The Environment

Islam and the Global Quest for Sustainable Development

A Second Coming Time and time again, Christians and non-Ahmadi Muslims have predicted that the Second Coming of Jesus(as) was imminent. But with the passage of time, their anticipations have proved false. Just as amongst the Jews it has begun to be acceptable in some circles to dismiss talk of the second coming of a prophet as a mere concept, there are some Christians who have begun to feel the same. As for the non-Ahmadi Muslims, they once believed that this Messiah would go about the land breaking the Cross and kill the pigs. Instead of trying to interpret these prophecies in the metaphors in which they are expressed, they too have begun to doubt the authenticity of the prophecies about the great world reformer promised to them. However previously they never disputed these prophecies. For thousands of years the Jews have been yearning for the advent of the Christ but they do not realise that he has come and gone but not in the way they had expected. They were awaiting a warrior king who would lead the Israelite armies against the despotic rule of the Ro m a n Empire. Their belief about the bodily descent of Elijah before the advent of the Messiah stood as a great hindrance in their ready acceptance of Jesus as the Messiah. Jesus(as), himself hinted that John had the attributes of Elijah. However, Jesus(as) was no super human being but a mortal and he died a natural death. What was meant by his second coming was that someone having his attributes would be born. God, the Creator, does not need to recycle human beings. Can you imagine a son of God giving up his heavenly throne and descending from heaven after two millenn- iums? It is an idea that can only keep a blind faith alive. Yet the Christians see no irrationality in this dogma. Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(as), the Holy Founder of the 4 Review of Religions – August 2002 Notes and Comment Ahmadiyya Muslim community claimed that he had been commissioned by God Almighty as the World Reformer and the Messiah promised to the people. He explained that the descent of Jesus(as) was not to be in his physical person but that a Messiah was to come in his image and spirit. Hadhrat Ahmad( a s ) claimed that he was that person. If he was false in his claims, why did God assist him in his plans, help him defeat his opponents and grant him success after success for twenty long years? Concerning the widely believed notion that Jesus(as) in his second advent will descend physically in his person on the wings of angels Hadhrat Ahmad(as) predicted in 1903 that: ‘Remember very well that no one shall ever come down from heaven. All our opponents who live today shall die and none from them shall ever see Jesus son of Mary coming down from heaven. Then their children that are left after them shall also die and none from among them shall ever see Jesus son of Mary coming down from heaven. And then their third generation shall also die and they too shall not see the son of Mary coming down. Then God shall cause great consternation in their minds and they shall then say that the period of the dominance of the Cross has also passed away and the way of life has changed completely, yet the son of Mary has not come down. Then in dismay the wise among them shall forsake their belief and three centuries from now shall not have passed when those who await the coming of Jesus son of Mary, whether they be Muslims or Christians, shall relinquish altogether this concept. Then shall prevail only one religion over the whole world and then there shall be only one religious Leader. I came only to sow the seed planted by my hand. It shall now grow and flourish and there is none that can hinder it. (Roohani Khazain, Vo l . 2 0 : Tadhkiratush Shahadatin p.67) The wise can see the writing on the wall even now and will not have to wait for another two centuries. 5 Notes and Comment Review of Religions – August 2002