The Middle East is the most important of the regions referred to by our Prophet (saas) in the context of events that will take place in the end times. Indeed, the majority of the portents described in the hadiths have happened in the Middle East. In addition, there are a great many other accounts from our Prophet (saas) regarding the region. Looked at in general, the common feature of these accounts is that the chaos, strife, and major events in the lands of the Middle East will continue until the appearance of the Mahdi. Throughout history, the Middle East, which includes such cities as Mecca, Medina, Jerusalem, Damascus, Baghdad, and Istanbul, has been a region in which the holy prophets of Allah have lived, one which witnessed the birth of the three monotheistic religions, and a holy region in which the sacred sites of all three religions were built. It is reported in hadiths that a region that has always played a leading role on the stage of history will also come to the fore in the end times, when glorious events will take place.
The Middle East, which includes such countries as present-day Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, and parts of Turkey, has been enormously valuable throughout history, both in terms of its strategic location and material wealth and also because of its spiritual aspect and importance for the three monotheistic religions.
By the leave of Allah, our Prophet (saas) has described the portents of the End Times in considerable detail in the hadiths. According to the information contained in these, following the chaos and corruption that will constitute the first stage of the End Times, Almighty Allah will make one of His servants who bears the illustrious name of the Mahdi (he who leads to the truth) a means whereby societies that have turned away from proper moral values and suffered degeneration return to the true path. The Mahdi will collect the Islamic world under the same roof and will be the reason for dominance of the values of the Qur’an all over the world by serving with ‘Isa (as) who will return to the Earth for the second time. By the will of Allah, the time when these glad tidings will become a reality is close at hand. Believers are waiting for those days, which will be one of the most special and the most glorious periods in the history of the world, with great joy and excitement.
If events that are currently taking place are carefully analyzed and evaluated in the light of verses from the Qur’an and the hadiths, it will be seen that the first stage of the End Times has already begun. The increasing war and conflict, terror, violence, anarchy and chaos, killing, torture, and moral degeneration are just a few of the portents revealed in the hadiths.
At the same time, this state of affairs is an encouragement to all believers to reflect deeply on the portents of the End Times revealed in the hadiths and to carry out detailed investigations into the subject.
In this article, we shall be discussing a region that is frequently mentioned in the hadiths about the End Times and an area that will come to the fore in a most striking manner in events to take place in the future, in other words, the MIDDLE EAST.
According to the information in the hadiths, this region known as the Middle East will witness many events before the coming of Prophet ‘Isa (as) and the appearance of the Mahdi. Indeed, it also appears from the hadiths that a great many developments will take place in these lands after the appearance of these two holy individuals. On the other hand, the Middle East has always played host to significant events, and is a special region that has been an important centre for the revealed religions and is home to a great many prophets. In the hadiths of our Prophet (saas) there are also indications that, as in the past, the region will be an important centre in the End Times. (Allah knows the truth.)
The Middle East Has Been an Important Centre in Many Regards throughout the Course of History
The Middle East, which includes such countries as present-day Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, and parts of Turkey, has been enormously valuable throughout history, both in terms of its strategic location and material wealth and also because of its spiritual aspect and importance for the three monotheistic religions.
For example, the fact that some two-thirds (65.3%) of the world’s oil reserves and a little more than one third (36.1%) of the world’s known natural gas reserves are in the Middle East, is an indication why the region is so financially important. Because of this attractiveness, it has witnessed many wars, struggles, and power games.
When we look at the region’s past, another important fact we encounter is that the area known as the Middle East contains a number of cities that have always been in the eyes of the world. One of the most striking examples of this is Jerusalem. This city, of such great spiritual importance, has witnessed a great many wars and has been ruled by many different administrations. Recently, Jerusalem is on the world public agenda. The city, of such importance to the three monotheistic religions, also acquires a whole new significance in this regard.
Another important example is the city of Constantinople, or Istanbul as it is known today. This valuable city, which so many states wished to possess over the course of history, was eventually captured by the Ottomans. It remained the centre of government for the Ottoman Empire, which is still talked about today because of the positive effects it has had on a number of world states, for around 500 years; Istanbul still maintains its historic mission today, with its geographical and strategic importance and also its historical and cultural legacy. In addition, the fact that the caliphate, by which the Ottomans were the standard-bearers of the Islamic world for centuries, finally ended up in this city and that the sacred relics, determined as an indication of where the Mahdi will appear, are also in the city increases its importance still further. It is also stated in the hadiths of our Prophet (saas) that Istanbul will witness other great events in the End Times.
Another important centre in the Middle East is that generally referred to as Sham in the hadiths and is the region that includes, by its etymological meaning, the cities of Mecca and Medina. As we know, millions of Muslims visit the region every year to fulfill the obligation of the Hajj and to see the holy lands in which our Prophet (saas) lived. We may say, in the light of the hadiths, that this region, the symbol and centre of Islam, will play an important role in the End Times.
Again considering the Middle East in general terms, the region is one in which many holy emissaries of the Almighty Allah have lived and communicated our Lord’s commands. Many centers of worship sacred to Muslims, Jews, and Christians are also to be found here. In addition, these sacred spots, in which the holy emissaries preached Allah’s message, also witnessed many miraculous events in the past. As in the past, this region will be a very important centre in the End Times, which may be described as the glorious period in world history. (Allah knows the truth.) Indeed, the eyes of the world today are on the significant developments taking place in the area. Both the Great Middle East Project and the region of the Iraq War constantly represent the world public agenda.
The Prophet Muhammad (saas) was born in Mecca, and the Holy Qur’an was also revealed to him there. The knowledge of secret matters imparted to our Prophet (saas) by Allah are some of his greatest miracles, and some of this information, which has come down to us by way of the hadiths, concerns events that will take place in the End Times. Indeed, when we look at the period we are living in, it is clear that the events in question have taken place and are still taking place in our own time.
THE MIDDLE EAST: Home of the Prophets
When we look at the information concerning the prophets in the Qur’an we see that the great majority of them began communicating their message in the region known as the Middle East. This has led to the region also being known as the home of the prophets. This region where many prophets lived, where they were guided to the true path and witnessed many miracles is now home to many people in the modern days.
The following is to briefly review some of the events related to the prophets:
- Prophet Nuh (as) communicated his message to the people in the area known as Mesopotamia. The Ark that Allah commanded him to build came to rest on Mount Cudi, in the same region, following the Flood.
- Prophet Ibrahim (as) began building the Kaaba in the city of Mecca, together with his son, Prophet Isma’il, (as) at Allah’s command. The people wanted to kill Prophet Ibrahim (as) by throwing him into the fire, but the Almighty Allah commanded the fire to turn cold.
- Prophet Lut (as), who lived in the same period as Prophet Ibrahim (as), communicated his message to the people living near the present-day Lake Lut, otherwise known as the Dead Sea. These people, who had no faith and who continued to do things that Allah had forbidden them, were destroyed by Him, and our Lord made this destruction a deterrent lesson for people of all times.
- The people of Israel, who left Egypt with Prophet Musa (as) and lived for a time as nomads, adopted a settled way of life in Jerusalem in the time of Prophet Dawud (as).
- After Prophet Dawud (as), Prophet Sulayman (as) built one of the most magnificent buildings in the history of the world, the Temple of Sulayman, in Jerusalem. The fact that jinns and devils were placed at his command, the way he spoke with birds and other animals, and the way he commanded copper and the wind are some miracles of Prophet Sulayman (as); they are blessings from our Lord which people witnessed in Prophet Sulayman (as).
- Prophet ‘Isa (as) was born in Nazareth, an area close to Jerusalem. He preached his message in this region and performed many miracles through the special knowledge imparted to him by Allah. It is similarly revealed in the hadiths that Prophet ‘Isa’s (as) return to Earth will take place in this region.
- The Prophet Muhammad (saas) was born in Mecca, and the Holy Qur’an was also revealed to him there. The knowledge of secret matters imparted to our Prophet (saas) by Allah are some of his greatest miracles, and some of this information, which has come down to us by way of the hadiths, concerns events that will take place in the End Times. Indeed, when we look at the period we are living in, it is clear that the events in question have taken place and are still taking place in our own time.
The Portents of the Start of the End Times Have Manifested Themselves in the Middle East
As was stated at the beginning of this article, the End Times are described in considerable detail in the hadiths. Sometimes information has been provided as to where events will take place, and sometimes a specific time or date has been given. When these signs are closely monitored, it can be seen that the Middle East is the region where just about all of these special events will materialize. Some of the events that the hadiths tell us will occur before the appearance of Prophet ‘Isa (as) and the Mahdi; they are as follows:
The Iran-Iraq War
One hadith describes a major war that will be waged in the End Times:
A people will come from the direction of Faris (Iran), and will say: ‘O, Arabians! You have become too fanatical! If you do not recognize their rights properly, nobody will unite with you … One day let it be given to you, and one day to them, and let these mutual promises be kept…’ They will go to Mutik (the name of a mountain in the region), and Muslims will descend from there to Yazi (the Iranian Plain) … The polytheists will stand on the other side by the banks of the pitch black river known as the Rakabe (an area rich in oil wells) … There will be war between them: Allah will withhold the victory from both armies. (Portents of Doomsday, Barzanji, p. 179)
Let us consider the details of the hadith:
- Who will come from the direction of Faris? Who will come from Iran?
- Faris: Iran, Iranian
- They will descend to Yazi: The Iranian Plain
- Mutik: The name of a mountain in the region
- Rakabe: A region with many oil wells
Allah will withhold the victory from both armies...
As this hadith indicates, the Iran-Iraq War lasted for eight years and cost many thousands of lives, though it produced no definitive result. Neither side was able to impose a definite superiority.
The Invasion of Afghanistan
It is a great sorrow for Talikan (Afghanistan). It is certain that Allah has treasures there that are not of gold and silver. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir al-Zaman, p. 59)
The hadith indicates that Afghanistan will be occupied in the End Times. Indeed, the Russian invasion of Afghanistan took place in 1979, or Hijri 1400; to put it another way, this came at the beginning of the 14th century according to the Hijri calendar.
Treasures there that are not of gold and silver...
This part of the description refers to the mineral wealth of Afghanistan. Large oil beds, iron reserves, and coal mines that have not been worked for various reasons have today been identified in Afghanistan.
The Attack on and Shedding of Blood in the Kaaba
The year when he appears, people will go on the Hajj with no leader at their head … They will head for the Kaaba together, then when they descend to Mine they will attack one another like dogs, pilgrims will be robbed, and blood will flow over the Jemre road. (Portents of Doomsday, Berzenci, p. 168-169)
By the expression, “The year when he appears…” in this hadith, it draws attention to the fact that there will be a massacre during the Hajj when the Mahdi appears. Such a massacre took place in 1979 in the attack on the Kaaba during the Hajj. This bloody attack on the Kaaba took place at the beginning of the period of the beginning of the End Times and when other portents of the coming of the Mahdi occurred. In other words, this occurred on 1 Muharrem 1400, on the first day of 1400 according to the Hijri calendar.
The Stopping of the Waters of the Euphrates
Among the portents of the Mahdi is the stopping of the waters of the Euphrates. Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir al-Zaman, p. 39)
Indeed, the Keban Dam did stop the flow of the waters of the River Euphrates.
The prophet of Allah (saas) said: Doomsday will not come until a mountain of gold arises from the waters of the River Euphrates… (3) (Riyazu’s Salihin, 3/332)
The Keban Dam and other dams constructed on the River Euphrates are reminiscent of giant mountains. These dams produce wealth worth that of gold (from the mountain, according to the analogy in the hadith). Therefore, these dams are like “a mountain of gold.” (Allah knows the truth.) In addition, it was recently established using satellites that there are gold beds under the River Euphrates, which may be pointing to another meaning in the hadith. (Allah knows the truth.)
The Killing of Rulers in Sham and Egypt
Before that, rulers in Sham and Egypt will be killed… (Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar p. 49)
This hadith refers to the killing of rulers in Sham and Egypt before the coming of the Mahdi. When the recent history of Egypt is examined, it can be seen that a ruler was indeed killed, just as reported in the hadith. Enver Sadat, who assumed power in Egypt in 1970 and remained in power for 11 years, was assassinated during an official march-past in 1981.
Current Events in the Middle East Confirm the Hadiths
When one looks at recent developments in the Middle East, one can see a close compatibility with the accounts given in the hadiths. The most striking example in this regard is the Iraq War and the events, in the region, that accompany it. We wish to make it clear at this point that the disagreements, wars, torture, and slaughter in the region will come to an end with the appearance of the Mahdi, and that with the return of Prophet ‘Isa (as), Qur’anic moral values will, by Allah’s leave, prevail all over the world. The days when injustice will be replaced by truth and justice, torture and war will be replaced by peace and tolerance, and perverted and atheistic ideologies will be replaced by Islam marks the point when the true religion of Islam will be very close at hand. Some hadiths that refer to developments that have taken place in the region over recent years read as follows:
The Destruction of Baghdad by Fire
In the End Times Baghdad will be destroyed by flames... (Risalat al-Khuruj al-Mahdi, vol. 3, p. 177)
From the first day of the Iraq war in 2003, Baghdad was a city exposed to the heaviest bombing, which caused the city to burn at night just as described in the hadith. Images of Baghdad in newspaper and television reports are totally compatible with the burning described in the above hadith.
Chaos in Sham, Iraq, and Arabia
The Prophet (saas) said: “…There will be such troubles and calamities that nobody will have a place to shelter from them. These calamities will travel around Sham and settle over Iraq. They will bind the Arabian Peninsula…As they attempt to eliminate these calamities in one place they will arise again in another. (Kenzul Ummal, Book of Some Thoughts on Doomsday, Vol. 5, p. 38-39)
The Restructuring of Iraq
...Doomsday will not take place until Iraq is attacked. And innocent people will seek places to shelter in Sham. Sham will be reconstructed and Iraq will be reconstructed. (Kenzul Ummal, Book of Some Thoughts on Doomsday, Vol. 5, p. 254)
The hadith points to the restructuring of Iraq. A great many Iraqi cities were devastated, first in the Iran-Iraq War, then in the Gulf War, and finally in the Iraq War of 2003. The effects of the looting that took place after this war also made the restructuring of the country, which had been completely ruined, essential.
The Division of Iraq into Three Parts
The people of Iraq will be divided into three groups. One part will join the looters. One part will leave their families behind and flee. One part will fight and be killed. Prepare yourselves for doomsday when you see this. (Fera Idu Fevaidi'l Fiqr Fi'l Imam al-Mahdi al-Muntadhar)
According to the information provided in this hadith, one part of the people will join the “looters.” Major acts of looting, taking advantage of the authority vacuum, were indeed experienced in Iraq. The hadith also relates how another part of the people will prefer to flee at once, unable even to consider the families they leave behind. Newspaper reports on this subject are noteworthy. A third part of the people, we are told, will join in the fighting and be killed. During the Iraq War, some people did join in the clashes in various regions and lost their lives.
Future Developments in the Middle East in the Light of the Hadiths
It is clear that the great majority of the portents that our Prophet (saas) tells us will take place in the Middle East, and that the End Times have already come about. There are also many other accounts from our Prophet (saas) concerning this region. Looked at in general, the striking point about these is that chaos, strife, and major events will continue until the appearance of the Mahdi. One of the hadiths in question states as follows:
As the strife calms down in one place in Sham, it will rise up in another. The strife will not end until angels calls out from the sky “The Mahdi is your leader. The Mahdi is your caliph. (Mustafa Resit Filizi, Treatise on the Coming of the Mahdi, p. 63)
It appears from the hadith that there will be terrible chaos in Sham before the coming of the Mahdi, who will appear on Earth together with Prophet ‘Isa (as). As has already been mentioned, the word “Sham” in Arabic means “left,” and has been used since very early times to refer to those countries to the left of the Hijaz region (the region containing the cities of Mecca and Medina). Therefore, this hadith is indicating that the ongoing conflict in the Middle East region will sometimes die down and sometimes flare up again, and that it will only come to a complete end with the appearance of the Mahdi. (Allah knows the truth.)
The events that will be experienced in the Middle East will not consist of chaos, conflict, and war alone. Following his appearance, the Mahdi will unite the great majority of the countries in this region and be a means whereby a very powerful economic and political union is established. The Mahdi will meet with Prophet ‘Isa (as) in this region and they will pray together. The Mahdi will unearth the Ark of the Covenant and the sacred relics. We may say, in the light of hadiths and of accounts by Islamic scholars, that a great many landmark events in the history of the world will take place in this region. (Allah knows the truth.) Some hadiths that refer to the events in question read:
The Coming of Prophet ‘Isa (as)
Allah will send ‘Isa (as) son of Maryam to Earth. He will descend with two angels wearing two beautiful garments in his palms to the white minaret in the east of Sham. (Tirmidhi, Fitan, p. 59)
Later, Prophet ‘Isa (as) will descend to the white minaret in the east of Damascus (Sham). The imam will withdraw, and Prophet ‘Isa (as) will go to the fore and lead the people in prayer.
(Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi, The Conquests of Mecca, 366. Vol. 3, p. 327)
The Appearance of the Mahdi
An army bearing black standards will appear from the east, … when you see them, swear loyalty at once, even if you have to crawl over snow!” he said. “Because that is the Mahdi, the caliph of Allah.” (Ibn Majah; The Book of Strife, 4084)
The Swearing of Allegiance to the Mahdi
The caliphate will then come to the Mahdi, the most auspicious person on Earth, as he sits at home. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir al-Zaman p. 26)
Allegiance will be sworn to him between the Pillar and the Stone… (Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar, p. 42)
The Mahdi will sit between the Pillar and the Stone and will accept oaths of allegiance by stretching out his hand. (Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar, p. 39-40)
The Migration of the Mahdi
He will migrate to Jerusalem. After this emigration Medina will be destroyed and be the home of wild people. (Portents of Doomsday, Barzanji, p. 162)
They will wage war against the army of the Sufyan, but the Sufyan will be victorious. The Hashimite will flee. Shuaib bin Salih will hide and come to Jerusalem, and when the Mahdi reaches Sham he will prepare a house for him in Jerusalem. (Nuaym bin Hammad, Book of Strife, p. 57)
According to Nuaym, reported from Selman b. Isa: “The Mahdi will remain 14 years in Jerusalem… (Yusuf el-Makdisi, Fera Idu Fevaidi’l Fikr Fi’l Imam El-Mahdi El-Muntazar)
The Mahdi Will Unearth the Ark of the Covenant
He will unearth the Ark of the Covenant in the Antioch cave. He will unearth the true Torah from the mountain in Sham, and at this he will debate with the Jews and many Jews will become Muslims. (Treatise on the Coming of the Mahdi, p. 124-125)
The Mahdi will bring forth the Ark of the Covenant from the Lake of Tiberius. (Iqd al-Durar fi Akbar al-Imam al-Muntadhar, by Shaikh Jamaluddin Yusuf al-Damishqi, p. 51-)
The reason why he is known as the Mahdi is that he shows the path of a secret thing. He will unearth the Ark of the Covenant from a place known as Antioch. (Suyuti, al-Hawi li’l Fatawa, II, 82)
The Mahdi Will Create an Islamic Union
That individual’s (the Mahdi’s) third duty will be to join forces with Christian spiritual leaders and serve Islam by building a caliphate of Islam, an Islamic Union. (To unite Islamic society and make an alliance with the Christian world) (Book of Hidden Things, p. 9, Bediuzzaman Said Nursi)
The Appearance of the Mahdi with Sacred Relics
The Mahdi will appear in the evening time with the banner, shirt, sword, signs, light and pleasant speech of our Prophet (saas). (Ali b. Sultan Muhammed el- Kari el-Hanefi, ‘Risaletül Meşreb elverdi fi mezhebül Mahdi’)
He will produce the treasures of Jerusalem, the Ark of the Covenant, the table of the People of Israel and the tablets, the jacket of Prophet Adem (as), the staff of the Prophet Sulayman (as) and the milk-white gloves sent by Allah to the People of Israel.” (Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar, p. 33)
The Mahdi’s spiritual capture of Istanbul
Allah will capture Constantinople (Istanbul) by the hand of His beloved friends … He will lift sickness and sorrow from them. (Portents of Doomsday, p. 181)
Countries will pass under his command. Allah will favor him with the capture of Constantinople. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir al-Zaman, p. 56)
It is reported from Ibni Amr that; Our Prophet (saas) said: O People! There are six things without which doomsday will not come … (the sixth is) the capture of the city.
- Which city? He was asked
Constantinople, he replied.
(*) This is the capture of Constantinople by the Mahdi. (Portents of Doomsday, 204, Ramuz-el Ehadis, 296)
The Appearance of the Dajjal
According to Abu Huraira, the Prophet (saas) said:
… The Dajjal will appear when they come to the land of Sham (Jerusalem). (Muslim, Strife, p. 34)
The Prayer to Be Performed by Prophet ‘Isa (as) and the Mahdi
The call is read for the morning prayer. At that point ‘Isa (as) son of Maryam will descend. The Mahdi will suggest he serve as imam. But he will point to the Mahdi.” (Muslim, Strife, p. 34)
In İmam Ebu Amr Osman b. Said El-Makarri’s “The Sunna:” according to a report by Jabir b. Abdullah, the Prophet (saas) said:
A group from my community will always wage war for the truth. Finally ‘Isa (as) son of Maryam will appear in Jerusalem at dawn. They will say to him: “O Prophet of Allah! Come to the fore and lead us in prayer.” He will reply: “This is such a community that some are appointed over others.”(Al-Uqayli, An-Najmu's-saqib fi Bayan Anna'l Mahdi min Awladi Ali b. Abu Talib Ale't-Tamam ve'l Qamal)
The Prophet ‘Isa (as) Will Destroy the Dajjal
…The Prophet ‘Isa (as) wishes to catch him. He finally catches and destroys him at the Gate of the city of Lut (Palestine).(Ibn Majah, Strife, p. 33)
Ebu Hureyre relates: The Prophet (saas) of Allah said: “… When the enemy of Allah (the Dajjal) sees Prophet ‘Isa (as) he will dissolve like salt dissolves in water. If let to himself he will dissolve until he is destroyed. However, Allah will kill him with his mighty hand, so that he will show them the blood on his spear. (Muslim, Strife, p. 34)
As it is clear from the above hadiths, different sources are in agreement on the same region. In all the hadith sources and the works of Islamic scholars, the common location indicated in the End Times is the Middle East. Jewish and Christian sources also confirm this.
There are a great many regions that can all be considered important from various points of view; however, there is only this particular region emphasized in all these sources. That fact is that the Middle East region, which contains cities so frequently referred to in the hadiths concerning the End Times, is a holy one in which the holy prophets of Allah have lived throughout the course of history. This region has witnessed the birth of the three monotheistic religions and, it is the location of constructed sites sacred to those three religions. It would seem, in the light of the hadiths of our Prophet (saas), that a region which has played such an important role on the stage of history will continue to maintain its importance in the End Times, when such momentous events will take place. One of the duties befalling us, witnesses to the End Times that have already begun, must be to impart these joyous tidings to all Muslims and to all humanity.
The events that will be experienced in the Middle East will not consist of chaos, conflict, and war alone. Following his appearance, the Mahdi will unite the great majority of the countries in this region and be a means whereby a very powerful economic and political union is established. The Mahdi will meet with the Prophet Isa in this region and they will pray together. The Mahdi will unearth the Ark of the Covenant and the sacred relics. We may say, in the light of hadiths and of accounts by Islamic scholars that a great many landmark events in the history of the world will take place in this region. (Allah knows best.)
A NEW AGE IN WORLD HISTORY IS DAWNING
By Allah’s leave, all the peoples of the world will soon witness the dawning of a new age. This age will be the GOLDEN AGE, when Qur’anic moral values prevail over the whole world, and thanks to which all forms of trouble, difficulty, and suffering will be replaced by peace, security, and abundance. Almighty Allah has imparted these glad tidings to His servants in the Qur’an:
Allah has promised those of you who believe and do right actions that He will make them successors in the land as He made those before them successors, and will firmly establish for them their religion with which He is pleased and give them, in place of their fear, security. 'They worship Me, not associating anything with Me.' Any who disbelieve after that, such people are deviators. (Surat al-Nur: 55)
All the troubles currently being experienced in the world are actually the heralds of this new age. All believers must remind one another of these glad tidings with great enthusiasm and excitement.
THE MIDDLE EAST IN BRIEF
The Permanent Commission on Geographical Names in Britain determined the concept of the Middle East to include Turkey, Egypt, the Arabian Peninsula, the Gulf region, Iran, and Iraq. Thus, the region stretching from the Bosphorus to the eastern shores of India, was named the Middle East in the early 20th century. (Roderic H. Davison, “Where Is The Middle East?”, Foreign Affairs, Vol. 38, New York 1959-1960. p. 669-671)
The name Jerusalem was first mentioned in a series of Akkadian documents written in cuneiform and discovered at El Amarna in Egypt. In these six tablets, which date back to around 1500 BC, reference is made to the city state of Ershalem (or Urshalem) in the region of Canaan. One of the Hebrew names for the city in subsequent years would be Yerushalem/Jerusalem. These names point to the same root in Akkadian and Hebrew (as well as in Arabic), which are both Semitic languages: slm, in other words, peace.
Jerusalem is the third holy city in Islamic belief after Mecca and Medina. Its full name is Kudus’us-Sherif (Blessed Kudus).
Jerusalem is a holy city in Islam both because it is a city in which prophets lived and also from the point of view of its being the first direction turned to by Muslims in prayer in the Age of Happiness. As we know, this was changed at Allah’s command (Surat al-Baqara: 144) to the mosque surrounding the Kaaba in Mecca (Masjid al-Haram) after the Hegira.
The following statement appears in the Holy Qur’an in reference to the return to Egypt of the Prophet Musa (as):
When Musa had fulfilled the appointed term and had set off with his family, he noticed a fire from one side of the Mount. He said to his family, ‘Stay here, I can see a fire. Hopefully I will bring you back some news from it or a burning branch from the fire so that you will be able to warm yourselves. But when he reached it a voice called out to him from the right hand side of the valley in the part which was full of blessing, from out of the bush: ‘Musa, I am Allah, the Lord of all the worlds’ (Surat al-Qasas: 29-30)
The holy region containing the Mountain Tur and valley indicated here is in Palestine.
One of the most important and valuable holy relics in Topkapı Palace, in Istanbul, is the banner of our Prophet Muhammad (saas), known as Ukab. This was brought to Istanbul with the conquest of Egypt by the Ottoman Sultan Selim the Stern. We are told in hadiths that it has never been unfurled since the death of our Prophet (saas) but that it will be opened up by the Mahdi in the End Times.
The present-day city of Istanbul took the name Constantinople after the Roman emperor Constantine in 325 AD.
The Ark of the Covenant is a valuable chest revealed in the Qur’an by our Almighty Lord and containing items belonging to Prophet Musa (as) and Prophet Harun (as). According to Islamic scholars, the most important feature of the Ark is that its whereabouts have been unknown since 587 BC, and scholars agree that it will be found by the Mahdi when he appears in the End Times. (Allah knows the truth.)
“Lake Tiberias,” which appears in the hadiths is regarded as a comparative term by Islamic scholars. Tiberias is near Sham, and Sham, in the accounts of those hadiths concerning the End Times, is a far-off place, and also bears the meaning of being far from Mecca and Madina. This comparison also applies to Tiberias. Indeed, based on this, some commentators and researchers have concluded that the Ark may be in Jerusalem, in Mecca, in Tiberias, or in Hatay, and it also points to it being in Istanbul.
The Kaaba is around 13 meters (42.65 ft) high, 12 meters (39.65 ft) wide and 11 meters (36.09 ft) deep. The Kaaba, in the direction of which all Muslims face in prayer, is the first holy place of worship built on Earth. It is also known as the Baituallah (the House of Allah) and the Ancient House. Almighty Allah states in the Qur’an: The first House established for humanity was that at Bakka, a place of blessing and a guidance for all beings. (Surah Al ‘Imran: 96)2008-07-15 23:33:57