'Gog and Magog' lend new meaning to 'opiate of the peoples' – Waiting for Allah is anything but Islamic!
Zahir Ebrahim | Project Humanbeingsfirst.org
California, Thursday, January 24, 2019 | Updated Sunday, March 17, 2019
The Muslims, most of us drowning in a surfeit of faith from ear to ear, are simply “waiting for Allah” thinking it is the “Last Days of Gog and Magog” that no mere mortals may withstand. So why bother? For, it is argued before them, an “indestructible power” the almighty creator hath himself calculatingly fashioned to fulfill his own (murderous) prophesies in order to finally rain divine justice upon the Earth – right after he hath rained phosphorous bombs upon children, women, men, the elderly, and destroyed their innocent civilizations at the very hands of his own “indestructible” hectoring hegemons to bring all that planned divine justice to fruition!
What an idiotic and cruel god whose imagination only extends from genesis to genocide in order to fashion creation. And while that is merely immanent, far more grotesque is the idiotic imbecilic mass of followers who malign their own Almighty Creator whom they daily aver to believe in, Who repeatedly describes Itself in the very Book they hold most sacred as “the Beneficent, the Merciful”! How can both be true simultaneously – create evil to accomplish his agenda while proclaiming to be merciful – unless it is a Zeus like fickle-minded god who enjoys games of cruel self-indulgence at the expense of his creation?
Can learned people not think with some rational logic, even when they be spiritually inclined, that any earthly devil couldn't wish for a better neutralization of any impediment emanating from the masses for its own “imperial mobilization” agendas? Give people their opiate in their right hand, while enslaving them with the left! Give them what they believe is divinely ordained – the majority will remain occupied in their pious and pecuniary pursuits believing it is all the 'will' of their god(s)! And more apropos to modernity, inculcate a trust in so called “experts” so that one may be convinced to suspend one's own commonsense and rational judgment. Witness the events of 911 where the catastrophic mode of failure of the tall buildings preclude all and sundry from even thinking that it could have been an “inside job”! Why? because the “experts” say 19 jihadis did it!
Woe be to them all who manufacture pretexts and justifications to not side with the truth, who lead people astray to make it appear that the helpless screaming victims is god's own work as destined, which none may alter; woe be to them all who remain busy in pious interlocution in their mosques, churches, temples while cataclysmic 'Shock and Awe' is continually visited upon innocent civilian populations. There is none on planet earth who can claim they haven't witnessed the preying of the vultures and vampires for which, surely, the Creator too must curse its own creation for their apathy despite plentiful guidance to every peoples!
What will thee, Oh people of the cloth, take to thine grave – a barrel full of gold and a ledger full of piety while God's creation was burned and starved at the hands of the hectoring hegemons right before thy twirling rosaries? Many an atheist show far greater moral acumen and disquiet in their actions when they rush to the aid of suffering humanity – for indeed, a moral compass appears to be built into us human beings, we who can reason, and we who can reflect, all killed by the eschatological gibberish fashioned by priests shilling for the enemies of mankind! While the misanthropes remain busy building corrupting institutions and instruments of co-option to create 'one-world' government, the sheeples are kept busy chasing absurdities.
We begin with surely the most diabolical idea ever invented for inducing voluntary servitude in mankind in the realm of religion: Waiting for Allah; and it is for the common man to help Allah shorten that Waiting – Eschatology, the Last Days, and what is metaphorically labeled 'Gog and Magog' in the Christian tradition, and 'Hajuj and Mahjuj' in the Holy Qur'an. For the latter, we go to the contemporary domain expert in Islamic Eschatology, Sheikh Imran N. Hosein, whose interpretation of 'Gog and Magog', imaginative and intriguing though it may be, lends new meaning to 'opiate of the peoples'.
By the yardstick of rational faculty of which the human mind is amply endowed and enjoined to be used by the Holy Qur'an, Imran Hosein's Eschatological viewpoint whose broad contours are quite prevalent among pious Muslims, reduces the religion of Islam to an absurdity. Of course, this assessment is only from the mind of a humble student, a common man, and not a scholar. One of course hastens to thank one's Creator that the tools of rational logic are also made available to the common man, albeit in different measures, and not given in monopoly to anyone.
Can a fallible creation, us, human beings, construct, or orchestrate, something that is divine in its purpose? Something useful: maybe. Something destructive: always. Evil: surely. But divine?
Perhaps that ought to be capitalized as Divine, as it is speaking of the idea of man being the instrument of God. But I'll continue to use the lower case form because the notion can hardly be imputed to God. It is man made and traces to all the mythical gods of antiquity who played their divine games at the expense of man, from Ram and Vishnu et. al. in the ancient Indian civilization which still informs the cultural and religious ethos of modern India, to Zeus and Apollo on Mount Olympus in the Hellenic civilization of the ancient Greeks and Romans whose legacy of intellectual thought informs the West.
Simple logic reveals the absurdity of this notion which is why I persist in the lower case usage of divinity to reflect my analysis of its human origins. If a divine needs evil mortals to do its dirty work to fulfill its divine plan, then the creation must possesses powers greater than its creator! The creator can't do its own dirty work and relies on us to do it – then on what basis of justice would it hold the creation accountable for fulfilling its own divine plan? Never mind that why should we worship it if we have greater powers. And therein lies a logical conundrum as old as mankind for all the divinely-learned on the planet who have had people do god's evil work in the name of their gods. Today these divinely-learned pulpits continue their absurdity by announcing the final unleashing of 'Gog and Magog' and the 'Last Days' based on how humanity has progressed into abject corruption and slavery to money and power in this Technetronic age, that in fact, it is all god's work. See “Last Days of Gog and Magog” ( http://imranhosein.org/media/books/ivgmmw.pdf ).
Yes, I too think it is gods', and not God's.
When the dogmatic, more interested in the immanent metaphors of eschatology than the more mundane matters of the here and the now – such as the empirical, to be dealt with today, with perhaps the straightforward Commandments like that expressed in Surah Al-Asr (Chapter 103 in the Holy Qur'an), or the straightforward Biblical Golden Rule expressed in the New and Old Testaments (Do unto others as you have them do unto you, The Holy Bible: Matthew 7:12, Luke 6:31; Old Testament Mosaic Law;) – preach to their faithful choir that the corruption on earth is in fulfillment of some divine prophesy so that god can finally bring justice to a suffering humanity at the End of Time, then they are effectively arguing that the corrupters are really doing the divine's work! And the public should not interfere with it, that if anything, as some religious fanatics among all three Abrahamic religions proclaim, they should be aided and abetted to hasten that outcome. How convenient for the hectoring hegemons that they are now doing “divine work” with the pulpits' blessings from two of the largest religions of man!
Furthermore, imagine being sold on the idea that all those wonderful Platitudes and Commandments in all those treasured Holy Books which none could enforce because the hectoring hegemons throughout the ages usurped peoples' rights and enslaved them, could in fact only be implemented by some awaited savior to be sent down by god. For indeed, it is but a truism, as Aldous Huxley had put it, that “nothing is easier than to formulate high ideals, but few things are more difficult than to discover the means for by those ideals might be implemented, and the categorical imperatives which spring from them can be a pain. This is the real problem”. Thus imagine this problem of impracticality being solved eschatologically, in a self-perpetuating, self-fulfilling prophecy:
(1) don't even bother resisting evil because you will fail, since it's all happening by divine decree ;
(2) thus don't challenge your rulers and their oppressions even while you recognize them as oppressors, they rule as god's vicegerent on earth ;
(3) it's all written in the Good Book (“Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those charged with authority among you” – Qur'an Surah An-Nisa, Chapter 4, verse 59) , can't you read you heathens, that Muslim tyrants are a mercy from god as they hasten mankind towards the 'Last Days' when justice will finally reign supreme, and so we must not resist ; not to ignore the pious Christians' Holy Book (“I am free to submit to authority. I am free to make myself a slave. My friends, you are free, you are free to respect and appreciate the authority of the government that god gives to you - Honor the King! The way you talk about your government, it's so easy to complain isn't it? It is so easy to criticize, it is so easy to find fault. Honor the King. Do it anyway, whether the king deserves it or not. All authority, all authority is an extension of god's authority!” – from the bizarre Biblical sermon [Romans 13] outlining the New American Theology of Civil Submission, April 14, 2008) ;
(4) for the 'Last Days' prophesy to be fulfilled, the whole world must become filled with injustice and oppression, and only then will the Mahdi, and/or the Messiah, shall be made to return by the Will of God to fashion a new righteous world army which will fight tyranny to end all injustice on earth once and for all ;
(5) until then, since any battle with tyrants is futile, just work on saving your imaan (beliefs) ; focus on personal piety ; go back to the basics to being 'good Muslims' ; spiritually prepare to be eligible to join the Army of the Mahdi/Messiah in the unknown tomorrow whose numbers will be limited and only those of the highest spiritual merit will be accepted ; for today be content with purifying your hearts and controlling your carnal desires as you continue to “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s” (New Testament, Matthew 22:21) ; etceteras.
(6) It would be a travesty to neglect to mention the most remarkable gibberish among that set, what the newest preacher to burst onto the internet-scene preaches in polished English vernacular : disengage from this world entirely like the 'people of the cave' of Surah Al Kahf until the promised salvation of the 'Last Days' arrives.
I have heard this convoluted logic in several variations since 911 when the mosques in the United States suddenly became full of the pious trying to be 'good Muslims' who 'United We Stand' with empire as heathens like me took to the streets protesting the impending destruction of innocent civilians in Iraq. (See Chapter 8 of Prisoners of the Cave, my 2003 book)
The logic method known as Reductio ad absurdum (Latin, literally: reduction to the absurd; a method of disproving a proposition by showing that its inevitable consequences would be absurd, or lead to self-contradiction; conversely, also a method of indirectly proving a proposition by assuming its negation to be true and showing that this leads to an absurdity), applied rigorously to the above observations demonstrates all these to be based on the absurd premise of “God's Will” for some “Divine Plan” which requires tyranny to become ubiquitous before God Shall intervene to end it.
Let's dissect this premise and see what happens if it is presumed to be true:
(1) If God needs evil men and women to implement its divine plan, then creation becomes more enabled than the creator and the creator depends on its own creation, and thus the key abstract philosophical attribute of God being Self-sustaining; Self-sufficient; Self-consistent; Free from contradiction; Free from defects; Not dependent on anyone or anything; Omnipotent, “kun fa-ya-kun” (Be, and it is); etc., is thrown out the window ; the question is akin to the logical fallacy “can God create a stone which he cannot lift”, meaning, if God can do anything, if God is defined as Omnipotent, then can God limit himself to become dependent on its own creation to do its bidding, similarly, can God put the unjust in heaven and the just ones in hell contrary to his own prime directive on supreme justice and his own attribute of being the Most Just, etceteras., all these creating irreconcilable contradictions among the attributes themselves thus making for a defective God who is not free from contradictions --- So, either the God premise is false, the attributes ascribed to God are false, or the premise being tested is false, and for those who accept the God premise on faith (as it is un-falsifiable and therefore in the realm of faith), and accept by way of reasoning the philosophical attribute that a God must be free from all defects and perfect in all his attributes without contradictions among them or else He is not Divine, the only remaining choice is to reject the premise in question ;
(2) failure of the lofty moral platitudes in the Holy Books, the Bible, the Qur'an, the Ten Commandments, not to neglect other moral scriptures sacred to man in other civilizations, in accomplishing man's spiritual guidance for a moral existence, thus necessitating Divine Intervention in the form of the Eschatology of the Last Days, a Mahdi, a Messiah, to finally bring justice to mankind by breaking its bonds of servitude to fellow man as man couldn't live up to the Divine Guidance himself to accomplish it himself ; the very concept of Divine Intervention of the Last Days presupposes that Divine Guidance failed in its Categorical Imperative to reform man by giving him the choice to establish justice among themselves but man failed to live up to the Divine Guidance and it will be forced onto man by Divine Intervention of the Mahdi, the Messiah in the Last Days ---- so what was the point of that entire exercise of Divine Guidance? So either the Guidance is Divine in which case it cannot fail not only because God understands both the Guidance and the target of that Guidance since He created them both and coupled them together, but also because of the fact that God is free from defects and cannot fail, and therefore the presupposition is false; or it was not divine and failed because it did not understand the nature of man and its primacy as well as its sheep instincts, in which case the outcome is already predictable ; but it cannot be both Divine and fail in its own stated purpose (see the Dialog on the Creation of Adam in Surah Al-Baqara) ;
(3) evil triumphing becoming the pre-requisite for justice and peace among mankind pushes the Mephistophelian end justify the means dogma of expediency and military style “objectivity” to achieve any target as morally legitimate, which is antithetical to the moral codes of not just all three Abrahamic religions, but all theistic moral philosophies and traditions creating a self-contradiction of monumental proportions if then God Himself indulges in it to achieve His Divine Plan ; and
(4) a catch-22 in Accountability on the Day of Judgment is created for the religions which proclaim Heaven and Hell in an Afterlife as reward or punishment --- what punishment if the evil was necessary part of the Divine plan and consequently its vile purveyors the Divine instruments?
As we see, absurdities pile up upon each other very quickly with even a modicum of analytical thought if we accept the premise underlying the Eschatology being taught mankind from virtually all Abrahamic pulpits, of all sectarian flavors. By the logical reasoning method of reductio ad absurdum, the premise stands rejected because it leads to absurdities if presumed true.
It is reasonable to inquire whether there is any explicit reference to such “savior cometh”, or to such an absurd Eschatology, in the categorical and foundational verses of the Holy Qur'an? Admittedly, I am not a scholar of the scriptures, let alone of the most profound world religion. Nevertheless, as a thinking student of scriptures interested in uncovering what the Good Book itself says rather than what the pen of man says it says, a diligent non-expert study of the singular scripture of Islam, the Holy Qur'an, reveals that all the “Mahdi and Messiah returning to free mankind from its bondage” type beatitudinous concepts of Eschatology appear to be entirely from pages outside the Holy Qur'an itself.
It is noteworthy that: (1) these ideas are prevalent in the Biblical literature, and arguably, somehow their tenor crept into the Muslim literature of antiquity penned by the Muslim holy scribes and narrators of Islamic history; and (2) that these ideas are, at best, based on wholly speculative interpretations of the metaphorical and allegorical verses of the Holy Qur'an, and the supposed Prophetic sayings (Hadiths) to suit one's own fancy, ethos, inclination, and socialization bias in which one can impute pretty much any meaning to these metaphorical verses based on how much one believes in one's own holy books outside the pages of the Holy Qur'an.
In other words, apart from any subversive agenda to wittingly put religion in the service of empire, innocent confirmation bias and unwitting incestuous self-reinforcement appears to have led to interpreting the speculative verses of the Holy Qur'an on these Eschatological matters! Who is to say who has got the right interpretation? The right ijtihad? Are the verses of the Holy Qur'an poetry that one can imagine them to mean whatever one fancies? Or are the verses of the Holy Qur'an a specific guidance unto mankind from its Author? Witness the unequivocal warning in the Holy Qur'an to refrain from such gratuitous interpretations, and who specifically have the right to interpret the metaphorical verses of the Holy Qur'an, in verse 3:7 of Surah Aal-'Imran.
“He it is Who has sent down to thee the Book: In it are verses basic or fundamental (of established meaning); they are the foundation of the Book: others are allegorical.
هُوَ الَّذِي أَنْزَلَ عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ مِنْهُ آيَاتٌ مُحْكَمَاتٌ هُنَّ أُمُّ الْكِتَابِ وَأُخَرُ مُتَشَابِهَاتٌ ۖ
But those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is allegorical, seeking discord, and searching for its hidden meanings,
فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ زَيْغٌ فَيَتَّبِعُونَ مَا تَشَابَهَ مِنْهُ ابْتِغَاءَ الْفِتْنَةِ وَابْتِغَاءَ تَأْوِيلِهِ ۗ
but no one knows its hidden meanings except Allah[,] and those who are firmly grounded in knowledge[;]
وَمَا يَعْلَمُ تَأْوِيلَهُ إِلَّا اللَّهُ ۗ وَالرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ
يَقُولُونَ آمَنَّا بِهِ كُلٌّ مِنْ عِنْدِ رَبِّنَا ۗ وَمَا يَذَّكَّرُ إِلَّا أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ
For the Shia Muslims for instance, Imam Mahdi is as fundamental a construct of faith as the Prophet of Islam is, but unfortunately derives virtually its entire body of beliefs exclusively from pages outside the Holy Qur'an. The many Sunni Muslim sects share the same eschatology as well, all drawn from pages outside the Holy Qur'an most favored by the holy sects. However, among all the Muslim sects, the Shia Muslims, like the early Christians, are most profoundly awaiting the return of the Savior, Imam Mahdi, to whom allegiance and obedience is pledged in daily ritual prayers, and in all religious gatherings. Iran has extended that obedience to the valih-e-faqih, an ayatollah who rules the public in Imam Mahdi's name in his absence as his self-proclaimed temporal lieutenant (wali), imam, under the rubric of yet another religious dogma of obedience to authority prevalent among the Shia Muslims called “taqlid”. Iran of course presents itself as the greatest antagonist of the oppressive West today. But even as she boldly articulates Ayatollah Khomeini's conception of the “Great Satan” in her national and international proclamations, her religious and political leadership under the valih-e-faqih remain rather timid in calling 9/11 the 'operation canned goods' that it is. One can only imagine that they are also waiting for Imam Mahdi to call out that assessment.
Whatever the actual religious reality of the return of Imam Mahdi and Messiah may be in the religion of Islam (a point which is orthogonal to the one being made here), the empirical and unarguable fact of the matter is that the concept of “Waiting for Allah” (which includes waiting for any Savior, Mahdi, Messiah when such beliefs defer mobilizing resistance against systems of tyranny and oppression until their arrival in the 'Last Days') forms a most powerful opiate for inducing voluntary servitude as “karma” (as among the Hindu caste system): a bold and voluntary resignation to fate as divinely ordained inevitability. What a powerful opiate!
While our minds may grapple with esoteric matters to comprehend the trend of current affairs and how it might be charting the course of future human history, if such grappling concludes that matters are inevitable regardless of human will, then it makes a mockery of human will. One might as well dispense with such a religion altogether if it proclaims all of human affairs are preordained. If man cannot change himself and change future history as a consequence of it, what is the purpose of religion?
Allah enjoined mankind to reflect upon His Message with the head while believing with the heart. Of course, even in the matters of the head, even two super scientists can disagree violently on wholly empirical matters --- so what of Eschatology! As for the matters of the heart, it has been observed that one man's love can be another's trash --- so what of objectivity on spiritual matters?
The Holy Qur'an invites mankind to open both our heart and our mind in order to understand its message with ma'arifat, depth perception. And verse 3:7 Surah Aal-'Imran quoted above, cautions Muslims against arguing on matters speculative, or creating bone of contentions when matters are plain. Verse 5:48 enjoins mankind to focus on fuss-tabi-qul-khairat instead of becoming arrogant and fighting amongst one another even when one might disagree passionately with one another. Here is the verse of wise counsel from the Book of Divine Guidance:
If Allah had so willed, He would have made you a single people, but (His plan is) to test you in what He hath given you: so strive as in a race in all virtues. The goal of you all is to Allah; it is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which ye dispute. (Surah Al-Maeda 5:48 )
وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ لَجَعَلَكُمْ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً وَلَٰكِنْ لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ فِي مَا آتَاكُمْ ۖ فَاسْتَبِقُوا الْخَيْرَاتِ ۚ إِلَى اللَّهِ مَرْجِعُكُمْ جَمِيعًا فَيُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِمَا كُنْتُمْ فِيهِ تَخْتَلِفُونَ
As verse 3:7 avers, Allah and those who are firmly grounded in knowledge know the metaphorical binding of 'Hajuj and Mahjuj' best. The rest is mere speculation. And as verse 5:48 avers, the Divine Counsel is to focus on fuss-tabi-qul-khairat, to strive as in a race in all virtues. The foundation of the said race in all virtues is laid out in Surah Al-Asr. Its most surprising conclusion is examined in The Noble Path: Denying to Caesar what is not Caesar’s – Surah Al-Asr of the Holy Qur’an.
Why metaphorical allusions like 'Hajuj and Mahjuj' that defy the common man's understanding exist in the Holy Qur'an, and indeed, why does verse 3:7 testify to only a select people who are firmly grounded in knowledge ever understanding it --- isn't the Holy Qur'an a Guidance to All mankind, including hoi polloi --- is beyond a common man's imagination to comprehend.
It is a categorical fact that any imputation to fatalism, to predestination of human affairs, to the need for supra-natural interventions as End Times, to human-will unable to alter its human conditions, is neither present in the Holy Qur'an in its categorical verses, nor is it a logical final conclusion for a religion that postures itself as an empowering Divine Guidance to mankind. A religion that categorically avers to empower man to alter his condition by his own strivings; a religion which avers that it is entirely up to man to be thankful or unthankful for the Divine Guidance; that whomsoever, or whatsoever, mankind follow as their imams (guides, paths) will take each man and his civilization to their natural and logical outcome; that human affairs will not be altered by magical interventions after the Divine Guidance is completed and perfected:
Lo! Allah changeth not the condition of a folk until they (first) change that which is in their hearts; (Surah Ar-Raad verse fragment 13:11 )
إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوْمٍ حَتَّىٰ يُغَيِّرُوا مَا بِأَنْفُسِهِمْ ۗ
Surely We have shown him the way: he may be thankful or unthankful. (Surah Al-insaan 76:3 )
إِنَّا هَدَيْنَاهُ السَّبِيلَ إِمَّا شَاكِرًا وَإِمَّا كَفُورًا
“One day We shall call together all human beings with their (respective) Imams” (Surah al-Israa' 17:71 )
يَوْمَ نَدْعُو كُلَّ أُنَاسٍ بِإِمَامِهِمْ
That which is left you by Allah is best for you, if ye (but) believed! but I am not set over you to keep watch! (Surah Hud, 11:86 )
بَقِيَّتُ ٱللَّهِ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ ۚ وَمَآ أَنَا۠ عَلَيْكُم بِحَفِيظٍ
This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” (Surah Al-Maeda verse fragment 5:3 )
الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الْإِسْلَامَ دِينًا
This overt and categorical Guidance in the Holy Qur'an is just too straightforward and empowering to think of Islam as a medieval fatalistic religion in need of Biblical End Times and absurd irrational Eschatology for man's salvation! Which is why there is no mention of such idiocy in the Holy Qur'an.
Mankind is still in mere infancy despite its myriad civilizations, and despite its immense growth in knowledge and awareness of the external world. Man's access to his inner higher states of consciousness still remains undeveloped like that of a child – and yet to experience its growth spurt. Without developing higher states of consciousness, the religion of Islam shall remain a ritualistic shell and its followers shall remain deprived of its fruit which, as its final cause, is intended to liberate the mind of man from the shackles of servitude to fellow man, in complete submission to one God.
You either believe in it all, or you reject it all --- cannot pick and choose to make khichri (hodge-podge) of the teachings of the Holy Qur'an, the singular Scripture of the religion of Islam. It is absurd for Muslims to base their beliefs on anything other than their singular Scripture which itself proclaims to be the perfected and completed Word of God for the Divine Guidance of all mankind; for each individual to follow or reject, for his collectives to follow or reject, as per man's own free will. “Surely We have shown him the way: he may be thankful or unthankful.” QED.
 An inquiry into the concept of Imam Mahdi as understood from the verses of the Holy Qur'an is in Zahir Ebrahim, What does the Holy Qur'an say about The Mahdi - The Awaited Savior of Mankind? http://faith-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2015/12/the-mahdi-letter-to-young-muslim-scholar.html
 Judeo-Christian multivariant conceptions of The Last Days, End Times, and Gog & Magog, along with Zahir's comments on the patent absurdity of any so called divine prophecy in any religion that disempowers mankind to alter its condition as it “makes altering the outcome of the 'prophecy' impossible. It is a prophecy after all — especially if it is in divine books — so how can it be altered without falsifying the claims to divine origin and hence its infallible correctness?”, are in Lila Rajiva's Mind-Body Politic series of articles, March 30, 2014: https://web.archive.org/web/20190221204918/https://lilarajiva.com/2014/03/30/rabbi-shternbuch-we-have-begun-messianic-times/ ;
July 23, 2014: https://web.archive.org/web/20190221210803/https://lilarajiva.com/2014/07/23/is-gog-of-magog-russia-or-the-west/ ;
Cached PDF: https://sites.google.com/site/humanbeingsfirst/download-pdf/Cacheof-Zahirs-comments-on-Messianic-Times-lilarajiva-mindbodypolitic-March-31-2014.pdf
July 23, 2014: https://web.archive.org/web/20190221210803/https://lilarajiva.com/2014/07/23/is-gog-of-magog-russia-or-the-west/ ;
Cached PDF: https://sites.google.com/site/humanbeingsfirst/download-pdf/Cacheof-Zahirs-comments-on-Messianic-Times-lilarajiva-mindbodypolitic-March-31-2014.pdf
1. Project Humanbeingsfirst.org March 31, 2014 at 10:53 am
Just a quick correction, if I may be permitted to offer one. You stated:
“Update 1: An Islamic interpretation of Gog and Magog. It doesn’t identify Russia with Gog and Magog, but identifies it with militant Zionism”
Slight correction: The source you cite is NOT an Islamic interpretation of Gog and Magog, but one Muslim’s personal interpretation.
Just as it is for the Christians interpreting the Bible and imputing their understanding to “Christianity” the religion.
Fortunately, unlike Christianity and Christians which share the same root word, the religion of Islam has separate names for what is the prescribed religion: called Islam, and its followers: called Muslims.
In the prescribed religion itself, Chapter 18, Surah Al-Kahf, deals with this topic as allegorical, metaphorical, and like the variables of an algebraic expression, these allegories can take on any value the beholder wishes to impute to them. Unlike the algebraic equation however, the speculative value cannot be verified, confirmed, and virtually any plausible value fits in.
Some allegories of the Holy Qur’an are relatively easy to understand as their meaning is plain. Others, only the Author of the Holy Qur’an knows. No one knows what these latter allegories really mean for sure, they can mean anything the mind fancies, which is why, from the time of advent of Islam, varying interpretations of these allegories have abounded and been imputed as “Islamic” interpretations.
Those with nothing better to do in every era have wasted both their and their flock’s time pursuing what the Good Book itself describes as “mutashabihat”, meaning, allegorical, and not knowable for sure.
The Good Book itself categorizes its own verses in two types: a) foundational verses each of which have a unique categorical meaning requiring no interpretation. And b) allegorical verses whose understanding and interpretation requires a different protocol for understanding them, with the acquired understanding always being, at best, subjective, and in some cases not achievable by ordinary peoples. This is specified in verse 3:7 of the Holy Qur;an (and it is examined in my book Hijacking the Holy Qur’an and Its Religion Islam, as a bizarre paradox – why have statements which no ordinary mortal may know and understand?).
My take on all this gibberish of Apocalyptic Last Days Eschatology, for any religion and every religion which prescribes Apocalypse, pestilence, and other evils, is generally this: ( excerpted from https://print-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2009/04/god-is-running-theworld-let-him-run-it.html ):
On the other side of the spectrum from the ‘secular humanists’, we have the many good and kindly peoples, drowning in a surfeit of faith from ear to ear, simply “waiting for Allah” thinking it is the “Last Days of Gog and Magog” that no mortals may withstand. For, it is argued before them, an “indestructible power” the almighty creator hath himself calculatingly fashioned to fulfill his own (murderous) prophesies in order to finally rain divine justice upon the Earth – right after he hath rained phosphorous bombs upon children, women, men, the elderly, and destroyed their innocent civilizations at the very hands of his own “indestructible” hectoring hegemons to bring all that planned divine justice to fruition! What an idiotic and cruel god whose imagination only extends from genesis to genocide in order to fashion creation. And while that is merely immanent, far more grotesque is the idiotic imbecilic mass of followers who malign their own Almighty Creator whom they daily aver to believe in, Who repeatedly describes Itself in the very Book Muslims hold most sacred as “the Beneficent, the Merciful”! How can both be true simultaneously – unless it is a Zeus like fickle-minded god who enjoys games of cruel self-indulgence at the expense of his creation? Therefore, the former must stand rejected by the sheer force of argument, unless some people choose to believe in Zeus for their spiritual ascendance! —- Read More in The Achilles heel of Pakistan – Its Intellectuals ( https://print-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2014/01/the-achilles-heel-of-pakistan.html )
The above passage refers to Imran Hosein’s book in which he speculates what Surah Al-Kahf may be referring to. That is his own opinion. And he is welcome to it. That book I have read completely. As far as I am concerned, it is gibberish — but many Muslims, like Christians and Jews, are fascinated by this subject and continually seek signs that the Last Days are at hand. Muslim history, like Christian history, is full of savants believing in such apocalyptic eschatology.
Interestingly, for the religion of Islam, almost all apocalyptic eschatology which is imputed to Islam is not to be found in the pages of the Holy Qur’an itself, but in outside books written by the hand of man.
Ability to reason outside the boundaries of faith has never been a strong suite for Muslims, or any people imbued with faith.
Some call it indoctrination. Others call it belief.
It may surprise one to discover that much of what one ends up believing as faith is in fact written by the hand of man.
As a Muslim who likes to think, I distinguish between what is in the Holy Qur’an itself, and what is in other Muslim books.
I call what is in the Holy Qur’an as the religion of Islam given by the Author of the Holy Qur’an. What is not in the Holy Qur’an but passes as Islam, I call it the religion of Muslims given by the authors of those books.
As for faith, well, faith is subjective anyway.
Even atheists have faith.
Only the all-left-brained Mr. Spock of Star-Trek has no faith.
All humans who possess some measure right-half brain in non-zero quantity have faith.
Dogmatic religions are merely different points on that axis of faith.
Which is why many people end up believing anything which passes as faith, no matter how illogical, non-sequitorish, and irrational. And it is empirically observed that anything which induces complacency, or the spirit of la mission civilisatrice, is the path most taken by the followers of any religion, including the religion of the New World Order, Secular Humanism. For Muslims, it is typically to Wait for Allah as God is running the world!
As such, in my opinion, all this Last Days stories which you have noted, are the invention of tyrants and their apprentices to ensure that during any epoch, the masses do nothing to interdict the dystopia that is thrust upon the peoples by the rulers in the name of religion, leaving the public mind brimming with hope and expectations of the Last days as the panacea for their ills and dehumanization.
My 0.02 anyway. I could be wrong of course.
4. Project Humanbeingsfirst.org April 1, 2014 at 3:47 am
[ Lila stated in her followup response:
I enjoy apocalyptic ruminations, although it’s from the point of view of what the globalists are up to, as I noted above:
“You wonder if these discredited interpretations that surface in popular newspapers have something to do with the intelligence agencies of different countries stirring up the masses to support violent confrontations…”
However, I think it’s equally incorrect to dismiss prophetic literature as rubbish. In the Christian and Jewish faiths, as well as in Hinduism, prophecy is an integral part of the teaching.
“No man may know” is not the same as “No man may wonder” or “No man may interpret.”
People study the writings of Nostradamus and Edgar Cayce for predictions of the future; they comb the works of Jules Verne for artistic predictions.
Nothing wrong with it.
Nor is it indoctrination. I certainly reserve judgment about a number of things said either by true believers or skeptics – but that’s the point – I reserve judgment. I don’t take it as infallible nor do I dismiss it entirely.
End Quote ]
If I might suggest: 1) There is prediction, based on trend and trajectory, as well as the exercise of imagination and anticipation of singularity points. This is to the credit of man.
2) Then there is prophecy. This is to the credit of Mephistopheles and its apprentices.
The difference, in my view at least, is that the latter makes altering the outcome of the “prophecy” impossible. It is a prophecy after all — especially if it is in divine books — so how can it be altered without falsifying the claims to divine origin and hence its infallible correctness?
I invite you, in return to your invitation to study: “People study the writings of Nostradamus and Edgar Cayce for predictions of the future; they comb the works of Jules Verne for artistic predictions.”, which I have done plenty and continue to do so, to actually critically examine what is considered in the divine books of man as “prophecy”.
If you can cite one instance, just one, which empowers man to change his condition today, I will be much informed. And that’s the point of these fatalistic, apocalyptical prophecies.
I will generalize both the Biblical and Hindu, as well as Muslim “prophecies” —- all are, virtually, as far as I have been able to ascertain, dis empowering to man, giving people the hope to live in the future in order to alleviate their present suffering and miserable lot. The Hindu Karma does, however, empower man to be good today in order to be reborn better in the future. That is not prophecy, but the dogma of karma and Hinduism. Islam’s prescription to be good today, as explained here: , is also not prophecy, but empowerment. Christianity’s prescription to give your brother your coat, to turn the other cheek, is also not prophecy, but empowerment to be better in so far as its dogma is concerned.
Whereas, for all these, Hindu, Muslim, Christian, and Jew, wherever the notion of prophecy occurs, show me, not be speculation and general statements to go study this and that, but by your examination here of something specific, which is empowering to man today rather than having him enjoy his complacency waiting for Allah, karma, the last days, mahdi return, Christ’s return, and the apocalypse, in the aftermath of all of which, justice will be made to prevail by divine intervention.
As a social scientist, that drama tells me that this can only be the invention of rulers throughout the ages to neutralize hoi polloi’s dissent for their discontents by getting them to accept the present in exchange for a better future in some distant future which no one gets to see.
As a con job on the sheepish masses imbued with faith through natural propensity and the cult of socialization into respective beliefs from birth, this selling of heaven and nirvana at the expense of accepting and acquiescing to the hell on earth remains unsurpassed!
Both Christianity and Hinduism as religions, in their own most sacred sources, push this resignation to faith. Based on my study, and I can’t claim it to be complete, but continually evolving, I claim that it is only Islam which prescribes in its own singular scripture, the Holy Qur’an, the altering of the present forcibly as its article of faith. The religion of Islam surpasses all other religions on that scale. Which is why its subversion has been of paramount necessity. I have explained it here in a language which both left-half and right-half dominant brains can surely most easily understand:
Islam: Surah Al-Asr of the Holy Qur’an: What does the Holy Qur’an say about Haq – Truth and Justice?
The Noble Path: Denying to Caesar what is not Caesar’s – Surah Al-Asr of the Holy Qur’an
I have read all religions as comparative study. My first introduction was Houston Smith as an undergrad. Greatly inspired by his generous treatment of all religions in his seminal work The Religions of Man, I have continued to respectfully remain interested in expanding my comprehension ever since. I even study Islam not as a my religion, but as I might study electrical engineering: examining what does its book actually prescribe? I may have missed something in other religions of similar empowerment of man to alter tyranny in the moment of the present life as the religion of Islam does. Please advise by specifics if you haven’t missed it.
But you are right of course in that reading the crystal ball can be a fun exercise — only at dinner parties in my view.
And you may also well be right on the uncanny divine origins of “prophecies” (in the distinction drawn above). Just that, if you are indeed right again, then I think that divinity which proclaims abhorrence, and prophecies abhorrence, is at best captured by Zeus-like mythical deity, and not a Deity Who claims to be the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful, the Most Just, as the religion of Islam does. But the philosophical conception of deity is no different, and traces at least as far back as Plato and his Philosopher-king conception which is based upon it. And if the Deity is not that, then why worship it? It is only manmade, or Zeus (or aliens genetically engineering man if Zecharia Sitchin is to be believed, and many new-age babies do), but in either case only worthy of utmost contempt for inflicting abhorrence on mankind and even prophesying it, rather than guiding mankind to strive out of it.
Surely, you might concur with this sensible rubric to examine any claims of any divine origin? It at least lends a strong rejection criterion.
April 1, 2014
Followup Comment for: http://mindbodypolitic.org/2014/03/30/rabbi-shternbuch-we-have-begun-messianic-times/
Followup Comment for: http://mindbodypolitic.org/2014/03/30/rabbi-shternbuch-we-have-begun-messianic-times/
 The Shia mind and Imam Mahdi, in Ayatollah Khamenei, Dear youth, prepare yourselves for the era of Imam Mahdi, May 22, 2016. http://english.khamenei.ir/news/3828/Dear-youth-prepare-yourselves-for-the-era-of-Imam-Mahdi-Ayatollah#c6
Zahir's comment May 28, 2016
Waiting for Allah - why? Where does Allah say to wait? See http://faith-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2014/03/waiting-for-allah-by-zahir-ebrahim.html While countering nihilism by theism is an obvious antidote guidance not just for the youth but for all ages, "awaiting the savior" does not necessarily follow from the pages of the holy Qur'an. It appears to be at best an interpreted viewpoint drawn largely by fixing Qur'anic beatitudes (example 9:33, 28:5. 58:21, 21:105, etc) with eschatological material drawn from outside the Qur'an. Similar to the Biblical Beatitude: “the meek shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5 Holy Bible KJV). The topic is opened up in a student's journey in the Holy Qur'an in http://islam-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2015/08/what-does-quran-say-about-rulership.html . Would Ayatollah Khamenei kindly falsify that analysis if he finds it misperceived. Thankyou. Zahir Ebrahim.
 The concept of “taqlid” as understood from the verses of the Holy Qur'an is in Zahir Ebrahim, What does the Holy Qur'an say about Taqlid - Blind Following the Non-Infallible? http://islam-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2013/08/what-does-quran-say-about-taqlid.html
 The concept of “Indeterminate” in the Holy Qur'an (vs. “Determinate”) is defined in Zahir Ebrahim, Islam: Why is the Holy Qur'an so easy to hijack? Part-II, http://faith-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2011/08/islam-why-is-quran-easy-to-hijack-pt2.html#Definitions
 The concept of “imam” (any leader) vs “Imam” (Leader, capitalized, which the scripture asserts is only appointed by God) as understood from the verses of the Holy Qur'an, and the empirically observed natural inclinations borne of many different types of unconscious biases that predispose one towards incestuous self-reinforcement of presuppositions and confirmation bias, are explained in Zahir Ebrahim, Islam: Why is the Holy Qur'an so easy to hijack? Part-III, http://faith-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2011/08/islam-why-is-quran-easy-to-hijack-pt3.html
 The concept of Rejection Criterion vs Acceptance Criterion vis a vis the Prophetic Hadith literature as understood from mathematical closure is explained in Zahir Ebrahim, Islam: Why is the Holy Qur'an so easy to hijack? Part-IV, http://faith-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2011/08/islam-why-is-quran-easy-to-hijack-pt4.html
 The concept of “valih-e-faqih” is expounded in Ayatollah (imam) Khomeini's series of sermons given in Najaf during his exile years and compiled in his book after the Revolution: Islam and Revolution (translated in English by Hamid Algar, 1981), https://web.archive.org/web/20130616014122/http://humanbeingsfirst.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/cacheof-islam-and-revolution-writings-and-declarations-of-imam-khomeini-translated-by-hamid-algar-1981-mizan-press.pdf
 The concept of Divine Rule by Valih-e-Faqih as understood from the verses of the Holy Qur'an is examined in Zahir Ebrahim, What does the Holy Qur'an say about Vilayat-i Faqih? http://islam-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2015/03/what-does-quran-say-about-vilayat-faqih.html
 The concept of infancy of civilizations unable to deal with man's most formidable predators from among their own kind due to mankind's stunted growth in consciousness, is examined in Zahir Ebrahim, The Road to No Where: The Journey of Voluntary Servitude, https://faith-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2014/05/the-road-to-no-where-by-zahir-ebrahim.html
Source URL: https://print-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2019/01/critique-of-imran-hosein-gog-and-magog.html
Faith-Politico URL: https://faith-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2019/01/critique-of-imran-hosein-gog-and-magog.html
Source PDF: https://sites.google.com/site/humanbeingsfirst/download-pdf/Critique-of-Imran-Hoseins-An-Islamic-View-of-Gog-and-Magog-in-the-Modern-World-by-zahirebrahim.pdf
Abridged from original Source: https://print-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2009/04/god-is-running-theworld-let-him-run-it.html
Abridged from Waiting for Allah, April 2009 | Abridged version published on Thursday, January 24, 2019 05:00 pm 4607
Updated to include Zahir's comments from mindbodypolitic on Sunday, February 24, 2019 12:00 pm 7889
Updated to include Zahir's comment from english.khamenei.ir, sidebar expanded, on Sunday, March 17, 2019 8637
Critique of Imran Hosein's 'An Islamic View of Gog and Magog in the Modern World' By Zahir Ebrahim 22/22