Islam is an Arabic religion. The Arabs are related to Israel through Abraham and Hagar (one of the maids of Sarah, Abraham's wife). The Bible states that after Hagar became pregnant Sarah made her life miserable. The tension was so bad that she had to escape to the desert. Near death, an angelic messenger appears to her, tells her to go back to Sarah, and then gives an amazing prophecy about Ishmael in her womb.
'I will give you so many descendants that no one will be able to count them. 12 But your son will live like a wild donkey; he will be against everyone, and everyone will be against him . . .' (Genesis 16)
God appears to Abraham, when Ishmael reaches 13, and makes yet another promise about his son through Hagar. He promises that Ishmael (through whom Islam traces its roots) will be the father of twelve princes and that they will become a great nation (Genesis 17:20).
Twelve sons or princes do indeed come out of Ishmael (Genesis 25:12-18) and live in a land we now refer to as Arabia. His descendants would one day create the Arab empire - one of the greatest the world has ever known.
Are people of Arabic origin, from which Islam would rise, mentioned in God's word? Isaiah refers to those in Arabia as inhabiting the land of Tema. He then gives a prophecy about the "glory of Kedar" falling (Isaiah 21:13-17). Tema and Kedar were two of the twelve sons of Ishmael (Genesis 25:12-15). Easton's Bible Dictionary defines Arabia as inhabited by the descendants of Esau (Edomites). Fausset's Bible Dictionary further states the Ammonites and Moabites (Ammon and Moab) settled the area. Over time, all these tribes and others intermarried and merged to become known as Arabs.
King of the South
Daniel 11's prophecy, though they had a shadow of a fulfillment in the 2nd century before Christ, is certainly one whose primary focus is on the time of the end just ahead of us. This chapter discusses both a prophetic king who is north of Israel and one who is south. The final manifestation of the north king will likely be a confederation or union of European powers led by one of their own. The final manifestation of the southern king, likely a confederation of Islam-based countries and powers, will also appear before the return of Jesus.
Some are concerned about a resurgence fundamentalism within the religion of Muhammad. The Shiite is a sect of Islam that came into being due to a split between one of Mohammed's son-in-laws and the ruling powers of his day. Shi'ism is ruled by an Imam, who is believed to be without error and a manifestation of God. He is the only one who is able to reveal the Koran's real meanings. Many of those who practice this form have a Persian heritage. The vast majority of those in Iran are Shiite Muslims. The movement is also gaining ground in other locations.
To Muslims, Islam is a very real and influential power on the world scene that is focused on governing right now. The belief in Jihad or holy war is still very much alive. The Sunnis, considered a somewhat moderate sect of the religion, dominates Saudi Arabia. The definition of moderate, however, is one where those who commit adultery are stoned to death.
King of the North
Based on what is written in Daniel the 11th chapter, the king that resides north of Israel will enter Palestine. Those who will escape include Moab, Edom and Ammon but those who do not include Egypt. Saudi Arabia will not escape either since their wealth of oil is critical to any European-based power since Europe most import almost all its oil to fuel its economy.
The Middle East is a powder keg of religion, money, ego, and an abundance of natural resources like oil that is set to blow at any time. A spark in the world of Islam could set off a world war. What would happen if countries around the world, who still depend on oil for their economies, saw a united Europe invade the Middle East? They would likely act swiftly to keep the invaders from taking all the resources for themselves.
The people of Islam are destined, according to Bible prophecy, to affect our lives in a most profound way. Our failure to understand the signs of the times will reap, if we do nothing, a whirlwind of disaster. The sword of Islam has never remained in its sheath for very long.