Misconceptions can arise on any subject, sometimes due to corrupt, colluded arguments, sometimes to misguidance, or misinformation, individually or all added together. However, there are barely any misconceptions more significant than the ones relating to the second coming of the Messiah. Many minute details regarding the awaited Messiah are misconstrued; however, the major ones relate to the personage, time, and location of the Messiah’s arrival. Most of the followers of major religions of the world are waiting for the second coming of their religious founder: Christians for Jesus (as), Muslims and Jews for the Messiah, and Hindus for the avatar of Krishna.
Two of the major religious populations of the world, the Christians, and (most though not all sects of) the Muslims are waiting for the same Messiah that descended to earth more than two thousand years ago. In a Hadith, the Holy Prophet (sa) said:
“By the One who owns my soul, it is nigh, of a certainty, that the son of Mary will appear among you. He will be a judge, he will be just; he will break the cross [refute Christian doctrines with reason and arguments]and kill the swine [figurative speech denoting greedy, dirty, and annoying person(s) – an abomination. The killing also is through spiritual means]. He will stop the wars” (1).
From the above-quoted Hadith, the words “son of Mary” refer to the Second Coming of the Messiah. People often assume that the same physical form of the Messiah will descend from the Heavens again. First, we must remind ourselves that many languages comprise proverbs and parables. For example, when someone says it is raining “cats and dogs outside,” it does not mean that cats and dogs are falling from the clouds; it means heavy rain. Our misconstrued thinking is often related to our limited understanding of God. If we believe in a limitless God, what is causing Him to bring the same Jesus (as) from the Heavens literally? Often it is forgotten that God is also a Just God, and He works precisely with a set of rules that He does not break for anyone.
No prophet or Messiah has ever descended literally from the Heavens; similarly, no Messiah is going to descend from the Heavens in a physical form, as this would be against the rules set by God.
The appearance of the Messiah raises several questions. There are accounts of the birth of Jesus, of his becoming an adult, and eventually guiding people to God as an adult. Jesus did not descend from the Heavens in an adult form. He was brought to this world through a virgin birth, a rare event but a scientifically-proven possibility. Why did the Messiah have to go through such stages if he intended to descend from Heaven and then ascend there? Since he went through the human aging process, will he descend from Heaven at the same age? He went up as a young man, will he be really old when he descends? Is the Christian version of Jesus being “part of God” true? If not, why is there a need to bring down the same Jesus as the Messiah? If the same Jesus was coming down and was first literally taken up to the Heavens (not physically dead, as were other prophets), then why are we limiting God to keep the same Messiah in the Heavens and bring him back, and not someone else to take the role as the second Messiah? If Jesus is God, or “part of God,” why did God need to come down to the same level as humans, which are part of God’s creation, to deliver a message? Why could God not create another human messenger? One cannot ignore the contradictions in the beliefs and ideas relating to the Messiah and God.
Now when will the Messiah come? The Messiah is expected to arrive in the “Latter Days.” Indeed, the Messiah has already appeared in the form of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian (as). He fulfills the prophecy of the Heavenly Sign:
“For our Mahdi, there shall be two signs which have never happened for anyone else since the creation of the heavens and the earth; At his advent, there shall occur an eclipse of the moon in the first of its appointed nights and an eclipse of the sun on the middle one of its appointed dates, and both will occur in the month of Ramadan” (2).
God manifested this heavenly Sign in the year 1311 Hijri (1894 C.E.) when the lunar and solar eclipses occurred over Qadian on the specified dates of Ramadan in fulfillment of the grand prophecy of the Holy Prophet (sa). The lunar eclipse occurred after sunset on the 13th of Ramadan (March 21, 1894), and the solar eclipse occurred on Friday, the 28th of Ramadan (April 6, 1894). These eclipses were repeated the next year (1895) for the Western hemisphere. Now more signs pointing to the coming of the later days are becoming apparent, yet no Messiah has descended, and no such eclipses have taken place since 1895 in the presence of a claimant to support his claim. Also, no literal killings of the swine or the breaking of the cross have occurred, as mentioned earlier in a Hadith.
A question arises, what does the breaking of crosses mean? Will it be a literal breaking of the cross? Will the Messiah go around the world and break each cross? In reality, “breaking of the cross” means the Messiah will raise awareness of false notions and beliefs. It could also mean that people will leave Christianity. The killing of the swine also cannot be taken literally. The swine is a scavenger with many despicable habits. Will the Messiah physically kill the swine? What will the killing of the swine do to those who consume swine? In reality, this could mean that people will stop consuming filth, literally and figuratively, and start detoxing their lives with truth and adopt a healthy, pure way of living.
The next important question is, at what location will the Messiah descend? Firstly, the Holy Qur’an says:
“There are no people to whom a Warner has not been sent” (3), and “And for every people, there is a Messenger” (4).
This means that all the people in the world will receive the blessings of God by being recipients of the Message. The Messiah can also appear from any country and be of any ethnicity. The Holy Prophet (sa) said:
“The Mahdi will appear in a village, the name of which will be called Kad’ahmullah” (5). The sound of ‘Kad’ha’ is very similar to “Qadian.” It is worth noting that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiah (as) was born in a village called “Qadian” on February 13, 1835.
This brings us to the last point: who is promoting the false ideas, and what benefit will they get? Are these the same people who did not want idol worship to be stopped by Abraham (as) because the economy at that time thrived by trading idols? The same thing happened at the time of Jesus (as); the clergy feared losing their importance. This also happened with the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa), who was against worshipping any god other than Allah. One can imagine how many people could have been involved in idol worship: the craftsman, the trader, the promoter, the marketer, the buyer, the seller, etc. The key player is the marketeer who promotes the very idea of idols. In essence, the same is true today; another Hadith reminds us:
“There will come a time upon the people when nothing remains of Islam except its name only, and nothing will remain of the Qur’an except its inscription. Their mosques will be splendidly furnished but destitute of guidance. Their scholars will be the worst people under the Heavens, and strife will issue from and avert to them” (6).
What does this mean? Does this mean our actions are the key to our spiritual strength, which comes from our own efforts to become genuinely well-informed? We need to research and seek the help of the One and only true living God; otherwise, we will remain at the mercy of people who are only there to misguide and misconstrue the facts for their business fancy. The vicious cycle of misconception exists due to not viewing religion through the lens of rationality and, instead, imparting a literal meaning to everything. Every statement in the Holy Qur’an and Ahadith can be understood through careful reflection, as God says:
“And He has subjected to you whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth: all this is from Him. In that surely are Signs for a people who reflect” (7).
By reflecting mindfully, we can implement the eternal code of conduct for our lives. That is why Almighty God sent the Promised Messiah (as), the long-awaited Messiah of the Latter Days, as a guide for humanity to the path that leads to One God and to Unity.
- Bukhari Kitab Ahadith al-Anbiya Bab Nuzul Isa
- Sunan al-Dar Qutni Kitab al-‘Idain Bab Sifa Salat al-Khusuf wal-Kusuf
- The Holy Qur’an (35:25)
- The Holy Qur’an (10:48)
- awahirul Asrar, p.55
- Mishkatul Masabih, Kitabul Ilm
- The Holy Qur’an (45:14)
Last modified: January 2023