(We have included here the kingdoms that preceded Nebuchadnezzar’s for clarity)

Dr.Safar Alhawali

Kingdom Important Rulers Position

 

 

Jewish Islamic David (ruled from 113-973 B.C.E.) before Daniel

 

State based on Solomon (from 973-933 B.C.E.)

 

The Torah

 

Assyrians Sargon II (from 772-75 B.C.E.) ,, ,,

 

 

 

Chaldeans Nebuchadnezzar (from 63-562 B.C.E.) First Kingdom

 

(head of gold)

 

Persians Cyrus (from 55-529 B.C.E.) Second Kingdom

 

(chest of silver)

 

Greeks Alexander the Great (from 336-323 B.C.E.) Third Kingdom

 

(thigh of bronze)

 

Romans 1)Augustus Caesar (27 B.C.E-14 C.E.) first Fourth Kingdom

 

Roman emperor (legs of iron, feet

 

2)Diocletian (from 284-35) divided empire of iron and clay)

 

into Eastern and Western empires

 

3)Constantine I founder of Constantinople

 

who embraced Christianity (d.337)

 

4)Heraclius (from 61-641) who lost the

 

Holy Land to the forces of Islam

 

It was in this atmosphere of gloom and persecution that the Jews and Christians awaited the Fifth Kingdom with utmost patience. They knew with certainty that it would be established at the hand of the prophet of the latter days, whom they called the ‘Prince of Peace,’ on whose shoulders was found the seal of prophethood, and whom all the prophets had predicted. So much so that some of their rightly-guided scholars gathered together from Isaiah alone, thirty prophecies concerning him.[1]They were aware of the time of his coming based on textual evidence and physical phenomena. They observed those signs until the day came when the pious and scholarly emperor Heraclius announced, “the kingdom of the circumcized has arrived.” He was certain of this and attested as the leader of apostate Christianity to the leader of the Arab unbelievers, Abu Sufyan: “that his kingdom shall reach the place where I now stand (Syro-Palestine),” as is affirmed in the well-known and authentic hadith.

 

Yes, the divine fifth kingdom arose and ruled over the place where Heraclius stood, and he left Syria saying, “Farewell, Syria, a parting after which we will never meet again.”

 

It arose and crushed the pagan kingdoms, and seized most of the known world, ruling with justice and peace. Its land area exceeded that of the moon, and it included under its banner a great portion of all the peoples of the world. It was only at this point that the Jews and Christians differed and disputed!

 

“The followers of the Bible differed not until there came to them clear evidence.”

 

“And We granted them clear evidences of the matter, and they did not differ until knowledge had come to them, out of mutual hatred.”

 

Some of them —and they were many- believed and were rightly-guided, and some of them disbelieved and in their unbelief broke into countless sects which continue to multiply and divide like bacteria.

 

Our interest here is to point out their disputes concerning the clear vision of Daniel:

 

They turned on their heels. After not disputing at all concerning the interpretation of the fourth kingdom (the Roman Empire) we find them distorting its interpretation and purposely delaying or transferring it, or at least obscuring its identity. All of this only to avoid affirming the last kingdom as we previously explained. The matter reached its climax and prime in the fundamentalist movement, ‘Christian Zionism.’

 

Before we proceed to our outline of their interpretations, and their degree of correctness, we will mention that the vision draws an eloquent picture of the kingdoms of unbelief who worship idols carved by human hands, rather than worshipping Allah Almighty, that these kingdoms are in themselves, an idol, having a head, chest, thighs, legs and toes; an idol embodying all forms of paganism, so that the image of the mountain which would take their place becomes clear by contrast. It is a symbol of utmost simplicity and clarity, and what they have done is an appalling disfigurement totally out of harmony with this image.

 

In order to make the mountain to be the millennial reign of Christ’s second-coming, as the Christians believe, or the Davidic kingdom headed by the Jewish messiah, as the Jews believe, they say that there is a gap in the prophecy of Daniel, and they place it between the legs and the feet! It is evident that the length of time between the head of the idol and its legs (that is, between the kingdoms of Babel under Nebuchadnezzar and Rome under Titus, the destroyer of Jerusalem) is no more than about six centuries. But this gap which they have fabricated between the legs and the feet is two thousand years! And the problem is that it will continue to grow until the end of the world. Imagine this strange idol with a gap between his upper and lower body that continues growing day after day!

 

It is an image which the mind cannot believe, and that no artist can accept, and no observer can appreciate.

 

We have seen why they fabricated this gap, so the question now is: how can they close the gap?

 

They have expropriated ‘spare parts’ removed from another idol, which they want to solder onto this idol! This is counterfeit will not succeed, but it has, without doubt, cast a dark cloud over the symbolism, and upon which we must cast light.

 

They discovered that Daniel had another vision —or more correctly, his book contains another vision in the seventh chapter: the vision of the four beasts. So they stole the fourth beast and mounted him on the idol in a way that brings to mind the Piltdown man who was fabricated by some Darwinists who wanted to find the missing link of evolution, and so put together pieces of a human skull with those of an ape. The difference is that religious imposture is worse than any other kind.

 

The other vision says that Daniel saw four great beasts come up from the sea: the first was like a lion with the wings of an eagle, the second was like a bear with three ribs in its mouth, the third was like a leopard with four wings and four heads, and the fourth was a beast, dreadful and strong with teeth of iron which devoured the other beasts, and trampled them beneath its feet. It had ten horns, and another little horn which came up in the midst of them, before which three of them fell. Then eyes and a human mouth appeared on this horn, and it spoke words of blasphemy and unbelief. The end of the little horn would be its destruction at the hand of the Ancient of Days, Lord of the Throne, Who is served by thousands and thousands.

 

The other beasts will remain, but their power is removed from them. (Daniel 7)

 

The vision explains itself that the fourth beast is the fourth kingdom of the earth which is unlike the other kingdoms, and which will devour all the earth and trample it beneath its feet. The ten horns of this kingdom are ten of its rulers who will arise, after which another will arise who is different than his predecessors, and will subdue three kings, and who will speak words against the Most High.

 

Finally, his rule is destroyed at the hands of the ‘saints of the Most High,’ to whom this vision repeatedly asserts, will triumph in the end, and who possess the everlasting kingdom.

 

Perhaps because the fourth beast has teeth of iron and the fourth kingdom was of iron, they claim that the fourth beast and the fourth kingdom are the same. Especially, since they are both the ‘fourth.’ They claimed that this kingdom is a symbol for Europe, in which there will be ten nation-states to which the world will submit before the coming of Christ.

 

According to this there will be a fifth kingdom, which is the millennial reign upon Christ’s Second Coming. This opinion can be easily refuted in several ways:

 

1) By asking: “Then what is the interpretation of the other three beasts?” No matter how they interpret it, it will not be correct, and will contradict with the interpretation of Daniel himself. How can the first three kingdoms of the idol be the ancient kingdoms, while the fourth is modern Europe? There is a clear dissimilarity. Sound logic dictates that either both visions must be interpreted together, or else they must be considered separately, which is the correct approach.

 

2) The beasts appeared together and were vanquished by the fourth beast all at the same time. But the kingdoms of the first vision appear successively, each defeating the one that precedes it.

 

3) The four beasts appear from the Great sea, but the four kingdoms were established in the middle-east, where the fifth (Islamic) kingdom also appeared, and then spread east and west until in the days of the Mongols and Turks it spread to Northern Europe and conquered all of Eastern Europe.

 

4) The three beasts were vanquished by the fourth, but remained alive, but the three kingdoms were totally annihilated.

 

5) The interpretation of the second vision is false in itself, since it mentions a beast with ten horns and explains that it is a kingdom with ten kings. Therefore, their interpretation that it is ten neighboring kingdoms is false.

 

Likewise, the claim that these ten kingdoms are the European Alliance during the time of Napoleon, as Bates (p251) mentions, or the current European Union as contemporary Christian fundamentalists claim, is neither correct as interpretation, nor in reality. It contradicts both visions, and contradicts reality. America alone today is stronger than the entire European Union, and the European Union does not consist of ten states, but more.

 

We do not want to embark on the interpretation of the vision, but we are able to say that the four beasts that came up from beyond the Great Sea are the ‘lion’ of the British empire, and the ‘bear’ of the Soviet communist state. As for the third, which had the appearance of a leopard with four heads and four wings, it may be the four Catholic colonial states of France, Italy, Spain and Portugal, or it could be the eight Asian ‘tigers.’

 

Naturally, the fourth beast which ate and trampled the others is the United States of America (or NATO in general). As for the saints who will crush America, there is no need to interpretation, we need only wait shortly to see.

 

We say to the fundamentalists:

 

If you like this interpretation, take it and take a break, if you reject it as supposition and guesswork, well, yes. But whose guess is more likely? Why is your guess so certain and ours is just conjecture?

 

 

 

But there are at least two matters of certainty:

 

1) Rome with its horns, as the Prophet —may Allah’s blessing and peace be on him- informed us: “Persia will need one or two thrusts, and Allah will open it, but Rome has horns. Each time one horn is destroyed another arises.”[2]

 

2) The battle between them and us will continue until the final conquest of Rome and the descent of Christ from heaven, but the time of this event is known only to Allah. Based on that, nobody knows the number of Rome’s horns except Allah. Perhaps the ten mentioned in the vision have no meaning and are merely symbolic, which is one of their well-known points of view concerning the numerology of the Bible. That is, if we do not say that the vision contains distortion or addition.

 

In any case, we know that this vision, and the controversy concerning it, will not excite people’s interest unless we identify the blasphemous little horn. Some of them claim that it is the Islamic state, and that the blasphemy is Muslim rejection of the divinity of Christ.

 

This is amazing. How can the great, everlasting fifth kingdom be one small horn of a beast, who has ten other great horns? How could the Islamic empire that embraced the Arabs, Persians, Turks, Berbers, Africans, Indians, Tartars, and others be merely a horn of Rome —and a small one at that?

 

When researching these matters gets this extreme, it requires us to ignore such nonsense, especially since there is absolutely no connection between Christ and his divinity, and this vision. Actually, the entire book of Daniel is monotheistic.

 

Some of them interpret the little horn as the beast mentioned in the book of Revelation. We must here apologize to our Muslim readers for the abandon with which we mention all manner of strange animals. Don’t worry. We’re not going to show that long horror film called the book of Revelation! But we do hope that you will consider this beast for a brief moment, only seconds of this film, so as to understand how millions of people in the West have wasted their work hours —or work days- and that books on this subject are the most popular in America.

 

What harm would it do for us to spend a few minutes or pages to direct them to the right path and save them from much toil?

 

The book of Revelation says:

 

“Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feat of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast.” —13:1-3.

 

T.B. Bates[3](one of the best commentators on Revelation) attempts to get at the heart of the matter, to identify for his people, the blasphemous little horn which comes up among the horns of Rome, but is unable for several reasons:

 

1) Which is common to all researchers in this field: the confusion of truth and falsehood in the books of the Bible, and the impossibility of distinguishing that which has been distorted from that which is unchanged, as well as additions and subtractions from the text.

 

2) Which is common to him and most researchers of his faith, which is to interpret all the prophecies as being about the coming of Christ, and to ignore that which conforms to Islam in its message, culture, and kingdom.

 

3) Which is his alone, which is that he died before the establishment of the Abomination of Desolation ‘Israel,’ so it was difficult for him to interpret events with accuracy.

 

However, due to the unique characteristics of his commentary, we will take it as an example in order to find the correct methodology.

 

Bates decides that the beast is the same as the little horn of Daniel’s prophecy (although we should note that Revelation has two beasts!), at the same time it is the new form assumed by the Roman empire, which will assail the world before the coming of Christ to establish his kingdom —which is the final, eternal kingdom according to him.

 

Because he saw that the prophetic gap is very large, spanning too many centuries to be plugged with ten kings, even if each king ruled for a hundred years, he produced a new interpretation, that the horn is not a king. Rather, it is one of the forms of government, such as republic, or empire, for example. Each form has its own many rulers. However, he does not explain for us all the forms, but merely holds that the sixth one is empire, and that the seventh one is yet to come. As for the eighth and final one, it is the government of the beast who is the little horn (p 186).

 

It is a unique, or rare, occasion to discover among the statements of these people despite their length and elaborate detail, carefully considered words such as his, the first part of which resembles the statements of Muslim scholars:

 

“We notice the apparent agreement between this beast and the little horn of Daniel, as the little horn makes war on the saints and defeats them (Dan 7:21).

 

“So is the beast is allowed to make war on the saints and defeat them (Rev 13:7).

 

“And as in Daniel the horn speaks words in opposition to the Most High (7:25).

 

“So does the beast in Revelation open his mouth and speak blasphemy against God (13:6).

 

“As the authority of the little horn remains for a time, two times, and half a time (Dan 7:25).

 

“So does the authority of the beast remain for forty-two months (Rev 13:5). Which is the same period mentioned by Daniel despite the difference of their terminology (pp 189-19).”

 

Let us pause here briefly since these people must contradict and confuse the mind. How could there be a form of government ruled over by a series of kings, but the length of their entire reign is this short period? Furthermore, he does not stick to one opinion, but sometimes makes it to be a ruler, and other times makes it to be a group of collaborators —as we shall see.

 

Let us follow along with him, the conditions and events connected with the beast, so that we can understand who this little beast really is.

 

Bates decides that:

 

1) The beast will be in Jerusalem (p 193), and that Jerusalem is “the center point around which gather all the events mentioned here in the language of symbol” (p 194). We should remind the reader that he wrote this when Jerusalem was nearly forgotten by them, except for a few tourists and pilgrims.

 

2) The beast is Israelite, but he cares nothing for YHW, the god of the nation, nor for the promised messiah, the hope of the nation, nor even for the false gods towards which the nation often turns.

 

3) The beast forms an alliance with the head of the Roman Empire, the power center of the world (p 2).

 

4) Bates is certain that this Roman leader is not one of the previous despots, but will come at the time of the establishment of the abomination of desolation, of which Daniel speaks, and which is later mentioned again by Christ. He says:

 

“From many passages of God’s Word (the Bible), it is clear that the ten tribes will gather in Jerusalem after their redemption and release (that is, before the Second Coming of Christ). There they will endure the fire of great poverty at its worse, whereas Israel who reject Christ will have already gathered there previously (p 217).” That is, in the day of the Lord’s wrath upon the state of the abomination of desolation, of which we will present a chapter title: “the Day of the Lord’s Wrath.”

 

Once again we should mention that he died long before the establishment of the State of Israel.

 

5) The government of the beast will be in atheistic manner of the western system, not according to revealed guidance. Moreover, it will be one of the greatest causes of atheism and oppression. He says: “In Western Europe the chosen homeland of civilization, freedom, enlightenment and advancement, the result of the interaction of those human principles is the establishment of the government of the beast, the confluence of tyranny, oppression, misery and blasphemy. ” (p 238)

 

6) Under the leadership of the beast, Bates decides that, based on his interpretation of Daniel, “there will be a temporary union of allied governments.” (p 251) He described the alliance which the new Roman empire will take as, “ the ten kings who rule it will of one accord present their rule to the beast.” (p 253)

 

What is really amazing is that “it is not the beast who forces them to obey his order, but it is a voluntary action which they choose for themselves” (p253).

 

Similarly, it is not necessary for the beast to rule as king, but “through the medium of his influence on the councils and cabinets in the land of the old Roman empire, or at least its western sector.” (p 254)

 

Once again we remind the reader that he wrote this before the establishment of the United Nations, and the appearance of Zionist control over western politics in general, and American politics in particular.

 

7) Concerning the enemy of the beast and the battle between them, Bates says: “The alliance between the Roman Empire and the unbelieving Jews does not prevent the attack of the army of the North, which because of the idolatrous worship in Jerusalem at the time, will overcome them like a torrential flood, and bring about the ruin of the land.” (p 214)

 

8) As for the meaning of the army of the North we find that he says: “The rulers of the East will gather their forces in order to attack the borders of the beast’s kingdoms, and from the other side, the beast will gather his forces in agreement with the kings of the West, and will advance towards the ominous battle of Armageddon. (p 2)

 

9) Finally, Bates tells us about the outcome of the battle: “Little did the beast and his sinful assistants dream that they would be taken away as prisoners from the battle field towards which they had rushed, and that they would be cast alive into the torments of the lake of eternal fire, and little did the suffering saints in hiding in the mountains and caves, dare to hope that they would raise their heads up at the end of the matter.

 

Now that we know the beast, we ask, does this end only with Armageddon at the hands of Christ? That idea is a common error of Christian commentators, and some Muslim researchers as well. The difference is that the former do not take into account logic and reason, and Allah’s customary dealings in history. As for the Muslims, they usually search for natural laws with which to explain incidents. The Muslims are like those who lose their way by day, but the Christians are like those whose entire journey is in darkness, except for a few glimpses of light.

 

As we said, Bates nearly finds the truth. In order to assist the readers to find it themselves, we will quote his summary of the events as he explained them (p 213), omitting the Christian elements, and keeping the subject within appropriate limits, we read:

 

“The Roman empire will return to existence…the Jewish bloc will have returned to Jerusalem, mostly without faith [we add: most assuredly]…and while they are in Jerusalem a mighty force will threaten those returned people, in order for the Jewish bloc to protect itself from that force it… signs a treaty with the great leader who will become the ruler of the Roman empire in its new era… except that the alliance between the Roman Emperor and the unbelieving Jews does not present the invading army… which because of the idolatrous worship in Jerusalem at the time, will overcome them like a torrential flood.” (213-214)

 

If we were to rewrite the subject we would simply say:

 

1) The State of Israel is the little horn among their great colonial horns, and has returned to the holy land as a defiling invader.

 

2) The beast, or two beasts are Zionism with its two faces, one Jewish, the other Christian.

 

3) The Jews in general and the Zionists in particular are missionaries of atheism and corruption in the world, and include most of the atheistic thinkers such as Marx, Freud, Durkheim, Marcuse, Herzl, Schiller, Bergson, and Martin Weber.

 

4) The establishment of the abomination of desolation in Jerusalem is the Jewish occupation, and their setting it up as the capital of their government. We will go into detail about this shortly.

 

5) The new Roman Empire is the United States of America, or you could say that the name includes the entire West. In this case it meshes with the new Babylon mentioned in other prophecies. This further underlines the scope of power and authority that is given to the beast. We will see the end of this serpent along with the end of his abomination of desolation during the Day of Allah’s Wrath.

 

6) The army which shall come from the North or from the East is the Muslim mujahidun. This will also be explained shortly in another prophecy.

 

In this case there is no difficulty with the rest of the story with its alliances, war, and the coming of wrath of Allah, except that it is necessary to point out another reason to modify Bate’s statements, which is that the concept of the trinity which has corrupted their belief, has also corrupted their minds. On page 211 he forgets everything he previously said and affirms that the three persons called the little horn, the beast, and the head of the empire are all in fact, one and the same person.

 

The important point is that a change of that type does not alter the substance of the scenario. All that he has done is change the names of some of the actors.

 

The essential element in the drama is the return of the Jews to the Holy Land not with faith, but with their ancient unbelief, and their new atheism. In this way they established their state, which Daniel calls the abomination of desolation, on the holy and blessed land, which is the subject of the next chapter.

 

 

 

[1]Muslimu Ahlil-Kitab, Dr. Muhammad al-Suhaym, pp 543-573.

 

[2]Ibn Abi Shayba 4:26, al-Haythami 2:713, Nu`aym ibn Hammad “Al-Fitn” 2:479.

 

[3]The author of “The Proclamation of the Lord Jesus Christ” a commentary on Revelation which is well known among Christians of the Middle-east in its Arabic translation.