Are These the Last Days?

08 September, 2016
Q Peace be upon you. I am a newly-converted self-taught Muslim. My question is do or should Muslims look at the revelation of the Bible that was corrupted by Paul, and see ourselves as living in the last days as Christians think and believe? Thank you.

Answer

Salam Dear Brother,

Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.

We have to understand first of all, what we mean by the revelations prior to the Quran, such as the Bible, and the condition of those books that claim to be revelations.

Revealed scriptures contain actual words revealed to the Prophets by God. Of course these were in the language of the prophets and their peoples. Thus the Torah (Arabic- Taurat) was the Book revealed to Moses, and the Gospel (Injil) was the Book revealed to Jesus.

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However, today the word Bible stands for a book of the so-called Old Testament and the New Testament, which contain a number of books attributed to a number of prophets, and other writers called apostles. Christian scholars themselves do not claim that all these books were revealed by God to His prophets.

Though Jesus Christ had received a Book which he called “the Gospel of the Kingdom”, (Mark 1:14; Matthew 9:35, Matthew 4: 23 etc.), there are now four canonical gospels in the Bible, written on hearsay by people who had never been his disciples. And of course there are a number of epistles or letters addressed to various churches or persons mainly by Paul. These also are taken for the Word of God.

What Muslims believe to be the Word of God is the actual revelation which Jesus received from God, which he was preaching; so we cannot consider as the Word of God, what some followers might have written later about Jesus’ mission. But certainly, there are passages in these gospels which contain the ideas from the Word of God.

The Quran is called by God Himself as a Criterion, or a Book which can help us to differentiate between Truth and Falsehood. On that basis we can sift the Truth and Falsehood, from the gospels.

Now about the Last Day, the Islamic position as well as what Jesus said is just this: Only God knows when the Last Day will be.

See Mark 13,32:

“But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.”

See the Quran, Surah 7, verse 187:

{They ask thee about the (final) Hour – when will be its appointed time? Say: “The knowledge thereof is with my Lord (alone): None but He can reveal as to when it will occur. Heavy were its burden through the heavens and the earth. Only, all of a sudden will it come to you.” They ask thee as if thou wert eager in search thereof: Say: “The knowledge thereof is with Allah (alone), but most men know not.”}

But the prophets have been given certain signs of the Last Day; which may help us to guess about it. That is all. We cannot accept the Christian beliefs in this regard.

Al-Bukhari reported that the Prophet (peace be on him) said:

“Be in the world as though you were a stranger or a wayfarer.”

The son of Umar, who narrated this hadith, used to say:

“At evening do not expect [to live till] morning, and at morning do not expect [to live till] evening. Take from your health for your illness and from your life for your death.”

Allah knows best. May Allah guide us aright and protect us!

Salam and please keep in touch.

About Professor Shahul Hameed
Professor Shahul Hameed is an Islamic consultant. He also held the position of the President of the Kerala Islamic Mission, Calicut, India. He is the author of three books on Islam published in the Malayalam language. His books are on comparative religion, the status of women, and science and human values.