Anyone who acts rightly, male or female, being a believer, we will give them a good life and We will recompense them according to the best of what they did.
The Spring To Come; The Golden Age
In earlier chapters of this book we have discussed the internal disarray in Islamic lands all over the world and the ever-increasing conflict. We have seen how defenseless people try to survive in the shadow of armed clashes, the suffering experienced in the refugee camps, and the suffering of those who are denied religious freedom. The general impression emerging from all of this may at first sight strike the reader as being rather like a chill, gloomy winter. A person who fails to think deeply enough about the matter may commit the error of believing that it will be very difficult to find a solution, and that whatever is done will probably fail to produce any concrete results. Yet, to the contrary, the picture actually points to great good news, and every single detail is a sign of the coming of that holy period announced by the Prophet Muhammad (saas), in other words the End Times.
Events In Muslim Lands Are a Sign of the End Times
The concept of the "End Times," may not be familiar to many people, so it will be useful to offer a brief explanation. Islamic sources describe the End Times as being a time close to the Day of Judgment, a time when the morality of the Qur'an will rule over the entire world. All the necessary conditions will be satisfied to allow people to live in peace and security. Bountifulness, growth and justice will replace all the problems that have been faced in earlier periods. All forms of immorality, deceit and degeneracy will disappear. This will be a joyous time, one longed for so long, when Qur'anic morality predominates.
Hadiths (sayings) of the Prophet (saas) contain detailed explanations of what the End Times will be like. Many prominent Islamic scholars have also made valuable statements on the subject. These indicate that the world will first go through a period of terrible confusion and tribulation, to be followed by a time when it is saved by turning to the true religion, a time of plenty, when the benefits of technology can be enjoyed by all, a time of great medical and scientific advances, a time of superior art.
In the early days of the End Times, there will be a general degeneration caused by a number of philosophical systems that deny the existence of Allah. People will turn away from the true purpose behind their creation, which will lead to a spiritual and psychological collapse. Terrible disasters, such as wars, conflict and famine, will follow one after another, and people will cry out, desperate to be saved from them. The same thing applies to the conflicts taking place in Islamic lands. Muslims who seek to live freely by their religion and abide by its tenets are trying to survive in the face of great oppression, and women, children and the elderly are being ruthlessly murdered. Anti-Islamic forces which are terrorizing Muslims and trying to prevent the unification of the Islamic world are increasing their levels of violence with every day. However, this period of war and conflict will not last for long. Allah has promised to free people from this terrible disorder of the End Times and lead them to a happier time by means of Hazrat Mahdi (as).
This new age will begin with the return of the Prophet Jesus, peace be upon him, and the coming of Hazrat Mahdi (as) will mean the end of winter for Muslims and the coming of spring. This age is referred to as the time when "guns will fall silent" in hadiths, and when peace will rule. Some of the hadiths of Allah's Messenger (saas) concerning the great good news of the new age are:
... Grudge and mutual hatred will be lifted (removed)... The earth will be filled with peace just as a vessel is filled with water. (Sunan Ibn-i Majah)
The battle would put down its weapons. (Sunan Ibn-i Majah)
As the hadiths reveal, in the Golden Age there will be great fellowship between different peoples, especially those who had previously been in conflict, and friendship and love will replace all forms of conflict.
The Spring Awaited by Muslims Is Coming in This Century
One hadith handed down from our Prophet (saas) makes it perfectly clear that Hazrat Mahdi (as) will come in the year 1400 (Islamic calendar),
"People will gather around Hazrat Mahdi (as) in the year 1400." (Risalat al-Huruj al-Mahdi, p. 108)
In his collection Master Said Nursi, the greatest Islamic scholar of the last 1000 years, also says that Hazrat Mahdi (as) will appear in 1400:
" (The Companions)… SUPPOSE(D) A FACT THAT WOULD OCCUR ONE THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED YEARS LATER to be close to their century…( The Words / Twenty-Fourth Word - Third Branch - p.353)
The portents of the End Times revealed by our Prophet (saas) all began taking place one by one and one after the other as of 1400.
Hazrat Mahdi (as) is described as appearing in 1400 (Islamic calendar) in many hadiths handed down from our Prophet (saas), in the famous Letters of the great Islamic scholar Imam Rabbani, in the al-Kutub as-Sitta, the most important six Sunni works on the hadith, and also in the Barla and Kastamonu addenda by Master Said Nursi and in his sermon preached by him in 1327 (Islamic calendar) in front of the Omayyid Mosque in Damascus.
And also the existence of hadith handed down from our Prophet (saas) and contained in the works of such great Islamic scholars as Imam Rabbani, Jalaladdin as-Suyuti, Ahmad Ibn Hanbal and Master Said Nursi which put the life of the Ummah of Islam as being up to the 1500s, is crystal clear:
"THE LIFE OF MY UMMAH WILL NOT EXCEED THE YEAR 1500." (Suyuti, Al-kashf `an (fi) mujawazat hadihi l-umma al-alf, al-hawi lil Fatawi, Suyuti, 2/248; commentary by Ismail Hakki Bursevi in Ruhul Beyan; (Arabic) 4/262, Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Kitab al-`Ilal, p. 89.)
Said Nursi also says the Ummah will live until 1506:
""…The first sentence indicates with the figure one thousand five hundred (1500) the final times of a group of fighters of Islam (people who work for Islam) in the end of time; and the second sentence indicates with the figure one thousand five hundred and six (1506) the date of the victory for Islam.
In page 33 of the Kastamonu Addendum, the Master says that Doomsday will take place in 1545. (Allah knows the truth.)
"A group from my community will remain in truth until Allah's command."
The abjad calculation of the clause "A group from my community..." which is 1542 (2117) implies its (the community's) time of survival. The abjad calculation of the clause "will remain in truth" (when the gemination mark is counted) gives 1506 (2082); it indicates until that date (2082) it will continue its work of enlightenment evidently and obviously, and maybe victoriously; then until 1542 (2117) in secrecy and defeat. The abjad calculation of the clause "until Allah's command" (when the gemination mark is counted) suggests that DOOMSDAY WILL BEFALL the unbeliever in 1545 (2120). (Kastamonu Addendum, p. 33)
It is perfectly clear in the light of these authentic sources that the time of the second coming of the Prophet Jesus (as), the appearance of Hazrat Mahdi (as), and that the global dominion of Islamic moral values will not be in a century subsequent to 1400 (Islamic calendar). In Hijri 1400, Islamic moral values will rule the world under the leadership of the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as), following which there will be terrible corruption again, at the end of which will come the Day of Reckoning.
All Muslims must absolutely attach credence to authentic hadith handed down from our Prophet (saas) and the accounts of great Islamic scholars. By contrast, to ignore these portents that have all come about one after the other is equivalent to maintaining that one should expect them to happen again, one after the other. The fact is that these portents have already happened once, and in a given order. And this is sufficient for Muslims to realize that they are living in the End Times foretold by our Prophet (saas). To say, in the face of the hundreds of portents in question that have taken place, "the same portents must happen all over again" is definitely irrational and illogical. It is enough for a genuine Muslim to see that these portents have taken place once in the manner foretold by our Prophet (saas) to believe that we are living in the End Times and that, insha'Allah, Hazrat Mahdi (as) has come, that the Prophet Jesus (as) will come during this time and that Islamic moral values will rule the world in this century.
Muslims Have Experienced Similar Difficulties in the Past
Throughout this book we have seen many detailed descriptions of the suffering inflicted in Muslim countries, including the bombing of maternity hospitals in Chechnya, the savage killing of pregnant women in Bosnia, and the slaughter of little children in Palestine. Yet it must not be forgotten that similar and even worse examples of cruelty have been suffered by many Muslim societies in the past as well. Atheist rulers or prominent members of various nations have tortured prophets and communities of the faithful, exiled defenseless people from their lands and continually repressed them. One of the most clear-cut examples of this was the Pharoah. While he enjoyed a life of great plenty and wealth, this ancient Egyptian ruler inflicted great suffering on the Muslims of the time, in other words the children of Israel. Allah describes the suffering of the children of Israel in these terms:
Remember when We rescued you from the people of Pharaoh. They were inflicting an evil punishment on you – slaughtering your sons and letting your women live. In that there was a terrible trial for you from your Lord. (Surat al-Baqara: 49)
One very important secret is indicated in this verse: Pharoah's cruelty was a means of testing the faithful. In the same way, Allah tests the Muslims who are subjected to similar cruelty all over the world today. These tests regarding a Muslim's efforts to win Allah's pleasure in this world and gain the infinite blessings of His paradise all serve the purpose of building up a rich store in the hereafter. The infinite blessings in paradise are a recompense for what believers go through during the short life of this world. Many Muslim communities have experienced similar difficulties in the past, and that is now a criterion for believers of today. Allah announces the following:
Or did you suppose that you would enter the Garden without facing the same as those who came before you? Poverty and illness afflicted them and they were shaken to the point that the Messenger and those who believed with him said, "When is Allah's help coming?" Be assured that Allah's help is very near. (Surat al-Baqara: 214)
As we see in that verse, believers have always been tested by difficulties and problems, yet Allah has always assisted His servants. Furthermore, as in the verse Allah says, that help has always been swift.
When Islamic Morality Holds Sway Over All the World in the Present Century, Cruelty Will Come to an End
In many verses of the Qur'an Allah promises the dominion of the morality of Islam all over the world. The promise of our All-Mighty Lord is true and Allah never fails to keep His promise. Those who believe in Allah also believe that Allah's promise will absolutely come true. Because our All-Mighty Allah gives the news of the dominion of the morality of Islam over the world and promises it, what befalls to sincere believers is to pray for its realization by heart, demand it and strive for it with all their might. Believing that morality of Islam will reign and making effort for the realization of this blessed event is obligatory for every Muslim who abides by the Qur'an.
In one verse our All-Mighty Allah says:
Allah has promised those of you who believe and do right actions that He will make them successors in the land as He made those before them successors, and will firmly establish for them their religion with which He is pleased and give them, in place of their fear, security. "They worship Me, not associating anything with Me." Any who disbelieve after that, such people are deviators. (Surat an-Nur: 55)
Some other verses in which Allah promises the dominion of the morality of Islam over the world are as follows:
Allah has written, "I will be victorious, I and My Messengers."Allah is Most Strong, Almighty. (Surat al-Mujadala: 21)
They desire to extinguish Allah's Light with their mouths but Allah will perfect His Light, though the disbelievers hate it. It is He Who sent His Messenger with guidance and the Religion of Truth to exalt it over every other religion, though the idolaters hate it. (Surat as-Saff: 8-9)
Allah confirms the Truth by His words, even though the evildoers hate it. (Surah Yunus: 82)
We destroyed generations before you when they did wrong. Their Messengers brought them the Clear Signs, but they were never going to have iman. That is how We repay evildoers.Then We appointed you after them to be khalifs on the earth so We might observe how you would act. (Surah Yunus: 13-14)
It is also a Divine law, revealed in the Qur'an, that those who truly believe that there is no other god than Allah will inherit the earth:
We wrote down in the Psalms, after the Reminder came: "It is My honorable servants who will inherit the earth." (Surat al-Anbiya': 105)
We will leave you the land to live in after them. That is the reward of those who fear My station and fear My threat. They asked for Allah's victory, and every obdurate tyrant failed. (Surah Ibrahim: 14-15)
Rather We hurl the truth against falsehood and it cuts right through it and it vanishes clean away! Woe without end for you for what you portray! (Surat al-Anbiya': 18)
There Will be Hitherto Unseen Plenty in the Golden Age
As well as peace and security, the Golden Age will be a time of great plenty in terms of products and goods. Everyone will enjoy much more than he needs, and there will be no hunger or poverty. Believers, and those who serve the way of Allah, will receive all kinds of just recompense for what they have done, both in this world and in the hereafter. The plenty that will be experienced at every moment will be a beauty that Allah gives to those faithful who live by Qur'anic morality. Each of their good deeds will be returned to them as great wealth. In one verse, Allah describes the plenty that will be enjoyed by those believers who sacrifice their own goods in His service:
The metaphor of those who spend their wealth in the Way of Allah is that of a grain which produces seven ears; in every ear there are a hundred grains. Allah gives such multiplied increase to whoever He wills. Allah is All-Encompassing, All-Knowing. (Surat al-Baqara: 261)
Many hadiths also describe how at that time there will be such a plentiful supply of goods and products that they will be able to be handed out to those who want them with no need even to count them:
During this (period), my ummah (people) would lead such a comfortable and carefree life which they never led like that. (The land) would bring forth its yield and would not hold back anything and the property at that time would be a stack. (Sunan Ibn-i Majah)
… The dwellers of the heavens and the earth will be pleased. The earth will bring forth all that grows, and the heavens will pour down rains in abundance. From all the good that Allah will bestow on the inhabitants of the earth, the living will wish that the dead would come to life again. (Mukhtasar Tazkirah Qurtubi, p. 437)
The earth would turn like the silver tray growing vegetation... (Sunan Ibn-i Majah)
When Qur'anic morality prevails, all sections of society will enjoy an environment full of true justice, peace and security. As a result, people will turn away from falsehoods, evil, deception and sin. Hadiths speak of the days full of justice at this time in these terms:
The earth will be filled with equity and justice as it was previously filled with oppression and tyranny. (Abu Dawud)
Justice will prevail to such an extent that every possession taken by force will be returned to his owner; furthermore, some other person's thing, even if it rests within one's teeth, will be given back to its owner… Security will permeate all over Earth and even a few ladies will be able to fulfil their hajj without the company of men. (Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar, p. 23)
The Good News of the Golden Age
This age will, as revealed by the Prophet (saas) be a small version of paradise, a blessing from Allah to the faithful. This age, with its plenty and comforts of all kind, longed for by all Muslims, will be a wonderful reward in this world for all those following the path of Allah. It will of course be a great honor for all Muslims to spread the good news of this wonderful time.
Yet a responsibility goes hand-in-hand with that honor. Since this is the End Times, all Muslims need to have the necessary maturity and determination to wage a war of ideas in the extraordinary conditions that accompany it. The situation of suffering Muslims reminds of that fact each and every day. It is impossible to turn away when the innocent and defenseless, who have limited means at their disposal, are the targets for the bullets of wild-eyed assassins, when millions are condemned to live in hunger and poverty in refugee camps, when large numbers of Muslims are subjected to torture and ill-treatment.
It is wrong to say, "There is nothing I can do about it." It must not be forgotten that at the bottom of the wickedness in the world today lies atheism, and everybody is able to help in the war of ideas being waged against it. Telling people of the existence of Allah, learning to fear Him, reminding people what will happen on the Day of Judgement and communicating the purpose behind our existence in this world are all important steps that can be taken to put an end to all that wickedness. If justice, cooperation, compassion, love, sacrifice and forgiveness all come to prevail in the world, then it is natural that a world full of justice, peace and security will follow. That can never come about, however, unless all people of good conscience act together.
Every effort made to help do away with the destructive effects of atheism and replace these with positive ones will at the same time help the Muslims of the present day. This struggle, based on peace, compromise and love, will spur people's consciences into action and prevent the innocent from suffering. Allah reveals the end result of such a struggle:
Rather We hurl the truth against falsehood and it cuts right through it and it vanishes clean away! Woe without end for you for what you portray! (Surat al-Anbiya': 18)
Another important point which must be stressed is that among those countries we have been discussing that are now suffering so much, the great majority of these in the past enjoyed peace and stability under the banner of Muslim empires. Just as in the past, Muslims will play a crucial role in establishing the peace and security for which all the people of the world are longing, and the next age will be one of great enlightenment for all people.
By the will of Allah, the long-awaited spring is at hand.