The Reappearance of the Great Reformer of the World – A Fundamental Religious Belief
The belief that at the end of the time a universal reformer will arise and provide success to mankind and save people from their afflictions and calamities, is one of the most ancient and fundamental beliefs, that all the heavenly religions have given glad tidings of this and all the history of mankind has recorded it as a sanctified and respectful belief.
The man who has witnessed the worst of the disasters, battles and turmoil caused by the inhuman people and surrounded the whole mankind. The man who is trampled upon by tyrants and deprived by greedy and selfish elements from the blessings that should have been available to all in the world.
Such a man is in anticipation of a reformer who would transform the flow of history and establish the Kingdom of truth. There is no doubt that he shall be that same Mahdi of the Progeny of Muhammad (S). The world shall be graced by his knowledge, justice, good diplomacy and planning.
The Prophet of Islam (S), who never spoke without revelation, and his Infallible Successors (a.s.) who had always been associated with piety and godfearingness have explained about that great reformer, that is the Qaim (a.s.) of the Progeny of Muhammad (S). Here it would be appropriate that we mention some examples of the advent of the universal reformer and his justice and truth.
A great number of religious and faithful people from the Christians were subjected to tortures and calamities during the time of His Eminence, Prophet Isa (a.s.) and also after His Eminence (a.s.) at the hands of the oppressors and tyrants, especially during the reign of Nirun in the year 64 A.D. and during the reigns of Tarajan in 106 A.D. and Desius in 249-251 A.D.
They witnessed such atrocities as defy description. They were very severe on the people during the reign of Nero and blamed for burning Rome, therefore terrible calamities descended upon them and they were stuffed in the skins of animals and thrown to dogs and torn to pieces. In the same way some were clothed into tar clothes and put to fire and Nero himself ignited these tar torches and they continued to burn till they were reduced to ashes.
During the reign of Tarajan also, different types of tortures and punishments befell them. If anyone was found to be a believer in Prophet Isa (a.s.), he or she was immediately put on the stake. However, if anyone worshipped idols, drank wine and spoke ill of Prophet Isa (a.s.) he was saved from the stake. These tortures and severities continued on Christians till the death of Tarajan. When Desius ascended the throne he imposed such tortures on the people that they shake the foundations of humanity.
Christians believe that His Eminence, Prophet Isa (a.s.) is the awaited reformer and one who would rise with truth. He would definitely return to the earth to establish the kingdom of knowledge and learning and that he may spread peace and security and general prosperity. These are some of the statements of the New Testament.
It is mentioned in the Gospel of St. John:
“Truly, truly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself, and has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of man. Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice.”1
The Gospel of St. Luke says:
“And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth distress of nations in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting with fear and with foreboding powers of what is coming on the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.”2
This Gospel contains prophecies regarding the reappearance of Prophet Isa (a.s.). Some of them are as follows.
(a) “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken; then will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven…”3
(b) “But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’”4
(c) “Therefore you also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”5
These prophecies about unfavorable circumstances show that the return of Jesus Christ (a.s.) shall be to remove all pains and difficulties of the people. This is the belief of all the Christians of the world.
And Will Durant says: “Christians of the world scattered on the earth believe in the return of Christ and that he would return to the earth and establish his rule and one who brings faith in him shall be bestowed with bounties of the Hereafter. And that Jesus is the son of God, is a general belief among the Christians.”6
Some of the signs of the reappearance of Jesus Christ (a.s.) are mentioned in the New Testament. It is mentioned in the Gospel of Mark:
And as he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!” And Jesus (a.s.) said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another, that will not be thrown down.”
And as he sat on the Mount of the Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, “Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign when these things are all to be accomplished?”
And Jesus (a.s.) began to say to them, “Take heed that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. And when you hear of wars and rumors of war, do not be alarmed; this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places, there will be famines; this is but the beginning of the birth pangs.
“But take heed to yourselves; for they will deliver you up to councils; and you will be beaten in synagogues; and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear testimony before them. And the gospel must first be preached to all nations. And when they bring you to trial and deliver you up, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say; but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.
“And brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.
“But when you see the desolating sacrilege set up where it ought not to be (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains; let him who is on the housetop not go down, nor enter his house, to take anything away; and let him who is in the field not turn back to take his mantle.
“And alas for those who are with child and for those who give suck in those days! Pray that it may not happen in winter. For in those days there will be such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never will be. And if the Lord had not shortened the days, no human being would be saved; but for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he shortened the days.
“And then if any one says to you, ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. False Christs and false prophets will arise and show signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. But take heed; I have told you all things beforehand.
“But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heaven.
“From the fig tree learn its lesson; as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away before all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
“But of that day or that hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”7
In all periods of time the Christians have been waiting for the advent of the Jesus Christ (a.s.).
Amir Shabib Ansatan says: Huart, the French historian and the author of the History of Arabs says: The Britishers come to the Baitul Maqdas in the valleys where it is said that very soon judgment will be established. There, every morning they beat the drums and await his reappearance. And I have heard that the English woman – I think – came to Quds and for the sake of Jesus Christ (a.s.) prepared tea.
And La Martine, the French Poet, in his travelogue says regarding the Mountain of Lebanon that in the village named Jaun, he met Madame Istir Satanub, the well known minister of British Isles and saw that a female attendant was ready with a saddled horse so that if Jesus Christ (a.s.) returns she must be ready for it.8
These were some of the examples that the Christian thinkers and scholars have mentioned regarding the return of Jesus Christ (a.s.). As for the Muslims, they on the basis of widely related reports, have the belief that Jesus Christ (a.s.) shall come to the earth and that he would not be directly doing the reformation but he will be assisting Imam Mahdi (a.s.) and his followers in the establishment of peace and kingdom of truth and whatever shall be best for humanity.
One of the beliefs of the Jews is the advent of a Universal reformer in the Last Age. He is the one who would purify the evil manners of the people. As Ibn Qayyim says: Indeed the Jews are anticipating a revolution from the Progeny of Prophet Dawood (a.s.) in such a way that even if his lips move in prayers, all the communities shall be destroyed. This Promised one in the view of the Jews is the savior who was promised to the Jews.9
As for the description of the advent of the reformer of the Jews, a prophet named Ashiya has said as follows: Very soon, one who is from the Progeny of Prophet Dawood (a.s.) shall arise and the Holy Spirit would enter into him and the Spirit of Wisdom, understanding, power, recognition of the fear of God would become dominant on him. He shall rule with justice for the good of the oppressed people and procure justice for them and destroy the hypocrites. He would establish peace and security in such a way that all the people would live a life of peace and prosperity.10
Although it is an established fact that such a golden era has never occurred in the history of the world so far, that justice is established in every corner of the earth. It shall only be achieved at the hands of only and only the Universal Reformer, the Mahdi (a.s.) from the Progeny of Muhammad (S). He is the one who would fill the earth with justice and equity and lead the people with heavenly guidance such that there shall be no deceit and fraud in his Kingdom.
- 1. John, 5:25-28
- 2. Luke, 21:25-28
- 3. Matthew, 24:29-30
- 4. Matthew, 25:6
- 5. Matthew, 24:44
- 6. Al Masih fil Quran wa Taurat wa Injeel, Pg. 533
- 7. Marks, 13:1-32
- 8. Hajir ul Aalamul Islami, Vol. 2, Pg. 195
- 9. Hidayatul Hayari Fee Ajwabal Yahood wan Nasari, Pg. 133
- 10. Al Burhan fi Alamate Akheruz Zaman, 1/122