Beyond the Horizon

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"It is We who have placed you with authority in the earth, and provided you therein with the means for the fulfillment of your life; small are the thanks you give"

— (Holy Qur’an, Al-Araf, Chapter 7:10).

When we look out at the world we must wonder how it is that after so many years of human existence, mankind has not progressed beyond the horizons of ancient men, who foresaw the sorry state in which we find the world today. In fact, we almost daily hear one philosopher, or preacher, or someone announce that we are living in a time that was foreseen by prophets and others who, based upon the ways of thinking, patterns of behavior, and the very nature of the human being, and also in the case of prophets, Divine revelation, were able to predict with astounding accuracy, much of what we see as reality today. Is it a coincidence that much of what was foretold, did in fact happen, and that what is left will happen? Will we understand such transformations as promised in the Holy Scriptures? Who is preparing mankind for the next stage before Judgment, and after completion of the revelations, and beyond the Biblical prophecies?

When we read the Bible and the Qur’an, as they exist today, we can find much that explains to us the movement of God across the face of the earth through generations of men and women. Beginning with the creation of the world, the creation of man, and our procreation, God’s movement has progressed as promised, and it has met with the opposition foretold, from those identified as the enemy of man. It has borne all of the hardships, killing, and marginalizing of good and honest people, associated with change, and those who bring new ideas. If not for God’s command that mankind will achieve mastery, perfection and salvation, perhaps everything except God, who Cherishes us, would have given up on us, and ceased to exist, having been created only to serve God, by serving humanity, since God has no need for service.

The Biblical book, "Revelations," gives us perhaps the most thorough rendition of events leading up to the end of prophecy prior to Muhammad (sa). It includes within its meanings an explanation of the politics, economy, crisis, conflicts and international diplomacy that will usher in, or rather, begin the changes that will transform the world as we know it. According to revelations, this transformation’s result is a 1000-year millennium that will be ruled by the Messiah, and the righteous, who will, as God promised, inherit this earth. The Bible explains this saying, " A revelation by Jesus Christ, which gave him, to show his slaves the things that must shortly take place. And he sent forth his angel, and presented it signs through him, to his servant John, who bore witness to the word God gave, and to the witness Jesus Christ gave, even to all the things that he (Jesus) saw. Happy is he who reads aloud, and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and who observe the things written in it, for the appointed time is near (Revelation 1:1-3). The Book of Revelation comprises 22 Chapters, and ends saying, " Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this scroll, for the appointed time is near. He that is doing unrighteousness, let him do unrighteousness still, and let the filthy one be made filthy still, but let the righteous one do righteousness still, and let the holy one, be made holy still (22:10), and, " Happy are those who wash their robes, that the authority that will go to the trees of life may be theirs, and that they may gain entrance into the city by its gates. Outside are the dogs, and those who practice spiritism (sorcery), and the fornicators, and the murderers, and the adulterers, and everyone liking and carrying on a lie (22:10-15).

In verses 16-20 it says, " I, Jesus, sent my angel to bear witness to you people of these things for the congregations. I (Jesus) am the root, and the offspring of David, and the bright morning star. And the spirit, and the Bride keep saying, "Come!" And let anyone hearing say "Come" and let anyone thirsting "Come," let anyone who wishes, take life’s water free. I am bearing witness, to everyone that hears the words of the prophecy, of this scroll; if anyone makes an addition to these things, God will add to him plagues that are written in this scroll; and if anyone takes anything away from the words of the scroll of this prophecy, God will take away his portion of the trees of life, and out of the holy city, things that are written about in this scroll. "He that bears witness of these things says, "Yes, I am coming quickly!" (22: 16-20). These verses, and the warnings, have been one of the major barriers to the rendering of accurate interpretations of the Bible that suggest, that part of this transformation is the opening of a new Book and message to mankind.

One of the most important things mentioned, or implied in these scriptures, is that the Book of Revelation is perhaps a single isolated scroll, or prophecy put in writing to chronicle the events of the universal transformation. There is nothing here that suggests that had those who compiled the Bible, left Revelations out of the Bible, that it could not have stood alone, as a unique commentary. It foretells a continuous, yet very gradual transformation of our world, that speaks of the establishment of the Church, the tragedies, and the progress of the monotheist movement beyond the geographic regions of the previous prophets, and the Gentiles of those regions.

New scrolls were foretold in the Book of Revelations, and that message did not change the old Books, and neither did they add, or take anything away from the message of old. So the warning made by Jesus, not to add, or take away anything from this Book is not violated by our suggestion, that Revelations did in fact foretell the Quran, and the coming of the prophet Muhammad, and his descendants. Jesus promised, the new scrolls were opened, and they take us beyond the prophecies of the Bible, to the fulfillment of Jesus’ teachings, which will lead us, God willing, to the return of Jesus, and the 1000-year rule of the Messiah.

If we listen carefully to what God, through Jesus, has sent the angel to say to John in the Book of Revelations, we learn what will follow the completion of that period of prophecy, and what lies beyond the horizon of the Book of Revelation for the believers. Perhaps Revelations suggests that rather than the end of the world, as in its destruction, what is expected is that the next stage of the movement will be introduced through a new authority. This authority is identified in four ways in the Book of Revelations, 1. New authority (Book or law) 2. A "city" (prophet), 3. A new tree, (lineage of Abraham), 4. A gate to the city, (righteous blood descendants of the prophets). This is the possible meaning of the scripture of Revelation that says, "Happy are they who wash their robes, (Since the soul conceals a kingdom, it means to purify the soul and personality of ego, supremacies, greed, lusts, and other barriers to truth and transformation, so that the inner kingdom might be ruled by God only, and not "self." Since the robe is also an outer garment, it also means to stop performing acts that are motivated by these vices). "That the authority," (New Book, new law),"That will go to the trees of life, may be theirs," (New prophets, and a new line of authority through Abraham’s seed that will include non-prophets), "And that they may gain entry to the city by its gates," (The prophet Muhammad, and his successor Ali Ibn Abu Talib, and the other righteous descendants).

In Islam, there is a tradition that quotes the prophet Muhammad (sa) which says, that he said to his cousin, and son in law, Ali Ibn Abu Talib, that he, Muhammad is the "city" of knowledge, and that he "Ali" is the "gate" to that knowledge. The prophet Muhammad (sa), is also reported to have said, that after him, no one would know the truth about God and salvation, etc., except they come through Imam Ali. There are numerous statements, which attests to the fact that even the Caliphs, following the transcending of the prophet Muhammad (sa) from this life, referred to Ali in matters of religion, and would not make decisions without conferring with Ali first. Following the transcending of Imam Ali, his descendants took this role as the gates to divine knowledge.

Throughout the Qur’an there is reference to the "tree" mentioned here in Revelations, and also in the ahadith, and especially those hadith deemed authoritative by the Shia. They refer often to the "tree" as a source of Divine knowledge and blessings for all of mankind.

The Biblical Book of Revelations invites us to accept this new tree as our own, so that we might gain the knowledge and wisdom that would be offered in the new Book, or scroll, that would be revealed to, and also taught and protected by this new "tree" from where the Divine knowledge (city) would be presented. The Qur’an says, " Muhammad is a messenger of God, and those who are with him are strong against unbelievers, and compassionate with one another. Thou will see them bow, and prostrate themselves in prayer, seeking Grace from God and His good pleasure. On their faces are the marks of their prostration. This is their similitude in the Torah, and their similitude in the Gospel is like a seed which sends forth its blade, then makes it strong, it then becomes thick, and stands in its own stem, filling the sowers with wonder and delight. (A tree?) As a result it fills the unbelievers with rage at them. God has promised those who believe and do righteous deeds forgiveness and a great reward (Holy Qur’an, Al-Fath, Chapter 48, verse, 29).

About this stage in the monotheist movement the Qur’an says, " Oh people of the Book, there has come to you our messenger, revealing to you much that you used to hide in the Book, and passing over much that is now unnecessary. There hath come to you from God, a light and a perspicuous Book, wherewith God guides all who seek His good pleasure to ways of peace, and safety, and leads them out of darkness, by His (God’s) will, unto the light, guiding them to a path that is straight" (Al Maidah, Chapter 5, verses 15-16).

The ideological battle, as the modern day Crusaders, and so-called "jihadists" have cast it, or rather "the war on terror" and the war against the "infidels" that is actually also a war against Muslims, is not a war between believing people. It is a war between rejectionists from among those who are pretending to be Muslims, and Christians, instigated mostly by those who call themselves Zionists. The father of Zionism, Theodore Hertzl said as much in his pamphlet, "The Jewish State" when he said that in return for the protection, and financial backing of the great powers, Britain and the US, and England’s granting of the Mandate for the establishment of the Jewish State in Palestine, Israel would succeed where the Crusaders had failed, in the destruction of Islam. The Zionist obsession with Iraq, Iran and Lebanon might be an indication that they understand the Book of Revelation, and where the promised "tree" has taken firm root, in the hearts of the Shia, and others who believe in the Ahl Ul Bayt, and the Imamate. It might also explain why only the predominately Shia areas have been targeted for Zionist instigated conflicts between the US, England, and Muslims. At any rate, they will fail, " Those before them did also devise plots, but in all things the master planning is God’s. He (God) knows the doings of every soul; and soon will the unbelievers see who will get home in the end (13:42). In the meantime, we are firmly focused, upon the continued growth and progress of the monotheist movement, and its promise of success as proclaimed by God through Christ Jesus in the Book of Revelations, and in the Quran, to prophet Muhammad (sa). The Qur’an says: "We did send messengers before thee (Muhammad) and appointed for them wives and children, and it was never the part of a messenger to bring a sign except as God permitted. For each period is a Book revealed (13:38).

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The writer is the Founder and President of the National Association of Muslim American Women. The author is also head of the International Assoc. for Muslim Women and Children, an accredited NGO with the UN Division on the Rights of the Palestinians. She is a regular contributor to Media Monitors Network (MMN).

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