The Ahmadi Religion of Peace & Light

The Day of Religion

When you hear the word “apocalypse” the first thing that comes to mind is Hollywood films that portray a global catastrophic event that brings the human race to the brink of extinction. However, when we take the time to question everything we know and examine the words we frequently hear and use, we discover that the things we think we know about are still a mystery. Such a concept is the word “apocalypse”. Coming from the Greek word “ἀποκάλυψις” or “apokálypsis” it doesn’t mean “End Times” or “doomsday,” but rather it means “revelation” or “disclosure.”

JOHN OF PATMOS

The prophet of God, John of Patmos was a man after Jesus whom God inspired with great prophetic visions. He wrote his dreams and revelations down, which later got incorporated into the Bible that we know today as “The Book of Revelation.” The Greek title of the Book is called “Αποκάλυψη του Ιωάννη” Which in English would translate to “Apocalypse of John.”

KALI YUGA

It is a common misconception that the apocalypse must bring death, mayhem, and destruction. For example, the period of the End Times in the Hindu faith is called “Kali Yuga” which means “the age of strife” or “The age of discord.” However, it is not necessarily futuristic as many believe that Kali Yuga is our present day and age that has existed since the death of Krishna thousands of years ago. Kali Yuga is known as the age of sin, corruption and darkness, but according to the prophecies, the end of the Kali Yuga will bring about a golden era for humanity that will exist for thousands of years to come. For darkness to end, light must appear.

We can see by the definition of the word that “apocalypse” is not destructive. Although the visions revealed to John of Patmos are chaotic and destructive, we can see that the meaning behind the term is uncovering or revealing something.  At the start of the Book of Revelation, the vision which John sees is thought to be Jesus Christ coming to him to inform him:

“When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.”

– Holy Bible: Revelation 1:17-18

SECOND CHAPTER

In the second Chapter, Jesus reveals that the one claiming to be an apostle of Jesus was a liar. And at the same time gives the seven churches mentioned in the text advice and warnings.

It isn’t until the 6th chapter that we find the four horsemen, each that rides accompanied by plagues, wars, and famine. But all this is because of the sins of the people that they had committed against the saints:

They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?”

– Holy Bible: Revelation 6:10

The destruction and mayhem which takes place afterwards are justified because of their evil deeds. We read:

The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk. Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.

– Holy Bible: Revelation 9:20-21

THE DIVINE JUST STATE

According to the scripture, after the Angel of the lord blows the 7th trumpet, the Kingdom of God is finally established on Earth – a Divine Just State:

The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said:

“The kingdom of the world has become
    the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah,
    and he will reign for ever and ever.”

– Holy Bible: Revelation 11:15

And the 24 elders have confirmed that it is not God who destroys the Earth, but rather God brings down this great punishment to those who have destroyed the earth.

And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying:

“We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty,
    the One who is and who was,
because you have taken your great power
    and have begun to reign.
The nations were angry,
    and your wrath has come.
The time has come for judging the dead,
    and for rewarding your servants the prophets
and your people who revere your name,
    both great and small—
and for destroying those who destroy the earth.”

– Holy Bible: Revelation 11:16-18

In Islam the “End Times” also refers to the era in which the Saviour of Mankind, the Mahdi would appear and bring about a Golden Age:

The Prophet (pbuhahf) said: “If only one day of this world remained. Allah would lengthen that day, till He raised up in it a man who belongs to me or to my family…who will fill the earth with equity and justice as it has been filled with oppression and tyranny.”

– Sunan Abi Dawud, Abu Dawud as-Sijistani, Kitab Al-Mahdi, hadith 4282

Imam Al-Baqir (pbuh) said about the verse: “{Know that Allah revives the earth after its death}. God will revive the earth after its death through the Qa’im.”

– Tafsir Nour Al-Thaqalayn, Abd Ali Al-Huwayzi, v.5, p.242, hadith 67

– Bihar Al-Anwar, Muhammad Baqir Al-Majlisi, v.51, p.54, hadith 37

Imam Ja’far Al-Sadiq (pbuh) said about the verse: “{Know that Allah revives the earth after its death}. He said: Equity after oppression.”

– Tafsir Nour Al-Thaqalayn, Abd Ali Al-Huwayzi, v.5, p.243, hadith 69

Imam Al-Rida (pbuh) said: “God will purify the earth from all oppression by him (meaning the Mahdi), and consecrate it from all injustice…no one will oppress anyone anymore.”

– Bihar Al-Anwar, Muhammad Baqir Al-Majlisi, v.52, p.31, hadith 29 

– Kamal Al-Din wa Tamam Al-Ne’ma, Muhammad ibn Ali Babawayh ‘Al-Sadooq’, v.1, p.399-400, hadith 5

MAITREYA

In Buddhism, the idea of one era ending in place of a new enlightened one exists. Buddha said, concerning the saviour of the world, Maitreya:

“At that period, brethren, there will arise in the world an Exalted One named Maitreya, Fully Awakened, abounding in wisdom and goodness, happy, with knowledge of the worlds, unsurpassed as a guide to mortals willing to be led, a teacher for gods and men, an Exalted One, a Buddha, even as I am now. He, by himself, will thoroughly know and see, as it were face to face, this universe, with Its worlds of the spirits, Its Brahmas and Its Maras, and Its world of recluses and Brahmins, of princes and peoples, even as I now, by myself, thoroughly know and see them”

— Digha Nikaya, 26

According to Buddhist scriptures and traditions, Maitreya comes during an era of darkness where the true Dharma or duty is no longer practised. He comes to bring and restore righteousness to the entire world and usher in a new era.

CONCLUSION

We can see now that the “End Times” that people speak of isn’t the end of the world but rather it’s the end of an era and the start of a new beautiful age which provides goodness, justice and equity.

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