christ, the son of Mary, was one of the holiest men ever to walk the Earth. Both Christians and Muslims recognize this fact, regardless of theological differences. It must be said that Jesus' message was clear. There is only ONE God, and it is only God that should be worshipped. I would encourage all Christians who may read this to look closely at the message of Jesus Christ (pbuh) in the Gospels, and to believe what Jesus himself says; that "his father, and our father are one...his God, and our God are ONE" and when he said "Why do you call me good?...There is no good except for God". I ask all Christians to recognize that Jesus never asked to be worshipped himself and attributed all his works to God alone. I bear witness that there is no deity (person, animal, plant, thing or idea) worthy of worship other than Almighty God, with no partners, and I bear witness that Jesus Christ and Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon them, are the messengers of Almighty God.
...And Allah Knows Best...