Armageddon: Religious Dogma about the End of the World
By Saeed Qureshi
Armageddon is a town situated in the coastal area of the land of Palestine. according to Biblical legends it is here that the final battle between the forces of evil and good or Satan or God would take place and the forces of good would prevail by completely annihilating the forces of evil and Satan. The forces of good would be led by the Jesus Christ while the other side would comprise the unfaithful.
The battle seems to be a physical combat in the pattern of battles that were fought with swords, spears and arrows and other obsolete weapons in the olden times. A horrendous and mother of all bloody battles would ensue, ending the influence and sway of the satanic forces on this earth. Jesus Christ would lead a new generation of faithful believers in god with an unprecedented era of prosperity and bliss spawning a thousand years.
While both Christianity and Islam have convergent faith on the occurrence of the Armageddon towards the end of the human existence on this planet, Jews don’t entertain such ideas because they have stopped believing in the reincarnation or second coming of the Messiah. They crucified the promised Messiah two thousand years ago because instead of delivering them and giving them the promised land of Israel, he turned against them. That is why the Jews don’t believe in the life hereafter or in the resurrection of human beings as the Christians or the Muslims believe. They believe in the continuation of the present life on the earth eventually turning into an ideal and paradise like life.
For Christian, the Armageddon would be the fight against the people who are supposed to be anti-Christ by which they mean both Muslims and Jews, heathens, pagans and all the non-believers in the Jesus Christ as the redeemers and the son of God. But for Muslims there would be another promised precursor of the Jesus Christ who would pave way for the Jesus Christ to make his appearance. Incidentally they would both meet at the mosque of Samarra in Iraq. The precursor called Mehdi would receive the Jesus Christ after he would descend from the heaven.
Both would jointly say prayers and finally the reins of the crusade or the beginning of Armageddon would be handed over to the Jesus Christ who from then onwards would wage the war against the forces of evil and unfaithful. In this long drawn conflict that would last for a very long time Jesus Christ would ultimately triumph after going through untold hardships at the hands of the leader of satanic forces called Dajjal. Dajjal according to Muslim faith would be one eyed giant with exceptional power and maneuverability. Initially, he would prevail, but would finally be routed. Thereafter the golden period would start, at the end of which would be the resurrection day.
It is difficult to understand the logic behind such prophesies and predictions made thousand of years ago. Technologically, especially in the manufacturing of weapons of mass destruction the world had advanced incredibly. A sword in the olden times could kill one person at time but a nuclear weapon of modest size can kill millions. Just imagine the destructive capability that the humans have achieved. And this is not the end of it. There may be more weapons whose destructive power could be much higher than the existing weapons. But the Armageddon speaks of localized battle swords and spears in which there would be decisive victory for the forces fighting on the side of God.
Rather it would be God himself who will directly brace against the forces of the vicious world war lords supported and backed up by Satan. But finally God would prevail and it would be the Jesus Christ who would appear with blowing of trumpets and lot of fan fare. This scenario looks like a kind of festivity that could fit into the situations of the ancient times. The celebrations too have assumed modern and much wider and sophisticated proportions. Blowing of trumpet is reminiscent of the old practices to welcome a king or a victorious army.
The Islamic concept of Armageddon and that of Christianity bears close resemblance except that in Christians’ case it would be the Christian faith that would prevail ultimately, while according to Muslims, Jesus Christ would fight on their side along with another Messiah (Mehdi) who would precede him.
Taking into account the way the first and the second world wars were fought, it could well be imagined that any Armageddon that takes place would not be confined to a small city situated on the banks of the Mediterranean Sea or in Jerusalem. It will happen on the world wide basis and its disastrous fallout should be for the entire world and not for that specific area where this war would be fought. Perhaps those who predicted this war forgot that the world population wouldn’t be confined to Palestine alone of Southern Arab. They would not have the slightest inkling that by the year 2017 alone the world population would soar to more than 7 billion.
But perhaps the prophets like Zechariah couldn’t think beyond the land of Palestine and Mesopotamia that were the centers and hub of activities and birth places of the ancient prophets and divine figures. They thought that God and his forces comprising pious people would, prevail and establish the writ of the creator on the land which had remained abode of Abraham and all other renowned ancient prophets mentioned in the scriptures.
It would therefore, be pertinent to question the happening of a war, all the more a local war at a time when the whole world has become one village and it would be utterly impossible to contain any conflagration of armed conflict to a small town or place with force pitted against each other with most deadly and lethal weapons. The war will not be fought on a ground with obsolete and outdated weapons such as arrows, spears and swords. Armageddon as a matter of fact fuels hatred in the minds of the adherents of mainly two religions, Islam and Christianity which believe in this mother of all wars with their own perspective and beliefs.
The writer is a senior journalist, former editor of Diplomatic Times and a former diplomat. This and other articles by the writer can also be read at his blog www.uprightopinion.com