The End of the World Is Coming
The Koran makes it very clear that the world as we know it will eventually come to an end. In numerous places in the Koran, Allah enforces the fact that the Last Day will hit unexpectedly at a time only He knows of. One such verse warns of the final judgment of each human that will come with the Last Day:
Although no one knows exactly when the world will end, Allah spoke of a few signs in the Koran and informed Prophet Muhammad of many more that aim to increase people's awareness of how far or close the Last Day may be. There are some ninety or more signs of the drawing near of the Last Day extracted from the Koran and the Hadith. They are divided into two categories: major and minor. Currently, the world is in a period in which nearly all the minor signs have occurred, and we await the first of the major signs. It is presumed that all the major signs will take place within a shorter period than the minor took place.
Prophet Muhammad's Hadith are the main source for learning about the signs of the Last Day. Muslims believe Angel Gabriel carried the messages down from the Heavens to the Prophet, telling him about those many signs. In turn, Muhammad narrated to the people what he had learned through Gabriel.
Signs That Have Occurred
The minor signs of the end of the world started to happen early in the days of Prophet Muhammad, such as the splitting of the moon (see Chapter 2). The Prophet himself was a sign, as he tells of in a Hadith. Closely following the time of Muhammad came a series of signs that he mentioned in his Hadith. He said that thirty people along the timeline would claim to be messengers of Allah—one with the name of Musaylama had already done so before the death of the Prophet. He said that people would kill an Imam (an elite Islamic scholar and leader), which did happen to Caliph Othman. He said that a blazing fire would erupt in Hijaz (Medina), and in the year A.D. 1233 a huge fire erupted in the city and burned for two days before it was finally extinguished. There were more signs that took place over the course of the past centuries, all of which the Prophet had talked about in his days.
Signs That Are Happening
Muhammad spoke of many signs that are happening in our modern day. He didn't know their chronological order, so he listed them randomly in various Hadith. There are almost 100 minor signs, but you will find only a few of them discussed here. Most of these signs have occurred within the last fifty years, implying to some Muslims that the end of the world is approaching … fast!
The Koran gives the Last Day many names. The Hour, Resurrection Day, Day of Assembling, and Judgment Day all refer to the end of the world, but describe its diff erent phases.
The Hadith of Prophet Muhammad summarize that a general lack of morality will prevail in the days before the Last Day. The Prophet said that illiteracy, promiscuity, alcoholism, fragility of blood ties, foul language, nudity, and abandonment of religion are indications of the nearing Last Day. Other signs prophesied are that children will cause agony to their families, and people will try to avoid pregnancies. Music will enter every household and most people will be involved in it in one way or another. Many will fall victim to depression that stirs thoughts of suicide, as Muhammad said: “People will pass by graves and wish to exchange places with the dead.” Dishonesty in all aspects of life will be a common thing; people will find lying easier than telling the truth.
Honest and trustworthy people will be tossed aside and replaced by dishonest traitors. People will pay less and less attention to practicing the Islamic faith and become more consumed in the pleasures of life. Also, less knowledgeable people will become teachers, writing about subjects they are hardly familiar with. These signs are merely a sample of the many social signs known to Islam.
A very interesting sign that Muhammad mentioned is the construction revolution in Arabia. He said that a time would come when we will find “shoeless, unclothed, poverty-stricken shepherds” suddenly constructing high-rise buildings. Most of the countries in the Arabian Peninsula only came to exist in the second half of the twentieth century. The discovery of oil brought them instant wealth that elevated them from penniless shepherds to world-class businessmen. Money pooled into banks, and buildings grew taller. By the beginning of the twenty-first century, the Arab businessmen were competing at building the tallest skyscrapers.
When Muhammad relayed the information about the signs of the Last Day to his companions, they were astounded that humanity would experience an age of immorality. Muhammad also told them that one day, wealth will be so abundant that no one will accept charity anymore.
One of the terrifying signs that has already begun to appear is the increasing frequency of earthquakes. The Prophet said that as the Last Day draws nearer, earthquakes would hit more and more often. Quakes are neither new nor rare; they have been happening since the beginning of time. But just as quakes shook the earth vigorously millions of years ago before the beginning of human life, it is possible that a similar phenomenon will happen as the world runs closer to the end.