The religious scholars of Islam have cherished the idea that towards the end of the world Islam is the religion that will prevail over others. The deeply problematic notion that is attached to this belief is that it will happen with a decisive war and unimaginable bloodshed and secondly this domination is understood to be hegemonic with victorious political and military power and not so much with the sense of value and meaning to the message of guidance it delivers to humannity. Muslims have believed as Christians do, that Jesus will return to the world. But they believe that he shall come to confirm the truth that Islam is the only divine message of guidence and that his support will give Muslims the final victory.
The above belief is derived primarily from two sources. (a) Many sayings attributed to the Prophet that give vivid description of events that will happen towards the end of the world, (b) The Quran.
1. The sayings attributed to the Prophet raise serious questions about fabrication, their intended purpose and the big contradiction they pose with what the Prophet has emphasized clearly, his lack of knowledge of the future, particularly the time of the end of the world.
The belief that Islam is going to dominate and prevail over other religions by violent cofrontation and the resultant victory, neither has any relevance to the life of Muslims today, nor should be important to them at all. Such untenable and untoward belief is not going to bring any change in the human behavior and therefore is not going to contribute to mankind in any positive sense. To attribute such useless belief to the Prophet whose life-long mission was to bring a moral revolution in the world, amounts to blasphemous diminution of his personality and his mission. It is a matter that demands serious reflection.
2. As regards the verse in Quran which is always referred to, in support of this belief, its interpretation is not only highly questionable but demands a harsh critique as to how Muslim scholars have used a verse in Quran to support a nonsensical belief. The verses 33 and 9 in chapters 9 (Tawbah) and 61 (Saff) respectively translate as follows:
“It is He who has sent His messenger with guidance and the way of truth to cause it to prevail over all religion, even though Pagans (Mushrikeen) may detest it.
The key word in Arabic in the verse is “Uz-hi-rahu” which has been translated into English by majority of the translators as “to prevail” which means ‘to prove its worth, or ‘be accepted after being strongly debated’ or ‘ to maintain its superiority’. In the above sense, one of the meanings, especially in Arabic perhaps, could be ‘to dominate’. In Urdu translation the word “ghalib” has been used which means dominant. Unfortunately based upon the sayings attributed to the Prophet about violent confrontation and war that is going to happen towards the end of the world, the word ‘dominate’ or ‘prevail’, has been understood in the context of a military victory of Muslims (Islam). This has led to a fascist understanding that promotes the idea of domination of Islam with military might. Nothing can be more erroneous an understanding than this. It shows that a fascist mind has manipulated the verse in Quran to impress upon the adherents of other faiths, the superiority of Islam.
The belief of Islam’s domination by military might has created a mindset of Islamofascism among Muslims, not to mention the fact that the insight and the depth of meaning the verse contains, has been reduced to a shallow understanding of ‘physical domination by force’. The so called well recognized scholars of Islam, including Israr Ahmed of Pakistan and many others with huge following have been giving big lectures providing detailed description of the decisive and final war, thus promoting this dangerous mindset in Muslims. Unfortunately this is being done by falsely attributing to the Prophet the detailed predictions that they claim he made and secondly by erroneous interpretation of the verse in Quran.