The Muslim world has been keeping the rest of the world busy in dealing with it for decades. It is easy to believe that this is all a result of the natural course of events, with fanatical imams and ayatollahs inciting their followers to a hatred of Western culture. Like everything else that occurs, however, we know that this is just another series of world events that have been orchestrated for us by the Al-mighty.

...the rise of the Arab world is no mere chance.

In fact, the present state of affairs was clearly described in the Zohar, so the rise of the Arab world is no mere chance. It is the reward that G‑d promised Ishmael for accepting the commandment of circumcision at the age of 13, and it is only a passing state of affairs.

The Zohar (Vayera 32a) states:

Rabbi Yossi and Rabbi Chiya were traveling together: Said Rabbi Yossi to Rabbi Chiya, "Why are you silent? The way is only complete through [speaking] words of Torah."

Rabbi Chiya groaned and began to cry. He began, "’And Sarah was barren, she had no children’. (Gen. 11:30) Woe for this! Woe for the moment when Hagar gave birth to Ishmael!"

Rabbi Yossi said to him, "But she [Sarah] gave birth later and had a son, a holy offshoot."

Said he [Rabbi Chiya], "You see [Yitzchak] and I see [the future of Ishmael], and so I heard from the mouth of Rabi Shimon bar Yochai, and that is why I cry."

He [Rabbi Yossi] said, "What is this?"
Said he [Rabbi Chiya], "Woe for that time!"

The Zohar continues, that for 400 years Ishmael's guardian angel kept asking G‑d to reward Ishmael for performing the mitzvah of circumcision. G‑d responded that the descendants of Ishmael do not perform the mitzvah properly, the way the descendants of Yitzchak do. But the angel continued to argue that, nevertheless, the descendants of Ishmael must be rewarded for their faithful and ongoing adherence to circumcision.

The Zohar then states:

Woe is for the time Ishmael was born and circumcised! [His performance of the mitzvah of circumcision would have to be rewarded, and this would come at a heavy price for the descendants of Yitzchak.] What did G‑d do? He distanced the children of Ishmael from the connection Above and gave them a share in the Holy Land because of their circumcision.

...the children of Ishmael are destined to arouse great wars in the world...

And the descendants of Ishmael are destined to rule the Holy Land when it is barren of all for a long time, just as their circumcision is empty, without completeness. And the children of Ishmael are destined to arouse great wars in the world and to gather the descendants of Edom (Rome) against them, and they will initiate wars with them, one at sea, one on land and one near Jerusalem. They will rule over each other and the Holy Land will not be handed over to the children of Edom.

We have already seen much of the Zohar’s words come to pass. The Arabs’ ruled in the Land of Israel for centuries when the land was barren. They have stirred up war with the West and caused forces to arrive from the furthest reaches of the world to face them in battle. Now we eagerly await the fulfillment of the rest of the prophecy, as we return to our Land with King Mashiach at our head.

[From Zeman Magazine, July 2013]