Allen S. Maller

The Islam of those with open minds and hearts

Since I retired in 2006, I have written and published some two dozen articles about Jewish-Muslim connections on more than 20 Islamic web sites and magazines. The article below was published just yesterday on a web site called OnIslam. Some Jews think that all Muslims support, to a greater or lesser degree, the disgusting activities of Jew-hating Muslim extremists. This is not true. As usual, the media focuses almost all its attention, on the worst news possible, and largely ignores acts of moderation, open mindedness and love.

Dabiq is the name of ISIL’s new recruiting magazine because the village is the place where the Muslim and Christian armies will “in the end of days,” face each other; and the Crusaders will be destroyed.

Dabiq is a small town in northern Syria, close to the border with Turkey, with only a few thousand inhabitants.

Like Judaism and Christianity, Islam has a powerful eschatological strain. It anticipates the end of the world as we know it; a final historical confrontation between good and evil; after which human life will be transformed.

As the Qur’an states: ”Verily! Those who believe and those who are Jews, Christians, and Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, and do righteous good deeds, shall have their reward with their Lord, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.” (2:62 and 5:69) Notice that the Qur’an specifically stresses religious pluralism in God’s judgment; something that ISIL constantly violates.

According to one Hadith, the place where this apocalypse will happen is Dabiq. This is a parallel to the Jewish/Christian location of Armageddon-Har Megiddo in the southern part of Israel’s Galilee.

Of course, ISIL is selective in its use of Hadith. For instance, another Hadith states that Jesus will return to a place east of Damascus and will join forces with the Islamic messiah, the Mahdi, in a battle against the false messiah, the one-eyed Dajjal, Armilos in Jewish tradition.

After the death of both the Dajjal and the Mahdi, the Muslim Jesus will rule the Earth. This Hadith is less useful to ISIL, though its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, looks to some observers to be trying to style himself as the Mahdi. Most important, the Hadith say that these events will come to pass when Islam itself is threatened by its own corrupt fanatics.

As ibn Babuya writes in Thawab ul-A’mal, “The Apostle of God said: `There will come a time for my people when there will remain nothing of the Qur’an except its outward form, and nothing of Islam except its name, and they will call themselves by this name even though they are the people furthest from it.”

“The mosques will be full of people but they will be empty of right guidance. The religious leaders (Fuqaha) of that day will be the most evil religious leaders under the heavens; sedition and dissension will go out from them and to them will it return.”

Secularists believe that these apocalyptic visions of the future are absurd, although many secularists themselves fervently believe that the genetic modification of food or extreme climate change is going to doom all of human civilization in the next generation.

The basic difference between the pessimistic, humanist secularists and the religious optimists is that those who believe in the God of Abraham also believe that God’s inspiration guarantees that the spiritual forces of good will overcome all the world’s evils at the end of days and justice, peace and religious pluralism will prevail.

Or as Prophet Micah envisions it in the Holy Bible (Micah 4:1-5):

In the end of days, the mountain of the Lord’s Temple will be established as the highest mountain; it will be exalted above the hills, and peoples will stream to it.

Many [not all] nations will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the Temple of the God of Jacob. Who will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths. Torah will go out from Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

God will judge between many [not all] peoples and will settle disputes among powerful nations far and wide. They will beat their swords into ploughs, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war any more.

Everyone will sit under their own vine and under their own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the Lord Almighty has spoken.

All the nations will walk in the name of their gods, and we (Jews) will walk in the name of the Lord our God forever and ever.

Thus, the Bible and the Qur’an’s final judgement is the self-destruction of violent, hate filled terrorism and narrow ‘my way or death’ philosophy, and the victory of kindness, love and religious pluralism.

Please note: This is article is an opinion piece and doesn’t necessarily match the opinions of Some words and terms have been modified to rhyme with the website’s editorial policy.

Rabbi Allen S. Maller’s web site is: He is an ordained Reform Rabbi (HUC_JIR 1964) who retired in 2006 after 39 years as the Rabbi of Temple Akiba in Culver City, California.

About the Author
Rabbi Allen S. Maller has published over 850 articles on Jewish values in over a dozen Christian, Jewish, and Muslim magazines and web sites. Rabbi Maller is the author of "Tikunay Nefashot," a spiritually meaningful High Holy Day Machzor, two books of children's short stories, and a popular account of Jewish Mysticism entitled, "God, Sex and Kabbalah." His most recent books are "Judaism and Islam as Synergistic Monotheisms' and "Which Religion Is Right For You?: A 21st Century Kuzari" both available on Amazon.
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