Islam and the Bahá’í Faith
While prophecies have not been in themselves sufficient proof for all people, as each individual sees in them what he/she wants to see, the prophecies associated with the time (date) of the coming of the Promised One may be of interest to some readers.
In the book of Najm'us-Saghib, Haji Mirza Husayn-i Noori a Shi'ite scholar and commentator writes:
"At the time of the revelation of this verse ("li-kulli ummaten ajal") which suggests that for every nation a term has been established, they asked the Messenger of God what is the term for the ummah of Islam, and He replies: `If my people were truthful they remain for one day. If they degrade, half a day will they last." - Najm'us-Saghib p. 87 (This Hadith also appears in vol. 13 of Bihar'ul- Anwar of Allamah Majlesi.)
In the Qur'an some verses indicate that sometimes, by a day, a 1000* years is meant:
"And they will bid thee hasten on the Doom, and Allah faileth not His promise, but lo! a Day with Allah is as a thousand years of what ye reckon." - [Qur'an 22:47]
*(Other verses in the Qur'an indicate that a day could be 50,000 years, but so far in history, religions have come at a more frequent rate, and while the essential teachings of all religions are eternal in nature, other laws concerning social relations have usually required changes on a more frequent basis.)
The Shi'ite Muslims believe that divine guidance continued through the twelve Imams. The twelfth Imam whom they believe to have gone into "occultation" only to return at the end of time as the Mahdi, (or Al-Qa'im, or Sahibul Zaman), disappeared in the year 260 A.H. Based on the hadith above, and many other sayings of the Imams and some verses of the Qur'an, some Muslim scholars, and some schools of thought such as the Shaykhis, speculated that the year 1260 A.H. would be the year of the coming of the Promised One.
As stated earlier, prophecies don't mean much for those who don't believe (or want to believe). It is equally true that anybody can come up with virtually any set of numbers, still for the interested reader a few more time prophecies are examined.
Regarding the verse:
"Keep up prayer from the declining of the sun till the "darkness of the night" and the morning recitation; surely the morning recitation is witnessed." - [Qur'an 17:78]
Some interpret this verse as: keep up the tenets/laws/ shari'a (represented here by "prayer") until the "darkness of the night", ("Ghasaqul-layl" in Arabic). The Abjad* value of "Ghasaqul-layl" is 1260.
* The ABJAD system of calculation, assigned a number to each letter of the Arabic alphabet. Words represent numbers in this system.
Another verse in the Qur'an which may hint to the time of the coming of the Mahdi is verse 32:5
"He orders the Affair from the heaven to the earth; then it will ascend to Him : in a day the measure of which is a thousand years as you count"
One of the Muslim scholars (Maulana Muhammad Ali) comments on this vers:
"Al-Amr or the Affair is the Affair of Islam, and its ordering or regulation from heaven to earth means that it comes from heaven and will be established firmly on earth. Then we are told that it will ascend to God in a day, the measure of which is a thousand years. As regareds the period of its firmness, we are told in a hadith that it will retain its purity for three centuries: ..."
But a calculation of the Abjad value of "Al-Amr" comes up with the number 272. Most sources tell us that Muhammad(PBUH) was born in 570 A.D. These sources also state that He was forty years old when He received first Revelation (610 AD). Sources such as encyclopedias tell us that Hijra (migration to Madina, beginning of the Islamic calendar) started in 622 (i.e. Revelation was 12 years before Hijra). So if one subtracts 12 from 272 one ends up with 260. The Affair, thereafter reverts to the Hand of God "in a day the measure of which is a thousand years as you count". (1260?)
It may also be of interest to observe that the number 1260 is mentioned in the Bible as well, as in Zoroastrian prophecies.
* * * * * * * * *
Some other Islamic traditions containing references to the year 1260 A.H.
Among the many references in the works of Muhyi'd-Din Al-Arabi, are the following: "The ministers and upholders of His Faith shall be of the people of Persia." "In His name, the name of the Guardian precedeth that of the Prophet." "The year of His Revelation is identical with half of that number which is divisible by nine ." ( i.e. 1260) In a tradition ascribed to the Imam Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, it is likewise recorded: "In Ghars the Tree of Divine guidance shall be planted." (Ghars which means planting, is numerically equivalent to 1260 in the Abjad system).
Imam Ja'far, son of Muhammad, when questioned concerning the year in which the Qa'im was to be made manifest, replied as follows: "Verily, in the year sixty His Cause shall be revealed, and His name shall be noised abroad."
* * * * * * * * *
Christians also await the Second Coming of Christ. In Matthew 24, verse 3 we read:
"As He sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto Him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?" One of the explanations He gave them in reply was in(verse 15): "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand)."
This is in the eighth chapter of the Book of Daniel.
Based on this (and other chapters of the Bible, and other prophecies), several Christian groups and denominations waiting for the second coming of Christ, calculated the date of the Return of Christ to the year 1844 A.D.
The year 1844 A.D. in the Gregorian calendar was the year 1260 A.H.