There is a profound difference between a historian and an apocalypticist. The former operates in a context delimited by a single reference point—the past. While admittedly somewhat relative due to ongoing attempts at interpretation and re-interpretation, the past nonetheless enjoys the advantage of being fixed; its events are by definition completed and thus essentially unchangeable. The disadvantage of this uni-directional orientation is, of course, that from the standpoint of the historian, the future remains completely open-ended, subject only to speculation.
Poston, Larry, "The Second Coming of ‘Isa: an Exploration of Islamic Premillennialism" (2010). Educator Scholarship. 8.