The End of Time
In Surah Muhammad in the holy Quran, Allah says: “are (nonbelievers) waiting for the Last Hour to take them by surprise? Yet, some of its signs have already appeared. When the Last Hour befalls them, will it not be too late for them to submit?” [47:18]. In Surah Al-Ahzab, Allah further says: “people ask you (Muhammad) concerning the Last Hour. Say its knowledge is only with Allah. What do you know? Perhaps the Last Hour is near.” [33:63]
Some of the signs of the Last Hour (also known as the End of Time) are already mentioned in the Quran, while others are reported in Hadith. The widely accepted books of Bokhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Nasai, Ibn Majah and Imam Ahmad contain many accounts related to the Last Hour.
These signs are divided into three categories: signs which have already occurred; signs which we can recognise in our times; and, signs which will come immediately before the Last Hour. However, the exact time of the Last Hour is known only to Allah. “Verily, with Allah rests the knowledge of when the Last Hour will come: He sends down rain; He knows the (future of babies who are still) in the wombs (of their mothers); no one (except Allah) knows what he will reap tomorrow; and no one knows in what land he will die. Verily, Allah (alone) is all knowing and all aware”. [31:34]
So what are these signs that we should look for to know the Final Hour is close. These include: disintegration of family structure and breakdown of established social, ethical and economical norms globally; pursuit of wealth to the exclusion of positive human values and ethical principles; democratisation of debauchery, music and alcohol; construction of high multi-story residential and office buildings; sandy deserts turning green with vegetation and water supplies; things appearing to be what they are not, such as fake news or truth becoming hard to find in the sea of falsehood; indiscriminate and excessive killings of men of knowledge and wisdom through armed explosions, acts of war and disasters; frequent solar and lunar eclipses and earthquakes; appearance of Dajjal; the second coming of Jesus, son of Mary [43:61]; appearance of Yajuj and Majuj (mentioned in Surah Al-Kahf chapter 21 verses 96-97; appearance of the creature of the earth (mentioned in Surah Al-Naml, chapter 27, verse 82); rising of the big smoke; sunrise from the west; and, the big fire in Aden. These signs are mentioned in many Ahadith and are more or les in the order of their supposed occurrence.
As time passes, some of these signs will become more obvious and subject of debate in the Muslim community. At the time verse 47:18 (see the top paragraph) was revealed to the Prophet, a few signs had already appeared. These were the coming of Prophet Muhammad as the last of the messengers, the Quran declaring that the Final Hour could be close, and the unusual event of the red sand storm in Arabia.
Some of the other signs we see occurring now are integration of interest in all segments of trade and financial activity; increased use of alcohol and contraband drugs in Muslim societies, incompetent people replacing learned scholars in positions of authority and governance, speared of nudity and illicit sex, open disregard of Islamic teachings, and religion becoming a label but not a way of life in Muslim households.