Almost all Islamic apocalyptic materials are to be found in the hadith, in the form of Muhammadan preaching. They consist of categories of lesser and greater signs, which will precede the apocalypse. The former includes the entire general quarters' socio-political events and economic strife. This article includes the unquestionable fantastic signs of the end time—the arrival of “Dajjal”—an Islamic antichrist, the resurrection of Christ, and the appearance of a messiah. It draws a graphic, fantastic picture of the apocalypse with the mountains moving, the sky rolling back, the moon splitting and the stars falling off. The increasing gulf between Christianity and Islam expanded further, eventually replacing Jesus, the earliest Judeo-Islamic messiah, with the Mahdi, an earthly messiah. Although the figure first emerged among proto-Shiia traditions, it soon assumed pan-Islamic presence. Messianism assumed a local face during the era of global Islamic kingdoms and the anti-colonial struggles.
Bassel F. Salloukh and Shoghig Mikaelian
This article examines the development and ideology of Lebanon’s foremost political party, the Hizbullah. It compares and contrasts Hizbullah’s past and present manifestations, and traces its doctrinal, political, and military evolution. It examines how the party reconciled its adherence to the doctrine of wilayat al-faqih with claims that it is a Lebanese movement with a Lebanese identity; its role in post-Ta’if and post-Syria Lebanon; and how it dealt with overlapping domestic and regional struggles that represented both opportunities and threats.
Bruce B. Lawrence
This chapter explores the role of violence in Islam, specifically contrasting Islam in 611 with the Islam associated with terrorism on 9/11. When several tribes attempted to draw from the treaty that bound them to Muhammad, Abu Bakr opposed them in what became known as the Ridda wars. The Ottomans succeeded in invoking Islam, and also the doctrine of jihad. Islam became an explicit ideology and building block of public prestige for the newest Turkish Muslim Empire, and also became an idiom of protest against the gradual contraction of internal and external trade. The association of Osama bin Laden with al-Jazeera proves to be almost as significant as his decision to wage jihad. There are many ways to connect Bin Laden to the early generation of Islam. Bin Laden's legacy is one of deviance and damage rather than persistence and profit in the cause of Islam.
This article examines the roles of the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Catholic Church in Croatia, and the Islamic religious authority of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 1991–1995 war inWestern Balkans. Religion in this case has been instrumental as a factor for galvanizing conflict and rationalizing its outcomes. The article also notes religious activities aimed at preventing violence and healing postconflict societies. The public influence of these religions began during the collapse of socialist Yugoslavia. Through the war and afterward, religions continued rebuilding resources and increasing influence. Traditional religion was blended with the new national ideologies carried out by ethnic nationalist parties allied with the ethnic majority churches established as state religions. Two decades after the Balkan war, the growing influence of these religions in public sphere coincides with the post-Yugoslav new ethnic nations’ failures in state building and democratic transition.