Copyright 1996 by M. Anderson. All rights reserved.


Jesus The Light And The Fragrance Of God

by M. Anderson

Part 1: The Reappearing of Jesus

    Chapter 2: Jesus' Work Of Restoration

Bad news gets transmitted much faster by those who do not expect to be affected by it. The victims of any tragedy are the least prepared to advertise the things which break their hearts, and so make their enemies rejoice.

The first half of the Hadiths surveyed in chapter 1, culminating in those which tell of the wickedness of the Dajjal, gives a dark picture of the condition of the world. Those who were most sensitive to the reputation of what they believed to be the truth would have been unlikely to transmit these, had it not been for the hope and light that comes from the second half - the reappearing of Jesus. The transmitters of these Hadiths must have felt they could face the bad news if it was merely the beginning of the end, and if God would have the last word in the affairs of His world. No matter how evil prospers, God is greater and mightier.

The Hadith speaks of two kinds of accomplishments by Jesus at his reappearing. The first is a work of restoration, the second a work of destruction. In these two lies the hope for God's ultimate victory over evil.

First Beware: Which Christ?

Deception is one of the characteristics of the Last Days. There will be a time when many claim to be the Christ. How can we determine whether they are genuine or false?

First, according to the Hadith, Jesus will reappear from Heaven, not from earth. He will not re-enter the stage of history by being born as he was before. When the one who was born of a virgin comes again, he will be in full manhood.

Second, the true Christ will not even make the claim that he is the Christ. His appearing from Heaven in power and glory will be the proof that he is the genuine Christ. For as the Hadith says:

Then the earth will shine with the light of its Lord ... and Jesus will kill the false Christ.[1]

This light of God will not be a localised one. Far from it - every eye will see it at the same time. The whole world will know that Jesus has come again, without the help of our advanced communication systems. No one will inform another person saying, 'Come and see the Christ', for all will be informed at the same time by the light of God.

What image of Jesus the Christ did the early Muslims have? They called him Jesus Son of Mary, signifying that to them this Christ of the future was the same as the Christ of history. In other words, the Christ of the future to them did not become a super-Christ. They did not imagine or invent a new kind of Christ. The Christ of the future was a logical and normal extension of the Christ of history. If they had wanted to invent, they could have invented a new Mohammad or a new Moses to come before the Last Hour and wage war with the false Christ. They could have assigned the great achievements of Jesus in his reappearing to Idris or Abraham. But they did not. They transmitted the stories with simple faith. They sincerely believed that there was only one person capable of ridding the world of the tyranny and power of evil represented in the Dajjal and of restoring mankind back to the one true God.

It is this simple faith in the power of Jesus that we will now trace, exploring its dimensions in order to rediscover the image that those early Muslims had of the Christ.

The Man of the Living Prayers

The early Muslims transmitted the Hadiths that speak of the decline of Islam and with it the decrease of righteousness. This will leave a situation of such evil that the Qur'an will be lifted up.

The Hour of Doom will not come until the Qur'an returns to where it came from.[2]

One of the conditions of the coming of the Hour is that fifty people will pray but no one's prayer will be accepted.[3]

'Prayers will be dead, faithfulness will be lost, government will be weak, injustice will be regarded more than justice.[4]

The early Muslims, however, did not see this as the very end and the final victory of evil. No. They looked with hope to the one who in a world full of dead prayers, 'will pray the prayers'. This one will gather disappointed, exhausted, scattered humanity, reverse the tide of wickedness and increase righteousness:

Jesus Son of Mary will come down, He will pray the prayers and gather the multitudes and increase righteousness (Al-Halal) ...[5]

The first thing Jesus will do in his reappearing is to pray. He will lead the {Muslim} army in prayer:

... and while they were preparing for the battle and arranging the ranks, the time of prayer came. Then Jesus Son of Mary ... will descend and will lead them in prayer.[6]

The early believers saw Jesus as the man of prayer. The one who just came from Heaven cannot but stay in touch with Heaven; he is in touch with God because he was with God. And when the one who is in touch with God prays, things simply do not stay the same.

Not only did they see him as the one who is first and foremost in touch with God; they also saw him as the one who is in touch with the masses. He will gather around him the masses who are lost and deceived, scattered and exhausted. His prayers will have instantaneous results, because he is in touch with God. They will touch the masses, and the goodness of God will flow through him.

The Increaser of Righteousness

The early Muslims also saw Jesus as the agent and mediator between God and the masses, for through him God's righteousness flows into the world. The one who comes down from Heaven will bring with him righteousness, which is the law of Heaven. Here lies the secret of all Jesus' accomplishments, whether it is destroying evil or restoring God's creation: the bringing of people to God by prayer and in righteousness.

Man was created to be God's vice regent (khalifat ie. viceregent) on earth. Even before the creation of Adam, the Qur'an states:

When thy Lord said to the angels, 'I am setting in the earth a viceroy [khalifat],' they said, 'What, wilt Thou set therein one who will do corruption there, and shed blood, while We proclaim Thy praise and call Thee Holy?'[7]

To be God's vice-regent means man has three forms of relationship. The first is vertical and upward, with his Creator, represented in worship. The second is horizontal, with his fellow man, represented in brotherhood. The third is downward, represented in caring for the earth, its plants and animals etc.

When Adam disobeyed his Lord, these relationships were disrupted to this day. The first of those relationships is the most important. When this was disrupted, the disruption of the others followed automatically.

Said He [God], 'Get you down, both of you together, out of it [Paradise], each of you an enemy to each.'[8]

The story of Adam's two sons illustrates that when the upward relationship is disrupted, human relationships get disrupted too.

Then his soul prompted him to slay his brother, and he slew him, and became one of the losers.[9]

Since then there has been more blood than ink to write the history of enmity between man and his brother.

The upward relationship is the anchor that secures all relationships. If God is not honoured as God, then man is not treated as man, and nature is abused as well.

From this it follows that if the upward relationship will one day be completely restored, the other two relationships will also be restored. This is what the early believers of Islam saw being fulfilled by the person of Jesus.

The picture painted by the early Muslims of the work of Jesus is nothing less than perfect. They believed he would restore man in three areas: man's relationship with God, man's relationship with his fellow man, and man's relationship with nature.

Man to God: A Fortaste of Paradise

The early believers held that the time of the Dajjal would be the darkest time in the whole history of mankind - the time of the greatest calamity for believers and the biggest blow to the truth.

There has never been and will not be temptation or (sedition) greater than the temptation of the false Christ until the Hour of Doom.[10]

All the trials that have faced mankind so far are small in comparison with that time, when to maintain one's faith will be like a foretaste of Hell. One Hadith states

There will come a time when he who is steadfast in the faith will be like a man who is clutching a live coal.[11]

It will be so bad that death will be the best option:

Nothing will the believer long for and love more than death.[12]

But the early believers also held that when the Christ comes, maintaining one's faith will not only become possible because of him, but worship will turn out to be the highest and most joyful experience in the believer's life. Worship will become greater than the world and all that is in it, even money, sexual pleasures, houses and land, children or power.

Son of Mary will descend a just judge and leader [Imam] ... the one prostration for worship will be far greater than the world and all that is in it![13]

Jesus, the just Imam, will lead people in prayer, and God's worship and adoration will fill their hearts. Because of his example or Imamat, people will know the proper worth of God and will choose Him and His worship, thus finding their true selves and their salvation.

'The one prostration for worship [behind Jesus] will be far greater than the world and all that is in it.' This is but a foretaste of Paradise, the breaking of Heaven into the earth! The one who comes from Heaven will capture the hearts of people by giving them a taste of Heaven. When Jesus comes, the world will be very beautiful; yet still the one prostration for worship will be far greater than that beautiful world.

This worship is not worship out of fear. The language of the above Hadith is not the language of fear created by the torment of the grave or the torment of Hell. It is the language of adoration.

Therefore the early Muslims sincerely believed that prayer after the coming of the Christ would not be a wasteful exercise but the most profitable business in the whole world. Jesus will first pray the prayers, then the masses will follow his example. Man, who was once estranged from God, will be turned back to God. This is the first and greatest achievement of the Christ. Man was created to worship God. That was God's purpose from the beginning. Jesus the Christ will come to fulfil God's purpose and bring man back to his creator, with the joy of the Divine purpose filling the heart of the worshipper.

One feels that those early Muslims must have really longed for the Christ to come so that they might enjoy all the blessings he brings!

Man to Man: The Blunt Sword

One Hadith states:

Jesus Son of Mary will be the just ruler over my nation and a righteous leader ... enmity and hatred will disappear ... and the whole earth will be filled with peace as a vessel becomes filled with water. War will cease.[14]

The believers since the dawn of Islam have longed for the day when the sword will return to its sheath forever. The sword has caused havoc among mankind which is created in the image of God. But the Christ will put an end to it by eliminating the enmity and hatred that came after the disobedience of Adam.

The above Hadith goes on to say that in that day the horse is going to be cheap because it has never been to war. But if the horse will be cheap, the sword will be useless. The sword is a symbol of force. It is not just that Jesus will cause all weapons to be obsolete; the whole earth will actually be filled with peace! After the coming of Jesus it will not be man's might that will rule but God's righteousness. No more different parties, no more divisions, no more factions, but peace and harmony.

The early believers knew that the manifestation of the sword is irreversible until the coming of Jesus. It is reported that the Prophet said, `If the sword is manifested in my nation, it will not be removed until the Resurrection Day.'[15] Jesus alone can remove it. The one who can bring man to a perfect relationship with his Maker can also bring man into harmony with his brother.

When God becomes the focus and the joy of all men, all men will be one. If one suffers, all will suffer. Then, for the first time, man will fulfil God's intention for his creation; instead of spreading corruption on theear th they will be united with the angels in praising God and calling Him Holy. Jesus the Christ will bring it to pass. The Christ will bring the creation of God to its intended, preordained design. Under the rule of Jesus, all men will be equal. God created them equal; not only do they share the flesh and blood of the one man Adam. Money, however, likes to tell a different story, measuring people's worth by how much they possess. When the Christ comes, it will not be so, 'Son of Mary will descend ... and He will call people to take money but no one will accept it.'[16]

Although all men will be equal, however, the Hadith tells us that `he who touches Jesus Son of Mary will become amongst the most exalted of the people.'[17] It is not money that determines the worth of people, but righteousness. The one who increases righteousness in the world also imparts God's righteousness to those who touch him. `Surely the noblest among you in the sight of God is the most God-fearing [righteous] of you.'[18]

Instead of fighting for money, people will compete for righteousness which comes through touching Jesus the Christ. This miracle Jesus will perform.

Man to Nature

On the third front, the image those early believers had in their hearts of the person of Jesus is also fascinating.

How happy is living after the coming of Christ Jesus! The heaven will be permitted to rain and the earth to produce, even if you plant the seeds on a smooth stone. Man will pass by the lion and not get harmed; he will tread on the serpent and not get hurt.[19]

In the beginning, man was placed on the earth and told according to the Qur'an, 'It is assuredly given to thee neither to hunger therein, nor to go naked, neither to thirst therein nor to suffer the sun'.[20] Since the time man disobeyed his Maker, however, everything is in a continuous state of enmity with him. The animosity of nature is a constant reminder that man is in a hostile place away from God his Maker. However, the influence of Jesus extends to the plant kingdom, the animal kingdom and even the earth itself. Under his rule

everything that has a sting will lose its sting, so that a child will handle a snake without getting hurt and touch the lion without getting harmed. The wolf shall be like a dog amongst the sheep ... the plants will yield like the days of Adam ... because the whole earth will be ploughed.'[21]

The Hadith speaks of the return of blessings like the days of Adam. Does this mean the days before Adam disobeyed God or after? It cannot be the days after, for from that point his days were like ours. It refers to the days before his disobedience. At that time Adam was in total authority over the animal kingdom and was not under the threat of hunger, for he was told, 'Adam, dwell thou and thy wife in the garden, and eat thereof easefully where you desire.'[22]

The lion, the wolf and even the snake will undergo a change of nature. This will not occur just in isolated cases; but every lion, every wolf and every snake will be tamed. Furthermore, not only will the animal kingdom be restored, but everything that has a sting will loose it, implying that even at the level of the insect kingdom, peace will overrule. This is a new order, bordering on a new creation - a belief that was not strange to the early believers, for they believed (as we shall see later) that God gave Jesus the power to create.

CONCLUSION

The early Muslims believed that Jesus' work of restoration will be total, perfect and worldwide. Jesus will restore both man and nature to the condition of the days of Adam before he disobeyed God.

All kinds of fear will be removed, giving way to the only healthy fear, the fear of God. The creation that was once disfigured and marred will return to its original state. Man will submit to God and nature will submit to man, God's viceregent.

In the time of Jesus, man will at last become God's khalifat on the earth, and all his energies, unhindered, will be free to worship God with joy.



1. Suyuti, Commentary on the Qur'an 6:158.
2. Al Hendy, Kanzol 'Ummal, Vol. 17, Hadith No. 704.
3. Hendy, Vol. 17, Hadith No. 604.
4. Hendy, Vol. 18, Hadith No. 791.
5. Hendy, Vol.18, Hadith No. 802.
6. Sahih Muslim, English Translation, Kitab Al-Fitan Wa Ashrat As-sa'ah, Hadith No. 2897.
7. The Qur'an 2: 30.
8. The Qur'an 20: 123.
9. The Qur'an 5: 30
10. Hendy, Vol. 17, Hadith No. 987.
11. Told by Tirmizi. Quoted by Sheikh 'Abd Al-'Aziz 'Ez Al-Din Al-Sirawany in Ahadith Said Al-Morsalin 'An Hawadeth 'Al-Qarn 'Al-'Eshrin, Dar Al-Afaq Al-Jadidah, Beirut, First edition, 1982, p. 12.
12. Hendy, Vol. 17, Hadith No. 992.
13. Hendy, Vol. 17, Hadith No. 1018.
14. Hendy, Vol. 17, Hadith No. 919.
15. Al-Meshkat 5394, quoted by Sheikh 'Abd Al-'Aziz 'Ez Al-Din Al-Sirawany in Ahadith Said Al-Morsalin 'An Hawadeth 'Al-Qarn 'Al-'Eshrin, Dar Al-Afaq Al-Jadidah, Beirut, First edition, 1982, p. 7.
16. Hendy, Vol. 18, Hadith No. 804.
17. Hendy, Vol. 18, Hadith No. 814.
18. The Qur'an 49: 13.
19. Sahih Al-Gam'e Al-Sagir, checked by Sheikh Naser Al-Din Al-Albany, Hadith No. 4183. See also Hendy, Vol. 17, Hadith No. 1020; Vol. 18, Hadith No. 808.
20. The Qur'an 20: 118.
21. Hendy, Vol. 17, Hadith No. 919.
22. The Qur'an 2: 35.


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