Recently, the phenomenon of blood moons has caught the imagination of the religious world. Blood moons have been linked to prophecies made thousands of years ago in sacred scriptures, principally the Bible, which considered this phenomenon to be a harbinger of the reappearance of the Messiah.
The history of religion has left us in no doubt that prophecies are subject to interpretation; they include things from the realm of the unseen as a test for the believers. Moreover, they are worded in such a way as to address people throughout time in a way they can comprehend.
One example of these prophecies are lunar and solar eclipses, which have been cited in many Christian and Islamic scriptures as a sign of the appearance of a great reformer in the latter days:
For example, in the Bible, in Mark 13:22-25, it states, ‘For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time. But in those days, following that distress, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’
Additionally, Matthew 24:29-30 states, ‘Immediately after the distress of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken. Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven.’
Naturally, the words that describe the darkness of the sun and the moon should not be taken literally because this would, of course, lead to the end of life on Earth. They clearly refer to the eclipse of the sun and the moon as being ‘the sign of the Son of Man’ but the day or hour of this sign is unknown to anyone except to God: Matthew 24:36 says, ‘But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father’.
However, after a few centuries, God would reveal to the Seal of the Prophetssa exactly when this sign would be fulfilled.
The Holy Qur’an makes mention of signs of the Hour, one of which is that the moon and sun will eclipse: ‘When the eye is dazzled, and the moon is eclipsed, and the sun and the moon are brought together.’ (75:7-10)
Moreover, chapter 81 of the Holy Qur’an speaks about the signs of the latter days as well and describes them as a time ‘When the sun is wrapped up, and when the stars are obscured’ (81:2-3). So these are signs of the coming of the reformer of the last age as prophesied by the Holy Prophet of Islamsa. The reformer he called by the name the Mahdi (the guided one), and of whom he said:
‘For Our Mahdi there are two Signs which have never appeared before since the creation of the heavens and the earth, namely, the moon will be eclipsed on the first night in Ramadan (i.e. on the first of the nights on which a lunar eclipse can occur) and the sun will be eclipsed on a middle day (i.e. on the middle one of the days on which a solar eclipse can occur), and these Signs have not appeared since God created the heavens and the earth.’
Many religions predicted the emergence of a great reformer in the latter days who would reform matters of religion and bring prosperity and peace to the world. Jews await the Messiah, Christians anticipate the return of Christ to establish the Kingdom of God on earth, Muslims are expecting the Imam Mahdi and the Promised Messiah, while Hindus are waiting for the reappearance of Krishna to achieve glory for the Hindus. Likewise, Zoroastrians await the return of Mesio Darbahme, and so on and so forth.
Extensive study of these prophecies reveals that each one of them is expected to be fulfilled around the same time, in the ‘latter days’. If it were the case that each prophecy referred to a separate individual, we should expect a dozen or so reformers and redeemers to appear at the same time. So, how would all these holy men come together? Would each of them seek to spread his religion so that it should prevail over all others? Such an event would surely divide the people of the world instead of uniting them.
Instead, these prophecies all seem to point to a single person in whom the attributes of all of these promised reformers would be gathered together. A man who would appear and claim that he was indeed the realisation of every prophecy, and that God has sent him to unite mankind under the true and final religion in order to establish His kingdom with peace and love.
Amazingly, although all of the above-mentioned religions have prophesied such a reformer, in fact only one person has actually claimed to be this reformer: Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, who in his advent fulfilled the prophecies of all the great religions. The prophecy of the lunar and solar eclipse too was fulfilled as mentioned in the Holy Qur’an and the Holy Bible, and it occurred in the same days that were mentioned by the Holy Prophet of Islamas.
The lunar eclipse occurred after sunset on the 13th of Ramadan 1311 AH, or the 21st of March 1894 CE, and the solar eclipse occurred on Friday the 28th of Ramadan 1311, i.e. the 6th of April 1894.
Then, in the following year, the solar and lunar eclipses happened in the other hemisphere, with the lunar eclipse having occurred on the 11th of March 1895 and the solar eclipse taking place on the 26th of March the same year.
More about the author:
Reem Shraiky is senior translator of the Arabic Desk of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and Assistant National Secretary of the Department of Outreach of Ahmadiyya Ladies Auxiliary UK.