Islam Opinions

Lord of the Rings and Islam

Written by Kashif Hussain

Islam and the Tolkien’s Narrative

Lord of the Rings and Islam – Many of you have seen the Tolkien series of films, there’s Lords of the Rings and The Hobbit. I’ve seen each of the movies three times over and I’ve started to notice similar trends to the Islamic narrative of the final days. I mean the name of the region is ‘Middle earth’, that is pretty much like ‘Middle East’! So there are four main characters:

The Dajjal: The Dajjal is known as the one eyed Anti-Christ in Islam. He will appear during the end of times and cause havoc, he is literally the opposite of Jesus Christ, instead of bringing purity, he will spread negativity. A distinguishing sign that has been reported is that he will have ‘one eye’.

No Prophet was sent but he warned his people about the one-eyed liar. He has one-eye but your Lord has not one-eye, and between his eyes will be written Kaafir Sahih al-Bukhari, No. 6598

Lord of the Rings and Islam

He will be one of the biggest tribulations to humanity. Islamic Scholars have stated that he will enter in to the world when  the Muslim Ummah are weak in faith and the ways of the devil are flourishing. In LOTR Saruman makes mention of how Sauran is hidden in a chamber and that his time is near. It is believed that the Dajjal is currently waiting for the perfect moment, either in a cave or another secret location. We can see that evil spreads across Middle Earth and there is conflict. Similarly the West is doing the same and to date have destroyed Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and soon Syria. In the film the armies gather, that is exactly what will happen on an international scale. Non Muslims (The West) vs Muslims. Considering the current climate, it is likely his time is near.

Lord of the Rings and Islam

Mahdi: The Mahdi is the awaited Imam for the Muslims but prior to his leadership, he will be a normal bloke and somewhat withdrawn from wider society. He will also come from pure ancestry, just like Aragorn. Aragorn is first filmed in the pub as a mysterious rider, later his qualities are reflected and he p;lays a major role in the fellowship. When the crew arrive in Gondor, Aragorn realises his true potential, that he is destined to become leader.

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Rider

In Islam the Mahdi will be of the same calibre, people will flock around him and pledge allegiance, even though he does not ask for it. In Gondor, after much dispute, the crew select Aragorn to lead them.

The world will not come to pass until a man from among my family, whose name will be my name, rules over the Arabs. Tirmidhi, vol 9, pg 74

AND

Even if one day remains for Qiyamah, yet Allah will surely send a man from my family who will fill this world with such justice and fairness, just as initially was filled with oppressionAbu Dawud

Considering Aragorn is a Prince, his forefathers had flourished and spread peace among men, Aragorn throughout the film keeps everyone on track.

Lord of the Rings and Islam

Jesus: The Islamic and Christian narrative of Jesus’s return is similar. Jesus is believed to have ‘sacrificed’ himself on the cross for humanity and in particular his people. In LOTR, Gandalf sacrifices himself when they cross the stone bridge, so that his companions can flee with safety. Muslims believe that Jesus will return near the end of times to support the Muslims, this will be in-conjunction with the Mahdi.

Lord of the Rings and Islam

In LOTR, Gandalf returns as Gandalf the White, he appears as a heavenly beauty. And then he says the well quoted line, ‘I’ve been sent back till my task is done’, just like Jesus. He also says ‘I’ve come back at the tail of the end of time’, this is just before Sauran is about to take over the world. Although it is Jesus that will kill the Dajjal and in the film Frodo destroys the ring, the ultimate efforts are of Aragorn and Gandalf. The final battle when Gandalf, Aragorn, and the rest of the survivors are surrounded by Army of Sauron after the dark gate is opened (the event just before Frodo throws The Ring into the lava). That event resembles the final Armageddon war between Jesus, Al-Mahdi and the rest of Muslims Vs Dajjal and his army. In the Islamic narrative, Jesus will kill Dajjal with a dagger, but in the film Frodo does, I guess Tolkien wanted the film a bit more dramatic, thus the ring being central to the film.

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Lord of the Rings and Islam gandalf white

Gog and Megog: In the film there is the notable ‘Door under the mountain’ that is mentioned several times. In the Qur’an [18:92-99] there is a mention of people who complained that the tribes of the Yajooj and Majooj who often merged from behind a mountain caused acts of anarchy and plunder. Then the Quran says ‘Until when Yajooj and Majooj are let loose from their barrier and they swiftly swarm from every mound [21:96-97] and, ‘And on that day we shall leave them to surge like waves on one another and the trumpet will be blown and we shall be collected together.’ [18:92-99]. In LOTR this can be seen as the Army of the Elephants and the Army of Orcs and Ura Kais.

Lord of the Rings and Islam

Also During the beginning of the film there is a distantly eastern/arabic soundtrack.  There is a Muslim-looking army coming to fight and the two hobbits see sorcery at work. It’s also important to note that Tolkien was fluent in Arabic and had many Muslim philosopher friends. It seems to be Tolkien was inspired by Islamic Scripture. The ring is closely matched with that of Soloman.  Gandalf’s staff is based on Moses staff and the Sword used, is very similar to the sword of the Prophet.

So is this all a coincidence?

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58 Comments

  • Salam alaykum,
    I think you are indeed on the right track, and it’s good that you perceived some of the similarities. There is a researcher who has delved deeply into this subject, she is at https://twitter.com/Amina_Hesperia

    You might want to check it out and see what she has to say. Amina would go further and say not only did Tolkien take – appropriate actually – Islamic themes, but the degree of the deep similarities shows that he must have directly took from the classical arabic narrations in hadith and similar works. There is so much detail that could only have come from hadith sources llike Nuaym Bin Hammad, and other lessser known sources. Which is why most Muslims miss the similarities. They haven’t read some of these lesser known hadiths.

    So yes, it is about the Mahdi. But it’s more complex. Tolkien’s symbolism for the Mahdi and Jesus are different than your interpretation.

    But there’s a bigger mystery. Amina believes that Tolkien has a timeline, a chronology for his Second and Third age. She believes that part of that chronology exactly fits the timeframe and sequence given in the hadiths about Fitan. And that Tolkien encoded a date in his stories, based on what he read. For whatever motives he had. This date corresponds with the major signs, including the disasters that will wipe out most of humanity before the Mahdi. Basically an Extinction Level Event (ELE) that some scholars are aware of. In which 9 out of 10 of humanity could die.

    Take a look, I’m interested in your thoughts.

  • Sauron = Muhammad, Xerxes I , Mehmed the Conqueror,

    Saruman = Solomon Prophet, Judaism

    Mordor = Turkey, Ottoman Empire, Seljuk Empire

    Orcs = Turks

    Gondor = Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine)

    Aragorn = Basil II ,Byzantine Emperor

    Barad-dûr – Dark Tower = Kaaba

    Mount Doom = Hira Mount

    Ring = Religion (İslam And Judaism)

    The Black eye ,The Red Eye, the Evil Eye, the Lidless Eye, the Great Eye, Sauron eye) = ALLAH

      • Dear Kashif, i noticed that there are some mistaces in your article. For example, you wrote that the name “middle-earth” is related to “middle-east”, but that is wrong.
        I read a lot about tolkien, his beliefs and his work. He was a devout catholic all his life, but he also loved scandinavian mythology, and the name “middle-earth” comes form “midgard” or “middangeard”, the name some old germanic tribes used for our world. For example, there is a poem named “Crist” by the old english poet Cynewulf that goes like this (only a part of it) : “Éala Éarendel engla beorhtast! ofer middangeard mannum sended and sódfæsta sunnan leoma torht ofer tunglas, þú tída gehwane of sylfum þe symle inlíhtes.“

        Translated to modern english, this means : ” “Oh, Éarendel, the angel most brilliant! Sent to man through Midgard, and truly sunbeams beaming over stars, you always shine from within yourself. ”

        Also, there is no music score in the movie that remembers me of middle-eastern music, and there are no warriors that look like muslims (what does the typical muslim warrior actually look like ? 🙂 )

        And finally, tolkien wrote in a letter to a priest he was friends with : ” Of course, the Lord of the Rings is a fundamentally religious and Catholic work, unconscious at first but consciously looking back. That’s why I did not bring in much of anything, or much more, omit everything that might point to anything like religion, cults or customs in the imaginary world.
        For the religious element is embedded in the story and its symbolism.”

        By the way, i let the google translator do the translation work on Cynewulf’s poem and Tolkien’s letter since english is not my native language (it’s german) and there are some words that i could not translate accurately 🙂

  • I can’t understand you Christians. You beliv Jesus as a son of god and god. How ur god died and his father not died yet. It means if son died then his father(ur god) will also die. And god on which u believe will die and real god will not die ever. Because son and father are if same nature. If a man’s son die then his father have to die. Alas on you….. Ur god make sex woth mary… His son die… So sad…. I think if scientists makes log log travel rocket through space.. Then they can kill your god… So weak your god.

  • You can see similarities between LOTR and today :

    The Muslim invation of europe (Sauron = Allah that’s why he have arab-looking guys on his side)
    The Treason of the European elites (Saruman)
    The Resistance of Europeans (Gondor and Rohan)
    The corrupted republics (Gondor’s Denethor)
    The upcoming war between Europeans and imbred muslims

    And finally the triumph of Europe.

    • brother. battle of viena(1683) was battle of minas tirith in 3rd age and now 4rth age start>>>>>>>>>>

  • Another similarity I found was at the end they say the fourth age of the middle earth started.. First was Moses, then Jesus, then Muhammad, and the fourth now. I truly believe that it is highly inspired by Islamic ideology, but of course the writer has picked up other things from here and there.

  • my opinion is the following :all names having north accent viking names etc …i spotted that all religions as christian,islam jewish including boudhist having same criterias,practices.one thing took my attention which is sacrifice .Islam having sacrifice of mutton,which mean blood .so by seing first world war and second world war.It does seems to me that big power is running the world since it was created .Really i doubt that dinosaures were having extinction due to meteorit but it was elimnation by gaz or something which is creation of this power throught an intelligent creature which is mankind.So question is:many movies briging message of what is worls and what will be.??islamic people thinking they are best so why killing animal by sacifice and blaming satan devil doing this on person??still.the end of aim is blood.Does god like blood ??others religion condamning homosexual people(despite i am not ) by sentence of death so why god asking people to kill people which pepople were the one who himself created ??why asking people to go for jihad why god can not killing by himself the supposed bad peoples in earth.It sems to me that god behave with us like behaving with kids by threaten them(hell) or fooling them with suit candles( paradise) .i do believe in god in his powerfull power.But still why asking us manking to kill each others.Wathever is reason land or behavior or ethic reasons etc…how many people died in horribles wars slaughtered ,killed, since creation of this world??is this not enough??jews with their great intelligence fighting years and years for small supposed holly land??muslim years killing because they are supposed to be the cleaners of earth against immoral acts .the christian are like bad student of god but also having great power.and using it for having oil,food from poor countries.??
    for me my explanation for movie is as follow :
    –the magician persons are the scientic people like Einstein ,Newton etc…
    –the small hobbits are jewshs .
    –the smart djin are christians (blond one)cold weather.
    –the Arabs and muslims are the one having killers dogs (because arabs use to be hunters) always fighintg against hobbits(jewish)
    –,the dragon are chineses and north korea see yellow eyes of the dragon andchinese having lot of money of the world.
    — .the eagles are the flight fighters (created by magicians).
    –the ugly people are the rest of the wolrld including Arabs and Muslims poor in military power,poor in intelligence because beleiving in anything come from religion not using their brains . despite having crowd people ,
    the output is as it is:

    USA+Russia+others christian countries +Israel against Iran ,China Iran rest of the world …..
    final Result :NOBODY WILL LIVE AFTER THAT Nuclear war .and new world will restart with stone age etc…”new clean world” .It seems to me that we are like in stage of long age of the world .Power is managing human being .Goal ??i do not really know .Maybe they are another kind of specy.Not human being or another planets using earth as colony.
    whatever is the power it is namely GOD.
    Will god if he is on human being side we hope this will end in good way .But if god is not on our mankind side just to apocalypse is not far.
    maybe the hobbits are the Brains of invaders(with all respect to jewish people) the west is the GUN and the rest of the world is the farm colony.

    • I can’t understand you Christians. You beliv Jesus as a son of god and god. How ur god died and his father not died yet. It means if son died then his father(ur god) will also die. And god on which u believe will die and real god will not die ever. Because son and father are if same nature. If a man’s son die then his father have to die. Alas on you….. Ur god make sex woth mary… His son die… So sad…. I think if scientists makes log log travel rocket through space.. Then they can kill your god… So weak your god.

  • I have watched all the LOTR films and love them and have seen similarities between Islamic teachings and the story. I think it’s the story of Iblis (The fallen one) before he rejected Adam. Before the Jinns there was another species on Earth called the Binn, who corrupted the world and Jinns led by Iblis were the good guys and were there to clean up the mess. I genuinely believe Frodo represents Iblis. Frodo is seen as the saviour of earth. I don’t think it would surprise me as the Hobbit films are based on Jews and them returning to Jerusalem and Smaug representing the Arabs.

  • You write: ‘Tolkien ….. had many Muslim philosopher friends’.
    Who were these many Muslim philosopher friends?
    What were their names? Where did they teach? What books did they write?
    Have you read the Tale of Gyges ring in book 2 of Plato’s Republic?
    It made anyone wearing it invisible. It twisted anyone who possessed it.
    Uncannily like another ring; isn’t it?. Is that where Tolkien got his idea? But Plato could not have been a Muslim.

  • I really liked your article though you seem not to have read the books (sorry for my bad english). I haven’t read the Quran so correct me if I make mistakes.
    Another similarity could be their writing style. From the few quotes I read Tolkien and whoever translated the quran into english had quite the same style in their use of words and sentence structure. This may have been unintentional if tolkien read the quran and I strongly believe he did so as he was very curious and interested in anything related to other languages/cultures.
    As I did some research for school I stumbled over these quotes and immediatly thought about Tolkien, so I share your opinion but the other people may also be right as Tolkien created a whole universe on its own that has various similarities to any religion/culture/believe/… and he himself wasn’t involved in the making of the films (except for the fact that Sir Christopher Lee was in it and played a wizard).

      • If any characters are Jewish in the Middle-earth stories then they are the dwarves. But, so many of you guys refuse to accept that Tolkien said again and again and again that his characters and stories should not be interpreted in such ways. When the Nazis, just before WWII asked if the dwarves were Jews and tried to make something hateful of it, then Tolkien wrote them an elegant and very scathing letter being very complimentary about the Jewish nation and telling the Nazi provocateurs – in the best possible English, of course – to f*** off.

  • There can be any number of similarities but the reason the Christian narrative is similar is that righteous people from The People of the Book will fight along side the Muslims against Dajjal (AntiChrist) and his army.

  • You know which religion has similar trends when it comes to the final days? Every single one of them. If a religion has a doomsday prophecy it looks similar to the one we see in islam or christianity. Since Tolkien was a christian frodo and gollum represents the messiah(you know, jesus). Hate to burst your islamic special snowflake bubble, but islam’s view of the end days is almost identical to christian view, the only difference are the names, concept is the same.

    • That’s because all the Prophets from Adam, Noah, Abraham, Ismaeel, Isaaq and Jesus may peace be upon them all came with the same message. The final Prophet Muhammad Sallalahu Allaihi Wasalam confirmed all that was revealed to the Prophets before him. In short, Islam did not start from Muhammad Sallalahu Allaihi Wasalam but Adam conveying the same monotheistic message and describing the events of the Hereafter and the Apocalypse.

  • I loved your article on LOTR , I feel the exact same about it. That film has so many meanings, it’s unreal.

  • Everything ever written is inspired by previous events and/or people, whether consciously or subconsciously. The written work then becomes analysed by new writers who interpret the work according to their own experiences and influences. I have read and listened to many different interpretations of different aspects of Tolkien’s writings and no two minds ever have the same view.

  • Every religion has similarities, and many of the religious stories have intertwined, especially Christianity and Islam. Tolkien didn’t like allegory, he liked ‘history, true or feigned’. He simply took aspects of stories that interested him and did something new with them. You’ll see all kinds of similarities with ancient stories all over Middle-earth due to him taking from things that might have intertwined with Islamic beliefs. This isn’t a new discovery.

  • No, sorry. Tolkien wasn’t a secret Muslim. He was a Christian and a Catholic, brought up by a Catholic priest, and very strong in his beliefs.

    This was only interesting in so far that it gave me an insight into the mind of someone who is keen to prove things and find things where they don’t exist. For instance, he wasn’t fluent in Arabic as you state. He was fluent and interested in all the languages of Northern Europe, both modern and ancient, and he uses this knowledge in LotR. And if you knew anything about Tolkien’s speciality, Anglo-Saxon, you would know that Middle-earth has nothing to do with the Middle East but that he claimed he didn’t invent it but based it on the term for the world of men, Midden-eard, that he came across whilst reading an Anglo-Saxon poem. Nor would he have had a load of Muslim friends – if any – because there were so few Muslims in England during his lifetime (1892-1973). And the music which you reckon sounds Arabic is, actually, Celtic and was deliberately composed to sound that way; and yet you speak as though Tolkien were still alive, had a hand in the film-making and deliberately chose ‘Arabic-sounding’ music because he was a secret Muslim. I’m afraid that the films were made, not by Tolkien but by Peter Jackson who has ‘interpreted’ the story and is sometimes influenced by his own thoughts about the book.

    The poster who said that all myths have their similarities – because there are only a limited number of stories in the world – is correct. Every similarity is merely a coincidence. They don’t mean anything otherwise. And, in a world where most of us are seeking for and hoping for a coming together of east and west, you don’t exactly make a contribution with your talk of a clash of cultures and wars between Christians and Muslims. If you want to read things into LotR – which Tolkien hated people doing – then the story seems to be saying that the white indigenous groups of Northern Europe will be attacked by an evil power and that the armies that follow him will come out of the Middle East and North Africa – Muslim armies. And they will be wiped from the face of the earth by the brave, heroic and noble Europeans. These armies are described as ‘swarthy’, they wear Arabic robes and have names like Easterlings and Corsairs. The Corsairs were , in fact, historic, and Tolkien would have known about them. For hundreds of years, these Muslim pirates raided European coastlines up as far as the UK and Iceland, snatching people to sell as slaves in the Muslim slave-markets of the Middle East. However, because I don’t like to think of Tolkien as racist, I try hard not to interpret LotR in this way.

    I know that when people from all over the world come across a great writer such as Tolkien or Shakespeare they somehow want to claim him as their own. A Russian friend told me once that Shakespeare had a Russian soul. She wasn’t claiming that he was actually Russian but that he spoke to her heart and that they thought as one. Tolkien has obviously spoken to your heart as he speaks, apparently, to so many nationalities. But, don’t try too hard: he is speaking to you as another human being and not as a Muslim so you shouldn’t be forcing comparisons down that unlikely road.

    • I think it’s very probable that he had some “real notions” in mind while envisioning the forces of freedom and prosperity, that the Fellowship represents, and forces of enslavement and pure evil that the dark lord Sauron and the barren wasteland of Mordor represent.
      We might never find out …

  • Joseph Campbell said all stories are the same story, from an episode of *Three’s Company* to the Bible. He called it the Monomyth. You can find parallels between any stories if you look hard enough; the issue is, how hard do you have to look and how far do you have to stretch things.

  • 1) Tolkein specifically said that he was not influenced by any religion nor did he put them into his book

    2) He was Catholic

  • Tolkien was inspired by many myth, it is impossible to tell where he all drew from, and I doubt even he could tell. However, the story is meant to have already happened, so to speak our past – not our future. Morgoth is meant to be still out there and to return eventually, yes, but the events in the story are not to reflect the ‘end days’, as days did not end, but instead led to the age of man rising (our now times). — However, I think one message to take from it is that Tolkien showed how representatives of the ‘races’ united to fight the evil, despite their differences. We have evil out there still, and we need unite too. If a dwarf and an elf could do it – heck, Christians and Muslims sure can do too! kiki emoticon like emoticon heart emoticon

  • “LOTR is also very closely related to Catholicism”

    No it isn’t. Tolkien was clear that it’s not an allegory for ANY religion.

  • lol dude, no offense, but a lot of fictional work can be related to any religion/spiritual essence. If anything, the themes of the LOTR come closer to geo-politics and the state of the world politics as it was during Tolkien’s era. (World War)

  • Some people just don’t have what to do and they start to make so stupid things like this. Please don’t bring the religion…

  • Tolkien was a fervent Christian …his creation stories reflect his devout beliefs .. Stop imposing another religion on Tokien’s world

  • No. I think if you look hard enough at something you’ll see something or find whatever you want to. You’ll draw the most tenuous links and similarities between the two. So no, it’s a book series and a film series. That’s it, end of.

  • Tolkien disliked allegories and stated so. He didn’t want even Christianity to be imposed on his works. So no. There may or may not be similarities with Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, freemasonry or whatever but let us resist the temptation of ruining a perfect story by trying to bring it into some other context. Even norse mythology. Just enjoy the story.

  • Tolkien was clear that LOTR was not meant to have any allegorical meaning…not religion, politics, world history, etc.

    That said, once a work is written it, to some extent, becomes more than just the author’s. So if anyone wants to take some other kind of meaning from it, they can. It’s just not what the author intended is all.

  • While i am not a fan of religion being mixed with one of my favorite universes, i must admit that this article is an interesting one to read.

  • I don’t believe it’s a concidence. I know some agnostic writers and other non-Muslims that use the scriptures (Torah,Bible, Quran’s predictions) as inspiration to write their books ;)….

  • Nope! Many non-Muslims I know used the sacred texts as inspiration even if even they are agnostic. Oh btw but it’s a coincidence that my new YA book touches on all these characters as well that you mentioned on this blog post!?

  • Copied over from Facebook, as I think it’s good to have it said on the actual article:

    This relates more closely to the film than Tolkien’s actual work, and misses a number of important points, I think. Not least that Tolkien didn’t write the films at all (so your idea that “Tolkien wanted the film a bit more dramatic”) makes no sense for example, given he died in 1973.

    I’ll go through a few things that jump out at me in particular, though there are many, many, many more I could bring up:

    – Firstly, Sauron isn’t exactly hidden, and his rise in LOTR isn’t his first, it’s his last. Unless I’m mistaken, the antichrist in Islam isn’t thought to appear until the end of days, whereas Sauron has not only existed but fought through all the ages of Middle-Earth.

    – The idea that Aragorn does not want leadership is totally non-canonical within Tolkien’s universe. The entire life of Aragorn and his predecessors for many centuries has been about preserving their claim and their leadership; look in The Two Towers at his rattling off his titles angrily at the upstart Rohirrim, and his unwillingness to leave his sword behind at the gates of the Golden Hall.

    – You de-centre Frodo in this to try and shoehorn Gandalf and Aragorn into being Jesus and the Mahdi, which misses a large part of Tolkien’s point. For all Aragorn’s heroics or Gandalf’s guidance, Frodo – the “everyman” and ordinary character – is the hero of the piece; evil is not defeated by a judgement-style last battle, but by the long struggle of ordinary people, entirely the opposite of a millenarian narrative.

    – Indeed a lot of the point is that Gandalf cannot, by nature, be the one who kills Sauron, whereas in your analogy it would be his exact destiny to. In Tolkien’s work the whole point of the wizards is that they are only allowed to be guides to humanity, not saviours themselves; it is the desire to deviate from this divinely sanctioned path that ultimately leads to Saruman’s downfall.

    – The Gog and Magog reference is also a weak link as it assumes there are only two armies involved. In fact there are many (Haradrim, Corsairs, Variags, Easterlings, Orcs, plus Saruman’s Uruk-Hai and Dunlendings), and Gondor has been fighting all of them for ages, it’s not as if any of them are being suddenly unleashed as the armies of Gog and Magog are supposed to be.

    Essentially one can try to fit almost any work as complex as LOTR to any ideology or belief arbitrarily (and indeed people have done). The parallels you give are interesting to some extent and a well researched comparison between Tolkien’s mythology and Islam could be very interesting, but I think you need to do a lot more direct work with the text to get more nuance out of it, because in many cases here you’ve simply ignored things that don’t fit your case. LOTR’s roots are, like Tolkien’s, strongly Catholic, and moreover are very much about the continuation of struggle against evil rather than a milennarian end of the world ideology. If you look at Histories Book 12, there is the perfect counter-point to your argument here: the fact that Tolkien envisaged his world and the struggle against “orcish” aspects of human nature continuing into the Fourth Age, as evidenced by the chapter he wrote of a future book called “The New Shadow”.

    Tolkien’s world is one where the long quiet struggles of small folk can have a huge impact; and it is one where evil is not always neatly personified. The End of Days is not something that is coming nor is it something we should be looking for; the task of those on the side of Good, for Tolkien, is not to seek an untimely end to the precious reality we have been given the stewardship of, but instead to do what we can with the time that is given to us. Whilst I share little of my religion or politics with Tolkien, I stand with him on that.

  • An intersting post, Kashif. I’m a keen reader of Tolkien myself and first read The Hobbit back in 2000. I’m also interested in authors and have read a great deal about Tolkien and his books. He was a soldier in World War One, studied at Oxford and was very learned in ancient scripture as well as English and European mythology. The Lord of the Rings is a ‘religious’ trilogy as Tolkien himself was a Catholic and influenced by Catholicism, in the monotheistic sense. I could see the same similarities which you have pointed out, though I’m not sure if it is just a coincidence. Tolkien’s books borrow hundreds of ideas from ancient texts as well as more recent ones from classic authors such as C.S.Lewis and Charles Dickens. More obvious influences are The Bible, Germanic mythology and Saxon tales of Britain. Tolkien took the best stories and created something quite remarkable with his trilogy of books. His theme of good vs evil is really key to the story being so engaging, a kind of Middle Earth ‘Star Wars’. The teachings of Christianity in the Old Testament are very similar to those found in the Quran so it seems Tolkien’s ideas came from his own faith rather than Islam which during his day would have been seen in ‘Orientalist’ terms.

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