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Common Word, Common Lord

Common Word, Common Lord

Do Good Until the Very End

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Most Merciful

I must have missed the memo, because I reserved a tee time on early Sunday morning. Apparently, however, the world will end on May 21, 2011. That is according to a group called Family Radio, and they figure this out by this mathematical formula:

In Genesis, God told Noah that he had seven days until the flood. Using the language of the book of 2nd Peter, one day is 1,000 years. They believe that since the Flood happened in 4990 B.C., the day of rapture will be 7,000 years after, 2011, A.D. Through some more complicated math, they came up with the date…May 21st. “We didn’t know, no one knew, but the Bible has been opened up and we know,” said follower Oscar Moultrie.

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The man behind this, Harold Camping, has made a similar prediction in the past (which…uh…clearly was wrong), but this time, Mr. Camping is absolutely certain. Most, if not all, Christian theologians and leaders disagree with him on this, but this has not dissuaded him at all. Some people, in fact, have actually emptied their bank accounts to help Mr. Camping buy advertising space to spread the message.

Now, in both Islam and Christianity, the exact time of the Last Day is not known. When the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was asked about the timing of the Hour (another word for the Last Day), he replied, “The one being asked knows no more than the questioner.” In the Bible, Jesus said: “But of that day and hour knoweth no [man], no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” (Matthew 24:36) Camping, however, must know something that both Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them both) did not.

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Yet, say he is right: say the world will end on May 21st (hopefully I can still watch my daughter’s softball game…), what should be our response?

Should we, like some have done, empty our bank accounts and indulge in a streak of luxury? Should we stop working (although…it is convenient to end the world on a Saturday…we can finish out our work week and not have to take paid time off)?

We should keep on doing what we are doing, up until the very end. That is according to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), who said: “If the Hour [Last Day] were to occur and you had a seed or small plant in your hand, and you are able to plant it before that, then plant it.”

We should continue to do good, to make the world a better place, up until the very last second of the very last minute of the very last hour of the world. We should continue to spread peace and love and justice until He calls us back to Him, before Whom we will all be judged. That way, when He asks us about how we were before the end, we can answer with happiness, “We were doing Your will, our Precious Lord, until the very end.”

But, I don’t believe Camping one bit. Although I can’t say for certain that the world will not end on Saturday (it is possible that it will), I am planning to play golf with my friends Sunday morning.

I really have to work on my horrific slice/shank/blade/chipping/putting…

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