Source: The Huffington Post
By Dr. Faheem Younus: Muslim, professor, doctor and philanthropist
As Syrian President Bashar al-Assad uses chemical weapons at the outskirts of Damascus and President Obama mulls a U.S. military response, some theologians hope for an alarming endgame to the 30-month-long Syrian conflict.
For these Christians and Muslim, the civil war in Syria is a prelude to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
Before you label the premise as a conspiracy theory, check out a number of Muslim clerics making and promoting this connection here, here and here. And also check Christian pastors following suit here, here and here. And that’s wrong.
The Judeo-Christian and Muslim texts mention Damascus as an important landmark in the geography of the Second Coming. To some Christian and Muslim scholars it was only a matter of time before the conflict would reach Damascus. So keen are they to share their analysis that the moment you say, “Damascus,” they say, “Ask us!”
Ask my Christian friends and they quote Isaiah 17:1: “Behold, Damascus will cease to be a city and will become a heap of ruins.” Note the language. It does not talk about destruction. It suggests annihilation after which Damascus will cease to exist as a city.
Isaiah 17 then ends with a vision of Armageddon, which brings Jesus Christ on the scene. Jeremiah 49 and Zechariah 9 make similar violent references regarding the fate of Damascus.
Ask my Muslim friends and they quote Chapter 4 verse 159 of the Quran which indicates the Second Coming of Jesus. Prophet Muhammad prophesized “Allah would send Christ, son of Mary, and he will descend with the white minaret, east of Damascus, wearing two garments lightly dyed with saffron and placing his hands on the wings of two Angels,” thus directly linking Damascus with the Second Coming. Surprised?
While a majority of Muslims and Christians agree with the idea of a physical Second Coming of Jesus, they disagree on his job description and the exact sequence of events.
The Christian version requires Damascus to be annihilated before Jesus could return to establish the glory of Lord on Earth. The Muslim version requires it to be a flourishing city with enough infrastructure for Jesus to land on the minaret, lead prayers, gather people and then break the cross and kill the swine. The Christian version promises destruction first; peace later. The Muslim version promises peace first; destruction later.