The Signs Before Day of Judgement [Part 1]
by Ibn Kathîr
Ayat and Ahadith about the Hour
Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) said:
“They ask thee about the Hour, When will be its appointed time? Wherein art thou (concerned) with the declaration thereof? With thy Lord is the Limit fixed therefor. Thou art but a Warner for such as fear it. The Day they will see it, (it will be) as if they had tarried but a single evening, or (at most till) the following morn!” (Al-Nazi’at 79: 42-46)
“They ask thee about the (final) Hour – when will be its appointed time? Say: ‘The knowledge thereof is with my Lord (alone): none but He can reveal as to when it will occur. Heavy were its burden through the heavens and the earth. Only, all of a sudden will it come to you.’ They ask thee as if thou were eager in search thereof: say: ‘The knowledge thereof is with Allah (alone), but most men know not.'” (Al-A’raf 7:187)
There are many Ayat and Ahadith concerning this subject:
“The Hour (of Judgment) is nigh, and the moon is cleft asunder.” (Al-Qamar 54:1)
The Prophet (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam) said, whilst pointing with his index and middle fingers,
“The time of my advent and the Hour are like these two fingers.” In another report he said, “The Hour almost came before me.”
This indicates how close we are, relatively speaking, to the Hour.
“Closer and closer to mankind comes their Reckoning: yet they heed not and they turn away.” (Al-Anbiya’ 21:1)
“(Inevitable) cometh (to pass) the Command of Allah: seek, ye not then to hasten it.'” (Al-Nahl 16:1)
“Only those wish to hasten it who believe not in it: those who believe hold it in awe, and know that it is the Truth.'” (Al-Shura 42:18)
In Sahih al-Bukhari, there is a Hadith which states that a Bedouin asked the Prophet about the Hour. He said,
“It will surely come to pass. What have you prepared for it?” The man said, “O Messenger of Allah, I have not prepared much in the way of prayer and good works, but I love Allah and His Messenger.” The Prophet said, “You will be with those you love.”
The Muslims had never rejoiced as much they did when they heard this Hadith.
Some Ahadith report that the Prophet was asked about the Hour. He looked towards a young boy and said, “If he lives, he will not grow very old before he sees your Last Hour coming to you.” By this he meant their death and entering the Hereafter, because everyone who dies enters the Hereafter; some people say that when a person has died, his judgment has begun. This Hadith with this meaning is “correct” (Sahih).
Some heretics comment on this Hadith and give it an incorrect meaning. The exact timing of the Great Hour (al-Sa’at al’Uzma) is something which Allah alone knows and which He has not revealed to anyone, as is clear from the Hadith in which the Prophet said: “There are five things which nobody knows except Allah;” then he recited,
“Verily the knowledge of the Hour is with Allah (alone). It is He Who sends down rain, and He Who knows what is in the wombs. Nor does anyone know what it is that he will earn on the morrow: Nor does anyone know in what land he is to die. Verily with Allah is full knowledge and He is acquainted (with all things).” (Laqman 31:34)
When Gabriel (Jibreel) (alayhe salam) came to the Prophet in the guise of a Bedouin, he asked him about Islam, Iman (faith) and Ihsan (excellence of faith); and the Prophet answered his questions. But when he asked him about the Hour, he said, “The one questioned about it knows no better than the questioner.” Jibreel said, “Tell me about its signs.” Then the Prophet described them, as we shall see later when we quote this Hadith and others in full.
“The Prophet stood up one day to speak to us, and told us everything that was going to happen until the Hour, and left nothing unsaid. Some of the listeners learnt it by heart, and some forgot it; these friends of mine learnt it. I do not remember it completely, but sometimes it springs to mind, just as one might remember and recognise the face of a man whom one had forgotten, when one sees him.” (Abu Dawud, Muslim.)
Imam Ahmad reported via Abu Nudrah that Abu Sa’id said:
“One day the Prophet led us in praying the afternoon prayer (Salat al’Asr). Then he stood and addressed us until sunset. He mentioned everything that was to happen until the Day of Resurrection, and left nothing unsaid. Some of us remembered it, and some of us forgot it. One of the things he said was: ‘O people, this world is full of attractive temptations. Allah has appointed you as vicegerents (Khalifah) in this world, and He will see how you will act. So guard yourselves against the temptations of this world and of women’ Towards the end of this speech, he said, ‘The sun is about to set, and what remains of this world, compared to what has passed, is like what remains of this day compared to what has passed.'”
‘Ali ibn Zayed ibn Jad’an al-Timi narrated some Gharib and Munkar Ahadith – which could bring into question the validity of this Hadith. But there are some reports which are similar to this Hadith, and which were transmitted with different isnads. Part of this Hadith is in Muslim, through Abu Nudrah on the authority of Abu Sa’id. This Hadith refers to something which is beyond any doubt: what remains of this world, compared to what has passed, is very little. In spite of that, no-one can know exactly how much time is left except Allah, and no-one can know exactly how much time has passed, except Allah.
General Description of The Fitan (Tribulations)
Hudhayfah ibn al-Yaman said,
“People used to ask the Prophet (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam) about good things, but I used to ask him about bad things because I was afraid that they might overtake me. I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, we were lost in ignorance (Jahiliyyah) and evil, then Allah brought this good (i.e. Islam). Will some evil come after this good thing?’ He said, ‘Yes’I asked, ‘And will some good come after that evil?’ He said, ‘Yes, but it will be tainted with some evil’I asked, ‘How will it be tainted?’ He said,’There will be some people who will lead others on a path different from mine. You will see good and bad in them’. I asked, ‘Will some evil come after that good?’ He said, ‘Some people will be standing and calling at the gates of Hell; whoever responds to their call, they will throw him into the Fire.’I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, describe them for us.’ He said, ‘They will be from our own people, and will speak our language.’I asked, ‘What do you advise me to do if I should live to see that?’ He said,’Stick to the main body (jama’ah) of the Muslims and their leader (Imam)’. I asked, What if there is no main body and no leader?’ He said ‘Isolate yourself from all of these sects, even if you have to eat the roots of trees until death overcomes you while you are in that state.'”
‘Abd Allah ibn Mas’ud said:
“The Prophet said, ‘Islam began as something strange, and it will revert to being strange as it was in the beginning, so good tidings for the strangers.’ Someone asked, ‘Who are the strangers?’ He said, ‘The ones who break away from their people (literally, ‘tribes’) for the sake of Islam.’ “This Hadith was narrated by Ibn Majah on the authority of Anas and Abu Hurairah.
Divisions Within The Main Religious Groups
Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam) said:
“The Jews have split into seventy-one sects, and my Ummah will divide into seventy-three.”
‘Awf ibn Malik reported that the Prophet said:
“The Jews split into seventy-one sects: one will enter Paradise and seventy will enter Hell. The Christians split into seventy-two sects: seventy-one will enter Hell and one will enter Paradise. By Him in Whose hand is my soul, my Ummah will split into seventy-three sects: one will enter Paradise and seventy-two will enter Hell.” Someone asked, “O Messenger of Allah, who will they be?” He replied, “The main body of the Muslims (al-Jama’ah).”
‘Awf ibn Malik is the only one who reported this Hadith, and its isnad is acceptable.
Anas ibn Malik said,
“I shall tell you a Hadith which I heard from the Messenger of Allah, and which no-one will tell you after me. I heard him say, ‘Among the signs of the Hour will be the disappearance of knowledge and the appearance of ignorance. Adultery will be prevalent and the drinking of wine will be common. The number of men will decrease and the number of women will increase until there will be fifty women to be looked after by one man.'”
This Hadith was reported in the two Sahihs from the Hadith of ‘Abd Rabbihi.
‘Abd Allah said,
“The Prophet said, ‘Just before the Hour, there will be days in which knowledge will disappear and ignorance will appear, and there will be much killing.’ ” (Ibn Majah; also narrated by Bukhari and Muslim, from the Hadith of al-A’mash.)
Hudhayfah ibn al-Yaman said,
“The Prophet said, ‘Islam will become worn out like clothes are, until there will be no-one who knows what fasting, prayer, charity and rituals are. The Qur’an will disappear in one night, and no Ayah will be left on earth. Some groups of old people will be left who will say, ‘We heard our fathers saying La ilaha illa Allah, so we repeated it.’ Silah asked Hudhayfah, “What will saying La ilaha illa Allah do for them when they do not know what prayer, fasting, ritual and charity are?” Hudhayfah ignored him; then Silah repeated his question three times, and each time Hudayfah ignored him. Finally he answered, “O Silah, it will save them from Hell”, and said it three times. (Ibn Majah)
This indicates that in the last days, knowledge will be taken from the people, and even the Qur’an will disappear from the Mushafs and from people’s hearts. People will be left without knowledge. Only the old people will tell them that they used to hear people saying La ilaha illa Allah; and they will repeat it to feel close to Allah, so it will give them some blessing, even if they do not have any good deeds or beneficial knowledge.
Knowledge will be taken away from men and ignorance will increase during the last days, and their ignorance and misguidance will increase until the end, as in the Hadith of the Prophet:
“The Hour will not come upon anyone who says, ‘Allah, Allah’; it will only come upon the most evil of men.”
The Evils Which Will Befall The Muslim Ummah During The Last Days
‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Umar said,
“The Prophet (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam) came to us and said, ‘O Muhajirun, (emigrants from Makkah to al-Madinah) you may be afflicted by five things; God forbid that you should live to see them. If fornication should become widespread, you should realise that this has never happened without new diseases befalling the people which their forebears never suffered. If people should begin to cheat in weighing out goods, you should realise that this has never happened without drought and famine befalling the people, and their rulers oppressing them. If people should withhold Zakat, you should realise that this has never happened without the rain being stopped from falling; and were it not for the animals’ sake, it would never rain again. If people should break their covenant with Allah and His Messenger, you should realise that his has never happened without Allah sending an enemy against them to take some of their possessions by force. If the leaders do not govern according to the Book of Allah, you should realise that this has never happened without Allah making them into groups and making them fight one another.” (Ibn Majah).
‘Ali ibn Abi Talib said,
“The Prophet said: ‘If my Ummah bears fifteen traits, tribulation will befall it.’ Someone asked, ‘What are they, O Messenger of Allah?’ He said, ‘When any gain is shared out only among the rich, with no benefit to the poor; when a trust becomes a means of making a profit; when paying Zakat becomes a burden; when a man obeys his wife and disobeys his mother; and treats his friend kindly whilst shunning his father; when voices are raised in the mosques; when the leader of a people is the worst of them; when people treat a man with respect because they fear some evil he may do; when much wine is drunk; when men wear silk; when female singers and musical instruments become popular; when the last ones of this Ummah curse the first ones – then let them expect a red wind, or the earth to swallow them, or to be transformed into animals.'” (Tirmidhi)
‘Ali ibn Abi Talib said,
“The Prophet led us in praying Salat al-Fajr (the morning prayer). When he had finished, a man called to him: ‘When will the Hour be?’ The Prophet reprimanded him and said ‘Be quiet!’ After a while he raised his eyes to the sky and said, ‘Glorified be the One Who raised it and is taking care of it.’ Then he lowered his gaze to the earth and said, ‘Glory be to the One Who has outspread it and has created it.’ Then the Prophet said, ‘Where is the one who asked me about the Hour?’ The man knelt down and said, ‘I asked you.’ The Prophet said, ‘The Hour will come when leaders are oppressors, when people believe in the stars and reject al-Qadar (the Divine Decree of destiny) when a trust becomes a way of making a profit, when people give to charity (Sadaqah) reluctantly, when adultery becomes widespread – when this happens, then your people will perish.'”
‘Imran ibn Husayn said,
“The Prophet (saws) said, ‘Some people of this Ummah will be swallowed up by the earth, some will be transformed into animals, and some will be bombarded with stones.’ One of the Muslims asked, ‘When will that be, O Messenger of Allah?’ He said, ‘When singers and musical instruments will become popular, and much wine will be drunk.'” (Narrated by Tirmidhi)
Greater Signs of the Hour
After the lesser signs of the Hour appear and increase, mankind will have reached a stage of great suffering. Then the awaited Mahdi will appear; he is the first of the greater, and clear, signs of the Hour. There will be no doubt about his existence, but this will only be clear to the knowledgeable people. The Mahdi will rule until the False Messiah (al-Masih al-Dajjal) appears, who will spread oppression and corruption. The only ones who will know him well and avoid his evil will be those who have great knowledge and Iman (faith).
The false Messiah will remain for a while, destroying mankind completely, and the earth will witness the greatest Fitnah (tribulation) in its history. Then the Messiah Jesus (alayhe sallam) will descend, bringing justice from heaven. He will kill the Dajjal, and there will be years of safety and security.
Then the appearance of Yajuj and Majuj (Gog and Magog) will take mankind by surprise, and corruption will overtake them again. In answer to Jesus’ faithful prayer to Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala), they will die, and safety, security, justice and stability will return. This state of affairs will continue for some years, until the death of Jesus.
The Ulama differ concerning the order in which the other greater signs of the Hour will come about. They are:
The destruction of the Kabah and the recovery of its treasure.
The rising of the sun from the west.
The emergence of the Beast from the earth.
A wind will take the souls of the believers.
The Quran will be taken up into heaven.
A fire will drive the people to their last gathering place.
The Trumpet will be sounded: at the first sound everyone will feel terror; at the second sound all will be struck down; at the last sound all will be resurrected.
The Mahdi will come at the end of time; he is one of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs and Imams. He is not the Mahdi who is expected by the Shiah, who they claim will appear from a tunnel in Samarra. This claim of theirs has no basis in reality nor in any reliable source. They allege that his name is Muhammad ibn al-Hasan ibn al-Askari, and that he went into the tunnel when he was five years old.
The matter we intend to discuss has been proven by Ahadith narrated from the Prophet (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam): that the Mahdi will appear at the end of time. I believe that he will appear before Jesus the son of Mary comes down, as the Ahadith indicate.
Hajjaj said that he heard Ali say, The Prophet said,
“Even if there were only one day left for the world, Allah would send a man from among us to fill the world with justice, just as it had been filled with oppression and justice.” (Ahmad)
Ali said, The Prophet said,
“The Mahdi is one of us, from among the people of my household. In one night Allah will inspire him and prepare him to carry out his task successfully.” (Ahmad and Ibn Majah.)
Ali said, whilst looking at his son al-Hasan,
“This son of mine is a Sayyid (master), as the Prophet named him. Among his descendants there will be man named after your Prophet. He will resemble him in behaviour but not in looks.” Then he told them the report which mentions that the earth will be filled with justice. (Abu Dawud.)
Abu Dawud devoted a chapter of his Sunan to the subject of the Mahdi. At the beginning of this chapter he quoted the Hadith of Jabir ibn Samrah, in which the Prophet said,
“This religion will remain steadfast until twelve caliphs have ruled over you.” (According to another report he said, This religion will remain strong until twelve caliphs have ruled over you.) Jabir said, The people cheered and shouted Allahu akbar! Then the Prophet whispered something. I asked my father What did he say? My father said, He said, All of them will be from Quraysh.
Another report says that when the Prophet returned to his house, Quraysh came to him and asked, What will happen after that? He said, ”Then there will be tribulation and killing.”
Abu Dawud reported a Hadith from Abd Allah ibn Masud: The Prophet said,
“If there were only one day left for the world, that day would be lengthened until a man from among my descendants or from among the people of my household, was sent; his name will be the same as my name, and his fathers name will be the same as my fathers name. He will fill the earth with justice and fairness, just as it will have been filled with injustice and oppression. The world will not end until a man of my household, whose name is the same as mine, holds away.”
Abd Allah said, The Prophet said,
“A man from my household, whose name is like mine, will take power. (Tirmidhi) In another report, from Abu Hurairah, the Prophet said, “If there were only one day left for this world, Allah would lengthen it until he took power.”
Abu Said said, The Prophet said,
“The Mahdi will be one of my descendants; he will have a high forehead and a hooked nose. He will fill the earth with justice and fairness just as it was filled with injustice and oppression, and he will rule for seven years.” (Abu Dawud.)
Umm Salamah reported that the Prophet said,
“People will begin to differ after the death of a Khalifah. A man from the people of Madinah will flee to Makkah. Some of the people of Makkah will come to him and drag him out against his will; they will swear allegiance to him between al-Rukn and al-Maqam. An army will be sent against him from Syria; it will be swallowed up in the desert between Makkah and Madinah. When the people see this, groups of people from Syria and Iraq will come and swear allegiance to him. Then a man from Quraysh whose mother is from Kalb will appear and send an army against them, and will defeat them; this will be known as the Battle of Kalb. Whoever does not witness the spoils of this battle will miss much! The Mahdi will distribute the wealth, and will rule the people according to the Sunnah of the Prophet. Then he will die, and the Muslims will pray for him.” (Abu Dawud.)
Ali said, The Prophet said,
“A man named al-Harith ibn Hirath will come from Transoxania. His army will be led by a man named Mansur. He will pave the way for and establish the government of the family of Muhammad, just as Quraysh established the government of the Messenger of Allah. Every believer will be obliged to support him.” (Abu Dawud.)
Abd Allah ibn al-Harith ibn Juz al-Zubaydi said, The Prophet said,
“A people will come out of the East who will pave the way for the Mahdi.” (Ibn Majah.)
Abd Allah said, Whilst we were with the Prophet, some young men from Banu Hashim approached us. When the Prophet saw them, his eyes filled with tears and the colour of his face changed. I said, We can see something has changed in your face, and it upsets us. The Prophet said,
“We are the people of a Household for whom Allah has chosen the Hereafter rather than this world. The people of my Household (Ahl al-Bayt) will suffer a great deal after my death, and will be persecuted until a people carrying black banners will come out of the east. They will instruct the people to do good, but the people will refuse; they will fight until they are victorious, and the people do as they asked, but they will not accept it from them until they hand over power to a man from my household. Then the earth will be filled with fairness, just as it had been filled with injustice. If any of you live to see this, you should go to him even if you have to crawl across ice.”
This text refers to the rule of the Abbasids, as we have mentioned above in the text referring to the beginning of their rule in 132 AH. It also indicates that the Mahdi will appear after the Abbasids, and that he will be one of the Ahl al-Bayt, a descendant of Fatimah, the daughter of the Prophet, through Hasan, not Husayn, as mentioned in the Hadith from Ali ibn Abi Talib; and Allah knows best.
Thwaban said, The Prophet said,
“Three men will be killed at the place where your treasure is. Each of them will be the son of a Khalifah, and none of them will get hold of the treasure. Then the black banners will come out of the East, and they will slaughter you in a way which has never been seen before. Then he said something which I do not remember; then, If you see him, go and give him your allegiance, even if you have to crawl over ice, because he is the Khalifah of Allah, the Mahdi.” (Ibn Majah.)
The treasure referred to in this text is the treasure of the Kabah. Towards the end of time, three of the sons of the Khalifahs will fight to get hold of it, until the Mahdi appears. He will appear from the East, not from the tunnel of Samarra, as the Shiah claim; they believe that he is in this tunnel now, and they are waiting for him to emerge at the end of time. There is no evidence for it in any book or Sahih tradition, and there is no benefit in believing this.
The truth of the matter is that the Mahdi whose coming is promised at the end of time will appear from the East, and people will swear allegiance to him at the Kabah, as some Ahadith indicate.
At the time of the Mahdi, there will be peace and prosperity, with abundant crops and wealth, strong rulers, and Islam will be well-established.
Abu Said said, By Allah every ruler we have had has been worse than the previous one, and every year has been worse than the year before, but I heard the Prophet say,
“Among your rulers will be one who will give out wealth freely, without counting it. A man will come and ask him for money, and he will say Take; the man will spread his cloak out and the ruler will pour money into it.” The Prophet spread out a thick cloak he had been wearing, to demonstrate the mans actions; then he gathered it up by its corners and said, “Then the man will take it and leave.” (Ahmad.)
Trials and tribulations
Zaynab bint Jahsh said, The Prophet (sallallah alayhe wa sallam) got up from his sleep; his face was flushed and he said,
“There is no god but Allah. Woe to the Arabs, for a great evil which is nearly approaching them. Today a gap has been made in the wall of Gog and Magog like this (Sufyan illustrated this by forming the number of 90 or 100 with his fingers).” Someone asked, Shall we be destroyed even though there are righteous people among us? The Prophet said, “Yes, if evil increases.” (Bukhari).
Umm Salamah, the wife of the Prophet said, One night the Prophet got up and said,
“Subhan Allah! How many tribulations have come down tonight, and how many treasures have been disclosed! Go and wake the dwellers of these apartments (i.e. his wives) for prayer. A well-dressed soul in this world may be naked in the Hereafter.” (Bukhari)
Usamah ibn Zayd said, Once the Prophet stood over one of the battlements of al-Madinah and asked the people,
“Do you see what I see? They said, No. He said, I see afflictions falling upon your houses as raindrops fall.” (Bukhari, Muslim)
Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu) said, The Prophet said,
“Time will pass rapidly, knowledge will decrease, miserliness will become widespread in peoples hearts, afflictions will appear, and there will be much Harj.” The people asked, “O Messenger of Allah, what is Harj?” He said, “Killing, killing!” (Bukhari)
Al-Zubayr ibn Adi narrated, We went to Anas ibn Malik and complained about the wrong we were suffering at the hands of al-Hajjaj. Anas ibn Malik said,
“Be patient, For no time will come but that the time following it will be worse, until you meet your Lord. I heard the Prophet say that.” (Bukhari.)
Abu Hurairah said, The Prophet said,
“There will come a time of afflictions when one who sits will be better than one who stands; one who stands will be better than one who walks; and one who walks will be better than one who runs. Whoever exposes himself to these afflictions, they will destroy him. So whoever can find a place of protection or refuge from them, should take shelter in it.” (Bukhari and Muslim.)
Hudhayfah said, The Prophet told us two Hadith, one of which I have seen fulfilled, and I am waiting for the fulfilment of the other. The Prophet told us that honesty came down into mens hearts (from Allah); then they learnt it from the Quran, and then from the Sunnah. The Prophet told us that honesty would be taken away. He said,
“Man will be overtaken by sleep, during which honesty will be taken away from his heart, and only its trace will remain, like traces of a dark spot. Then man will be overtaken by slumber again, during which honesty will decrease still further, until its trace will resemble a blister such as is caused when an ember is dropped onto ones foot: it swells, but there is nothing inside. People will be carrying on with their trade, but there will hardly be any trustworthy persons. People will say, There is an honest man in such-and-such a tribe. Later they will say about some man, What a wise, polite and strong man he is! – although he will not have faith even the size of a mustard-seed in his heart. Indeed, there came a time when I did not mind dealing with any one of you, for if he were a Muslim his Islam would compel him to pay whatever he owed me, and if he were a Christian, the Muslim official would compel him to pay it. But now I do not deal with anyone except so-and-so and so-and-so.” (Bukhari.)
Ibn Umar said, The Prophet stood beside the pulpit, facing the east, and said,
“Afflictions will verily emerge from here, where the top of Satans head will appear.” (Bukhari)
Abu Hurairah said that he had heard the Prophet say,
“The Hour will not come until a man passes by someones grave and says, Would that I were in his place!” (Bukhari)
Abu Hurairah said, I heard the Prophet say,
“The Hour will not come until the buttocks of the women of Daws move whist going around Dhu l-Khalasah.” Dhu l-Khalasah was an idol worshipped by the tribe of Daws during the Jahiliyyah. (Hadith from Bukhari.)
Abu Hurairah also said, The Prophet said,
“The Euphrates will disclose a golden treasure. Whoever is present at that time should not take anything of it.”
Abu Hurairah said, The Prophet said,
“The Hour will not come before the Euphrates uncovers a mountain of gold, for which people will fight. Ninety-nine out of every hundred will die, but every one among them will say that perhaps he will be the one who will survive (and thus possess the gold).” (Muslim)
Abu Hurairah said, The Prophet said,
“The Hour will not come until the following events have come to pass: two large groups will fight one another, and there will be many casualties; they will both be following the same religious teaching. Nearly thirty Dajjals will appear, each of them falsely claiming to be a Messenger from Allah. Knowledge will disappear, earthquakes will increase, time will pass quickly, afflictions will appear, and Harj (ie killing) will increase. Wealth will increase, so that a wealthy man will worry lest no-one accept his Zakat, and when he offers it to anyone, that person will say, I am not in need of it. People will compete in constructing high buildings. When a man passes by someones grave, he will say, Would that I were in his place! The sun will rise from the west; when it rises and the people see it, they will believe, but,
… no good will it do to a soul to believe in them then, if it believed not before nor earned righteousness through its faith … (Al-Anam 6:158)
The Hour will come suddenly: when a man has milked his she-camel and taken away the milk, but he will not have time to drink it; before a man repairing a tank for his livestock will be able to put water in it for his animals; and before a man who has raised a morsel of food to his mouth will be able to eat it. (Bukhari)
Hudhayfah ibn al-Yaman said,
“Of all the people, I know most about every tribulation which is going to happen between now and the Hour. This is not because the Prophet told me something in confidence which he did not tell anyone else; it is because I was present among a group of people to whom he spoke about the tribulations (al-Fitan). The Prophet mentioned three tribulations which would hardly spare anybody, and some which would be like storms in summer; some would be great and some would be small. Everyone who was present at that gathering has passed away, except me.” (Muslim)
Abu Hurairah said, I heard the Prophet say,
“If you live for a while, you will see people go out under the wrath of Allah and come back under His curse, and they will have in their hands whips like the tail of an ox.” (Ahmad, Muslim.)
Abu Hurairah said, The Prophet said,
“There are two types among the people of Hell whom I have not yet seen. The first are people who have whips like the tails of oxen, with which they beat people, and the second are women who are naked in spite of being dressed; they will be led astray and will lead others astray, and their heads will look like camels humps. These women will not enter Paradise; they will not even experience the faintest scent of it, even though the fragrance of Paradise can be perceived from such a great distance.”
Anas ibn Malik said, The Prophet was asked, O Messenger of Allah, (what will happen) when we stop enjoining good and forbidding evil? He said,
“When what happened to the Israelites happens among you: when fornication becomes widespread among your leaders, knowledge is in the hands of the lowest of you, and power passes into the hands of the least of you.” (Ibn Majah.)
Abu Hurairah said,
“The Prophet said, Woe to the Arabs from the great evil which is nearly approaching them: it will be like patches of dark night. A man will wake up as a believer, and be a kafir (unbeliever) by nightfall. People will sell their religion for a small amount of worldly goods. The one who clings to his religion on that day will be as one who is grasping an ember – or thorns.” (Ahmad)
Abu Hurairah said, I heard the Prophet saying to Thawban,
“O Thawban, what will you do when the nations call one another to invade you as people call one another to come and eat from one bowl?” Thawban said, “May my father and my mother be sacrificed for you. O Messenger of Allah! Is it because we are so few?” The Prophet said, “No, on that day you (Muslims) will be many, but Allah will put weakness (wahn) in your hearts.” The people asked, “What is that weakness, O Messenger of Allah?” He said, “It is love for this world and dislike of fighting.” (Ahmad)
The Prophet said,
“There will be a tribulation in which one who is sleeping will be better than one who is lying down, one who is lying will be better than one who is sitting, one who is sitting will be better than on who is standing, one who is standing will be better than one who is walking, one who is walking will be better than one who is riding, and one who is riding will be better than one who is running; all of their dead will be in Hell.” The Companion of the Prophet who narrated this Hadith said, “O Messenger of Allah, when will that be?” He said, “That will be the days of Harj.” He asked, “When will the days of Harj be?” The Prophet said, “When a man will not trust the person to whom he is speaking.” The Companion asked, “What do you advise me to do if I live to see that?” He said, “Restrain yourself, and go back to your place of residence.” The Companion then asked, “O Messenger of Allah, what should I do if someone enters my neighbourhood to attack me?” He said, “Go into your house.” The Companion asked, “What if he enters my house?” He said, “Go into the place where you pray and do this – and he folded his arms, – and say My Lord is Allah, until you die.”
Abu Bakrah said, The Prophet said,
“There will be a tribulation during which one who is lying down will be better than one who is sitting, one who is sitting will be better than one who is standing, one who is standing will be better than one who is walking, and one who is walking will be better than one who is running.” Someone asked, “O Messenger of Allah, what do you advise me to do?” He said, “Whoever has camels, let him stay with them, and whoever has land, let him stay in his land.” Someone asked, “What about someone who does not have anything like that?” He said, “Then let him take his sword and strike its edge against a stone, then go as far away as possible.” (Abu Dawud; similar Hadith in Muslim)
At the time of the Fitnah of Uthman ibn Affans Khilafah (Caliphate), Sad ibn Abi Waqqas said, I bear witness that the Prophet said,
“There will come a tribulation during which one who sits will be better than one who stands, one who stands will be better than one who walks, and one who walks will be better than one who runs.” Someone asked, “What do you advise if someone enters my house to kill me?” He said, “Be like the son of Adam (i.e. resign yourself).” (Muslim, Tirmidhi)
Abu Musa al-Ashari said, The Prophet said,
“Before the Hour comes, there will be a tribulation like patches of dark night. A man will get up a believer and go to sleep a kafir, or will go to sleep a believer and get up a kafir. The one who sits will be better than one who stands, and one who walks will be better than one who runs. Break your bows, cut their strings, and strike your swords against stones. If someone comes to kill any of you, then be like the better of the two sons of Adam.” (Abu Dawud.)
Abu Dharr said, The Prophet was riding a donkey and sat me behind him. He said,
“O Abu Dharr, if the people were suffering from such severe hunger that you could not even get up from your bed to go to the mosque, what would you do?” I said, “Allah and His Messenger know best.” He said, “Be decent and restrain yourself.” Then he said, “O Abu Dharr, if the people were suffering from severe death (i.e. if a man were worth no more than a grave), what would you do? If the people were killing one another, until Hajarat al-Zayt (an area of Madinah) were submerged in blood, what would you do?” I said, “Allah and His Messenger know best.” He said, “Stay in your house and lock the door.” I asked, “What if I am not left alone?” He said, “Then be one of them.” I said, “Should I take up my sword?” He said, “If you did that, you would be joining them in their activities. No – if you fear that the brightness of the shining sword will disturb you, then cover your face with part of your clothing, and let him carry his own sin and your sin.” (Ahmad)
Abd Allah ibn Amr said, We were on a journey with the Prophet … When the Prophets caller called for prayer, I went there. The Prophet was addressing the people, saying:
“O people, it has been the duty of every Prophet before me to guide his people to whatever he knew was good for them, and to warn them against whatever he knew was bad for them, but this Ummah has its time of peace and security at the beginning; at the end of its existence it will suffer trials and tribulations, one after the other. Tribulation will come, and the believer will say, This will finish me, but it will pass. Another tribulation will come, and he will say, This is it, but it will pass, and a third will come and go likewise. Whoever wishes to be rescued from Hell, and enter Paradise, let him die believing in Allah and the Last Day, and treat the people as he himself wishes to be treated. If anyone gives allegiance to an Imam, then let him obey him if he can (or on one occasion he said: as much as you can)”
Abd al-Rahman (one of the narrators of this Hadith) said, When I heard that, I put my head between my knees and said,
“But your cousin Muawiyah is ordering us to squander our wealth among ourselves in vanity, and to kill each other, although Allah has said, ‘O ye who believe! Squander not your wealth among yourselves in vanity … (Al-Nisa 4:29)’” Abd Allah (another narrator) put his head in his hands and paused awhile, then he raised his head and said, “Obey him in that which is obedience to Allah and disobey that which is disobedience to Allah.” I asked him, “Did you hear that from the Prophet?” He said, “Yes, I heard it with my ears and understood it in my heart.” (Ahmad, Abu Dawud, al-Nasai, Ibn Majah.)
Abd Allah ibn Amr said, I heard the Prophet say,
“If you see my Ummah fearing a tyrant so much that they dare not tell him that he is a tyrant, then there will be no hope for them.” The Prophet said, “Among my Ummah, some will be swallowed up by the earth, some bombarded with stones, and some transformed into animals.” (Ahmad)
1 The main body of the Muslims (al-Jama’ah) means the people of the Qur’an, Hadith, Fiqh and other sciences, who have agreed to follow the Traditions of the Prophet in all circumstances without introducing any changes or imposing their own confused ideas.
2 Daws: a tribe in Yemen, Dhul-Khalasah: a house full of idols – it is so called because they believed that whoever worshipped it or went around it would be purified (khallasa). This Hadith means that the tribe of Daws will become apostates from Islam and will go back to idol worshipping; even their women will exert themselves in worshipping the idol and running around it, so that their flesh will quiver.