“If you see the black banners coming from the direction of Khorasân, then go to them, even if you have to crawl, because among them will be Allah’s Caliph the Mahdî.”
What do the black banners represent?
Black Flags of The Prophesied Khorasan Army
There are two types of flags in Islam.
The first is called Al-Liwaa and serves as the sign for the leader of the Muslim army. It is also the flag of the Islamic State. The Liwaa of the Messenger was a piece of white cloth with the words لآ اِلهَ اِلَّا اللّهُ مُحَمَّدُ رَّسُوْلُ اللّهِ written across it.
The other is termed as Ar-Raya and is used by the Muslim army. The Raya of the Messenger was a piece of black wool with the words لآ اِلهَ اِلَّا اللّهُ مُحَمَّدُ رَّسُوْلُ اللّهِ written on it.
Therefore, the Liwaa is a white flag with black inscription and the Raya is a black flag with white inscription.
The black banners, in Islamic eschatology, signify an army that will rise from the area of Khorasan holding the Black Flags of Islam. This army will conquer many occupied lands of Muslims until it reaches Jerusalem. Then the army will pledge its allegiance to Imam al Mahdi.
What is Khorosan?
In early Islamic times, the term Khorasan was an area covering parts of Central Asia and Afghanistan; usage often regarded everywhere east of western Persia, Djibal or what was subsequently termed ‘Irak ‘Adjami, as being included in a vast and ill-defined region of Khorasan, which might even extend to the Indus Valley and Sind.
Who is the Mahdi?
In Islamic eschatology, the Mahdi is the prophesied redeemer of Islam who will rule for seven, nine or nineteen years (according to various interpretations) before the Day of Judgment and will rid the world of evil.
Isa (Jesus Christ) will return to aid Mahdi, or the guided one, against Masih ad-Dajjal, the false messiah (Great Satan or Antichrist), and his followers. He will descend at the point of a white arcade dressed in yellow robes with his head anointed. He will then join the Mahdi in his war against the Dajjal. Isa will slay Dajjal, and unite humanity.
Allah’s Apostle said, “The Hour will not be established until the son of Maryam descends amongst you as a just ruler; he will break the cross, kill the pigs, and abolish the Jizya tax. Money will be in abundance so that nobody will accept it.” Volume 3, Book 43, Number 656
The Quran says, “And [Isa] shall be a Sign (for the coming of) the Hour (of Judgment): therefore have no doubt about the (Hour), but follow ye Me: this is a Straight Way. (Quran43:61)
The End Days of Islam
Islamic eschatology is the branch of Islamic scholarship that studies the end days. This is believed to be the final assessment of humanity by Allah, with annihilation of all life, resurrection, and judgment.
The time of the event is not specified, although there are major and minor signs which have been foretold to happen with Qiyamah at the end of time.The hadith describe end time with more specificity than the Qur’an, describing the events of al-Qiyamah through twelve major signs.
At the time of judgment, terrible corruption and chaos will rule. The Mahdi will be sent and with the help of Isa (Jesus Christ), will battle Masih ad-Dajjal (The Antichrist or Great Satan). They will triumph, liberating Islam from cruelty, and this will be followed by a time of serenity with people living true to religious values.
Ok, so what does this have to do with Syria?
Damascus is vitally important to both Christianity and Islam in the end of days.
Isaiah 17: A prophecy against Damascus
“See, Damascus will no longer be a city
but will become a heap of ruins.
2 The cities of Aroer will be deserted
and left to flocks, which will lie down,
with no one to make them afraid.
3 The fortified city will disappear from Ephraim,
and royal power from Damascus;
the remnant of Aram will be
like the glory of the Israelites,”
declares the Lord Almighty.
The prophecy is straightforward. In Isaiah 17, the prophet explains that, in the run-up to Armageddon, “Damascus is about to be removed, and will become a fallen ruin.” The implication is that it will be leveled by God on behalf of Israel as part of the last great struggle for mankind.
In the hadith, sayings of Muhammad, Damascus is where Isa (Jesus) returns to the Earth.
On the authority of Nawas bin Samaan said: I heard the messenger of Allah say- Isa- peace be upon him descend at the white minaret at the eastern side of Damascus (Muslim and Abu Daud and ibn Majah and Tirmidhi and declared Sahih by Hakim and its chain was declared Sahih and Ahmad) and on the authority of Aus bin Aus Ath Thaqafi- May Allah be pleased with him- that he heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) say- Isa will descend at the white minaret at the eastern side of Damascus wearing two garments dyed with saffron lightly placing his hands on the wings of two angels, as though pearls are dripping for his head (Fadaail Ash Shaam, transferred from Nihayah)
The religious significance of Damascus in Christianity and Islam is undeniable. The two most popular religions in the world each have prophecies stating the beginning of the end times takes place in Damascus.
Well, who are the Syrian rebels?
The Al-Nusra Front or Jabhat al-Nusra is an Al Qaeda associate operating in Syria. The group announced its creation on 23 January 2012 during the Syrian civil war. It is described as “the most aggressive and successful arm of the rebel force”. The group was designated by the United Nations, the United States in December 2012, Australia in June 2013 and the United Kingdom in July 2013 as a terrorist organization.
In April 2013, the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq released an audio statement announcing that Jabhat al-Nusra is its branch in Syria. The leader of Al Nusra, Abu Mohammad al-Golani, denied the merger but affirmed their allegiance to Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. By May 2013, a faction of Jabhat loyal to the Islamic State of Iraq leadership began acting under the name of the “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant”
What is Al Qaeda?
Al Qaeda is a global militant Islamist organization founded by Osama bin Laden in Peshawar, Pakistan, at some point between August 1988 and late 1989, with its origins being traceable to the Soviet War in Afghanistan. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad and a strict interpretation of sharia law.
How did Al-Qaeda start?
Osama Bin Laden was born in the bin Laden family to billionaire Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden in Saudi Arabia. He studied there in college until 1979, when he joined the mujahideen forces in Pakistan against the Soviets in Afghanistan. He helped to fund the mujahideen by funneling arms, money and fighters from the Arab world into Afghanistan, also gaining popularity from many Arabs.
In 1988, he formed Al-Qaeda. He was banished from Saudi Arabia in 1992, and shifted his base to Sudan, until US pressure forced him to leave Sudan in 1996. After establishing a new base in Afghanistan, he declared a war against the United States, initiating a series of bombings and related attacks.
Following the Soviet Union’s withdrawal from Afghanistan in February 1989, Osama bin Laden returned to Saudi Arabia in 1990 as a hero of jihad. Along with his Arab legion, he was thought to have “brought down the mighty superpower” of the Soviet Union. He was angered by the internecine tribal fighting among the Afghans.
The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait under Saddam Hussein on August 2, 1990, put the Saudi kingdom and the House of Saud at risk. With Iraqi forces on the Saudi border, Saddam’s appeal to pan-Arabism was potentially inciting internal dissent. Bin Laden met with King Fahd, and Saudi Defense Minister Sultan, telling them not to depend on non-Muslim assistance from the United States and others, and offering to help defend Saudi Arabia with his Arab legion. Bin Laden’s offer was rebuffed, and the Saudi monarchy invited the deployment of U.S. forces in Saudi territory.
Bin Laden publicly denounced Saudi dependence on the U.S. military, arguing the two holiest shrines of Islam, Mecca and Medina, the cities in which the Prophet Mohamed received and recited Allah’s message, should only be defended by Muslims. Bin Laden’s criticism of the Saudi monarchy led them to try to silence him.
Bin Laden continued to speak publicly against the Saudi government, for which the Saudis banished him. In 1992 he went to live in exile in Sudan.
Due to the increasing pressure on Sudan from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United States, bin Laden was permitted to leave for a country of his choice. He chose to return to Jalalabad, Afghanistan aboard a chartered flight on May 18, 1996; there he forged a close relationship with Mullah Mohammed Omar.
According to the 9/11 Commission, the expulsion from Sudan significantly weakened bin Laden and his organization. Some African intelligence sources have argued that the expulsion left bin Laden without an option other than becoming a full-time radical, and that most of the 300 Afghan Arabs who left with him subsequently became terrorists.
In August 1996, bin Laden declared war against the United States. Despite the assurance of President George H.W. Bush to King Fahd in 1990, that all U.S. forces based in Saudi Arabia would be withdrawn once the Iraqi threat had been dealt with, by 1996 the Americans were still there. Bush cited the necessity of dealing with the remnants of Saddam’s regime (which Bush had chosen not to destroy). Bin Laden’s view was that “the ‘evils’ of the Middle East arose from America’s attempt to take over the region and from its support for Israel. Saudi Arabia had been turned into ‘an American colony”.
He issued a fatwā against the United States, which was first published in Al Quds Al Arabi, a London-based newspaper. It was entitled “Declaration of War against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Places.” Saudi Arabia is sometimes called “The Land of the Two Holy Mosques” in reference to Mecca and Medina, the two holiest places in Islam.
Osama bin Laden was motivated by a belief that U.S. foreign policy has oppressed, killed, or otherwise harmed Muslims in the Middle East,condensed in the phrase, “They hate us for what we do, not who we are.” Bin Laden also believed only the restoration of Sharia law would “set things right” in the Muslim world.
What does Al-Qaeda want?
On March 11, 2005, Al-Quds Al-Arabi published extracts from Saif al-Adel’s document “Al Qaeda’s Strategy to the Year 2020”. Abdel Bari Atwan summarizes this strategy as comprising five stages to rid the Ummah from all forms of oppression:
- Provoke the United States and the West into invading a Muslim country by staging a massive attack or string of attacks on U.S. soil that results in massive civilian casualties.
- Incite local resistance to occupying forces.
- Expand the conflict to neighboring countries, and engage the U.S. and its allies in a long war of attrition.
- Convert al-Qaeda into an ideology and set of operating principles that can be loosely franchised in other countries without requiring direct command and control, and via these franchises incite attacks against the U.S. and countries allied with the U.S. until they withdraw from the conflict, as happened with the 2004 Madrid train bombings, but which did not have the same effect with the July 7, 2005 London bombings.
- The U.S. economy will finally collapse by the year 2020 under the strain of multiple engagements in numerous places, making the worldwide economic system which is dependent on the U.S. also collapse leading to global political instability, which in turn leads to a global jihad led by al-Qaeda and a Wahhabi Caliphate will then be installed across the world following the collapse of the U.S. and the rest of the Western world countries.
The Symbols of Al Qaeda
The flag of Al Qaeda
Compare it to the black banner of the prophesied Greater Khorasan Army
Do you think the similarity of these two flags is a coincidence? How about Osama Bin Laden choosing Afghanistan as his place of operations after being pressured to leave Sudan?
Remember that Afghanistan is modern day Khorasan.
Do you think the hadith I began this post with might have played a role in Al Qaeda’s strategy?
“If you see the black banners coming from the direction of Khurasân, then go to them, even if you have to crawl, because among them will be Allah’s Caliph the Mahdî.”
Who had the deepest influence on Bin Laden ideologically?
While studying at university Osama Bin Laden became obsessed with religion. It was one professor in particular who had an enormous impact on him, Muhammad Qutb, the brother of Sayyid Qutb.
Sayyid Qutb was an Egyptian author, educator, Islamic theorist, poet, and the leading member of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in the 1950s and 60s. In 1966 he was convicted of plotting the assassination of Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser and was executed by hanging.
Even though most of his observations and criticism were leveled at the Muslim world, Qutb is also known for his intense disapproval of the society and culture of the United States, which he saw as obsessed with materialism, violence, and sexual pleasures.
In 1939, he became a functionary in Egypt’s Ministry of Education. From 1948 to 1950, he went to the United States on a scholarship to study its educational system, spending several months at Colorado State College of Education (now the University of Northern Colorado).
The turning point in Qutb’s views resulted from his visit to the United States, where he aimed for further studies in educational administration. Over a two-year period, he worked in several different institutions including what was then Wilson Teachers’ College in Washington, D.C., Colorado State College for Education in Greeley, and Stanford University.
He also traveled extensively, visiting the major cities of the United States and spent time in Europe on the return journey to Egypt.
On his return to Egypt, Qutb published an article entitled “The America that I Have Seen.” He was critical of many things he had observed in the United States: its materialism, individual freedoms, economic system, racism, brutal boxing matches, “poor” haircuts, superficiality in conversations and friendships, restrictions on divorce, enthusiasm for sports, lack of artistic feeling, “animal-like” mixing of the sexes (which “went on even in churches”), and strong support for the new Israeli state.
Qutb concluded that major aspects of American life were primitive and “shocking”, a people who were “numb to faith in religion, faith in art, and faith in spiritual values altogether.” His experience in the U.S. is believed to have formed in part the impetus for his rejection of Western values and his move towards Islamism upon returning to Egypt. Resigning from the civil service, he joined the Muslim Brotherhood in the early 1950s.
Qutb had influence on Islamic insurgent/terror groups in Egypt and elsewhere. His influence on Al Qaeda was felt through his writing, his followers and especially through his brother, Muhammad Qutb, who moved to Saudi Arabia following his release from prison in Egypt and became a professor of Islamic Studies and edited, published and promoted his brother Sayyid’s work.
One of Muhammad Qutb’s students and later an ardent follower was Ayman Zawahiri, who went on to become a member of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and later a mentor to Osama bin Laden and a leading member of al-Qaeda. Zawahiri was first introduced to Qutb by his uncle and maternal family patriarch, Mahfouz Azzam, who was very close to Qutb throughout his life.
Osama bin Laden was also acquainted with Sayyid’s brother, Muhammad Qutb. A close college friend of bin Laden’s, Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, told Wright, that bin Laden regularly attended weekly public lectures by Muhammad Qutb, at King Abdulaziz University, and that he and bin Laden both “read Sayyid Qutb. He was the one who most affected our generation.”
While imprisoned in Yemen, Anwar al-Awlaki became influenced by the works of Qutb. He would read 150–200 pages a day of Qutb’s works, describing himself during the course of his reading as “so immersed with the author I would feel Sayyid was with me in my cell speaking to me directly.
What was Qutb’s influence on Islam?
Qutb outlined his ideas in his book Ma’alim fi-l-Tariq (aka Milestones). Other important principles of Qutbism include:
- Adherence to Sharia as sacred law accessible to humans, without which Islam cannot exist
- Adherence to Sharia as a complete way of life that will bring not only justice, but peace, personal serenity, scientific discovery, complete freedom from servitude, and other benefits
- Avoidance of Western and non-Islamic “evil and corruption,” including socialism and nationalism
- Vigilance against Western and Jewish conspiracies against Islam
- A two-pronged attack of 1) preaching to convert and 2) jihad to forcibly eliminate the “structures” of Jahiliyya (ignorance of divine guidance)
- The importance of offensive Jihad to eliminate Jahiliyya not only from the Islamic homeland but from the face of the earth
Qutbism postulates that sharia-based society will have an almost supernatural perfection, providing justice, prosperity, peace and harmony both individually and societally. Its wonders are such that the use of offensive jihad to spread sharia-Islam throughout the non-Muslim world will not be aggression but “a movement… to introduce true freedom to mankind.” It frees humanity from servitude to man because its divine nature requires no human authorities to judge or enforce its law.
Qutbism emphasizes the (alleged) evil designs of Westerners and Jews against Islam, and the importance of Muslims not trusting or imitating them.
Sayyid Qutb’s biggest contribution to Islam was the idea of offensive jihad. Prior to that, jihad was not a preemptive tool. It was done as retribution, but after his intellectual contribution Muslim extremists finally had the license they needed to begin proactively waging Jihad against the West and Jews.
What is the Muslim Brotherhood?
The Muslim Brotherhood is a transnational Islamic political organization. Founded in Egypt in 1928 as a Pan-Islamic, religious, political, and social movement by the Islamic scholar and schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna. By the end of World War II the Muslim Brotherhood had an estimated two million members. Its ideas had gained supporters throughout the Arab world and influenced other Islamist groups with its “model of political activism combined with Islamic charity work.”
The Brotherhood’s stated goal is to instill the Qur’an and Sunnah as the “sole reference point for… ordering the life of the Muslim family, individual, community… and state.”
The Muslim Brotherhood’s goal is to unify Muslims under one Islamic state, a Caliphate, or an international organization similar to a European Union with Islamic principles.
What does the Muslim Brotherhood have to do with Syria?
First you have to tie the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda together. The Muslim Brotherhood is the political and operational arm of installing theocratic Muslim states under a Caliphate lead by the Mahdi in the end times. Their purpose is to provide the infrastructure and political institutions necessary for ruling.
Al Qaeda is the military arm of the Caliphate.
The two organizations work in tandem by destabilizing governments and then providing a leadership organization that is capable of swiftly assuming power and efficiently providing governing institutions.
Where does the end of days take place in both Islam and Christianity?
What happens in Damascus?
The return of Jesus and the Mahdi. They defeat the United States (Antichrist or Great Satan) and pave the way for an Islamic Caliphate.
What’s the most effective way to create a Caliphate?
Toppling existing governments and efficiently providing government institutions.
Which continent is most ripe for political destabilization?
List of African countries and the percentage of their population that is Muslim
The countries that make up northern Africa have a large concentration of Muslim citizens and are politically destabilized after the Arab Spring. Whether or not you believe Islamic prophecy is at work, the region appears to be primed for a Caliphate.
What’s the first step in creating the prophesied Caliphate?
Taking control of Syria and awaiting the return of the Mahdi and Isa. Step 2 is Isa slaying the Antichrist (The United States).
So why does Syria matter to US national security?
We are being sucked into an eschatological war and giving Muslim Extremists the war they’ve been waiting on since Muhammad left the cave.
President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are playing right into the hands of our enemies. Unfortunately, they aren’t seeing the big picture.
This is a war we may not be able to avoid forever, but we can say “no” right now. We can say we will not willingly entertain your apocalyptic fantasies. We will not support you with funds and weapons only to have them turned right back around on us. You may think you are on a date with destiny, but first you’ll have to defeat Assad, Russia, Iran, and China on your own.
The point of this essay is not to scare anyone.
What I didn’t present in the beginning was the authenticity of the first hadith.
Salman Ibn Fahd Al-’Udah, board member of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, recently responded to a question about this hadith in an appearance at a Saudi Arabian university.
There is also the Hadith narrated by Thawban in which the Prophet said: “If you see the black banners emerging from Khurasan, seek to join their supporters even if creeping, because among them will be caliph Al-Mahdi.” That Hadith was reported by Al-Hakim and Ahmad. But the chains of narration of that hadith were all unauthentic.”
Bin Laden purposefully picked the symbols of Al Qaeda. He wanted to create the events of this false prophecy with the hope of deceitfully influencing Muslims. Authenticity be damned.
The true purpose of this post is to demonstrate that whether a belief is true or false is irrelevant. The intensity of its believers is everything. That passion shapes the events of human history.
So, why does Syria matter?
It’s because each of us, as libertarians, must believe in liberty with the same fervor as those who wish to bring on the war of Armageddon.
We must unflinchingly believe that man is destined for voluntary association and natural harmony. If we don’t, we risk our fates being tied to the prophecies of antiquity.
Unfortunately, we cannot offer an eternal afterlife or a harem of virgins… but freedom from oppression and peace on Earth ain’t bad.