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Eschatology

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The Oxford Dictionary of Islam What is This? Covers the religious, political, and social spheres of global Islam in the modern world

    Eschatology

    The study of “last things” incorporates two related concepts: the afterlife and world's end. The Quran emphasizes the inevitability of resurrection, judgment, and the eternal division of the righteous and the wicked. On the day of resurrection, humans will be judged by their faith in God, their acceptance of God's revelations, and their works. The wicked will be consigned to eternal torment; the righteous will enjoy paradise. Later commentators include a belief in an intermediate state (barzakh) between death and the resurrection and final judgment. Before the final resurrection, the terrible tribulation of the last days occurs, during which the Great Deceiver, al-Dajjal, will appear. Though not mentioned in the Quran, al-Dajjal is prominent in hadith and later Islamic literature, as is the Mahdi (also absent in the Quran). The Mahdi will appear to bring justice and truth to all, the entire world will accept Islam, and his death (before the day of resurrection) will bring turmoil, uncertainty, and temptation. There are disagreements over the Mahdi's precise relationship to Jesus ; some deny there will be a Muslim Mahdi, claiming that Jesus' second coming will fulfill this role. Some believe that Jesus will return as a just judge; he will die after forty years and be buried in a spot beside Muhammad 's tomb in Medina that has been reserved for him.

    See also Mahdi

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