Signs of Jesus’ (pbuh) Second Coming
No doubt, Prophet Jesus (pbuh) will come to Earth. Close to his advent, some signs and fitna will appear." (Al-Uqayli, An-Najmu's-saqib fi Bayan Anna'l Mahdi min Awladi Ali b. Abu Talib Ale't-Tamam ve'l Qamal, p. 151)
As the hadith above reveals, our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) tells us that some signs will appear before Prophet Jesus' (pbuh) second coming. In the light of this information, we will dwell on the signs of this event. As we stated earlier, signs of the Last Day, which herald the Mahdi's appearance and reveal the approach of the Dajjal's fitna, also herald the return of Jesus (pbuh). The Qur'an, the Hadith literature, and the Qur'anic commentaries of Islamic scholars are the main resources on these subjects. These aside, those Biblical explanations that agree with the Islamic sources about Jesus' (pbuh) second coming also provide us with important information.
Despite all of this information, however, some people may raise doubts about whether these signs refer to our day. To deal with this concern, the signs that we will refer in the following pages are so obvious and clear that they leave no room for any doubt. More importantly, in our day all of these signs have appeared – and continue to appear – one after the other. Throughout the history of Islam, some of these signs might have happened to some extent in one particular part of the world or another. Such a situation, however, does not indicate the nearness of the appearance of Jesus (pbuh) and Mahdi. For a certain period to be called the End Times, all of the signs that we will examine in detail must occur in the same period. Some hadiths on the subject are as follows:
Signs following one another like bits of a necklace, falling one after the other when its string is cut. (Tirmidhi)
When the community engages in these, signs follow one another. These signs chase one another, just as fish break out of their net and escape, chasing one another. (Mukhtasar Tazkirah al-Qurtubi, p. 478)
These hadiths clearly state that the signs of the Last Days will appear consecutively within the same period of time. Some of the events discussed in the following pages may well be regarded as ordinary events, and some people may claim that the conditions prevailing in our day naturally entail the occurrence of these signs. Indeed, some of these signs may happen naturally. However, the fact that all these events are described 1400 years ago thoroughly in a way depicting exactly today's social order, and that they take place in the same period, one following the other, is an extremely important matter. This is clear evidence that our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) drew attention to this period while describing the End Time events.
Examining the Biblical statements and Islamic literature in the light of the information provided above reveals an astounding fact: The signs referring to the End Times have begun to appear, one after another, in the present time, exactly as they are described in these resources. News about the Last Day portrays an exact picture of our day. No doubt, this is a miraculous occurrence upon which we must reflect.
The Signs from the Islamic Resources
1. The Splitting of the Moon
Let's look at "Surat al-Qamar." In English, qamar means moon. In several instances, this surah relates that the people of Noah, `Ad, Thamud, Lut, and Pharaoh were destroyed because they ignored the Prophets sent to them. At the same time, its first verse contains a very important message about the Last Day.
The Hour has drawn near, and the moon has split. (Surat al-Qamar, 54:1)
The original Arabic word translated into English as "split" is shaqqa, which has various meanings. In some Qur'anic commentaries, the meaning "split" is preferred. However, shaqqa also can mean "plowing" or "digging" the ground.
The first meaning is used in the following verse:
We pour down plentiful water, then split the ground into furrows. Then We make grain grow in it, and grapes and herbs and olives and dates. (Surah `Abasa, 80:25-29)
Clearly, the meaning of shaqqa here is not to "split," but to "plow" the ground in order to grow various plants.
Here we see one of the great wonders of the Qur'an. The experiments carried out on the Moon's surface on July 20, 1969, may be hinting at the fulfillment of this verse. On that date, American astronauts set foot on the Moon and, digging up some lunar soil, they carried out scientific experiments and collected stone and soil samples. It is surely very interesting that these developments are in complete agreement with this verse.
Exploring the Moon is identified with the slogan: "One small step for man; one giant leap for mankind." This historic moment in space research was documented by cameras, and everyone from that time to this has witnessed it. As Surat al-Qamar 54:1 states, this great event may be a sign of the Last Day, which would mean that we are living during the End Times. (God surely knows best.)
Another very important sign is that the numeration (abjad) of a certain part of Surat al-Qamar 54:1 by alphabetical Arabic letters is 1969, the year when American astronauts set foot on the moon. (For detailed information on this numeration technique, refer to the section "The Time of Prophet Jesus' (pbuh) Second Coming.")
... The Hour has drawn near, and the moon has split. (Surat ar-Rahman, 54:1)
Hijri (Islamic): 1390, Gregorian (Christian): 1969
We also need to mention that "the splitting of the moon" is one of the miracles that God granted to our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace). One hadith relates this miracle, as follows:
... This hadith has been transmitted on the authority of Abdullah b. Mas`ud [who said]: We were along with God's Messenger (may peace be upon him) at Mina, when the moon was split in two. One of its parts was behind the mountain, and the other one was on this side of the mountain. (Sahih Muslim)
This is the miracle heralded in the verse. However, as the Qur'an is applicable to all times, we can assume that this verse also draws our attention to the exploration of the Moon. (God knows best.)
2. The Iran-Iraq War
The following hadith reveals an important war that will take place in the End Times:
There will be tumult in Shawwal [the tenth Islamic month], talks of war in Dhu al-Qa'dah [the eleventh Islamic month], and the outbreak of war in Dhu al-Hijja [the twelfh month]. (Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Rasul Barzanji, Al-Isha'ah li-Ashrat as-Sa'ah, p. 166)
These three months coincide with the months during which the Iran-Iraq war developed.
Tumult in Shawwal …
The first uprising against the Shah took place on 5 Shawwal 1398 (8 September 1976), as indicated by the hadith.
Talks of war in Dhu al-Qa`dah, and the outbreak of war in Dhu al-Hijjah …
A full-blown war broke out between Iran and Iraq in Dhu al-Hijjah 1400 (October 1980).
Another hadith describes the details of this war as follows:
A nation/tribe will come from the Farsi direction, saying: "You Arabs! You have been too zealous! If you don't give them their due rights, nobody will have an alliance with you ... It must be given to them one day and to you the following day, and mutual promises must be kept ..." They will be going up Mutekh; Muslims will be coming down to the plain ... Mushrikun [idolaters] will be standing over there on the bank of a black river [Rakabeh] on the other side. There will be a war between them. God will deprive both armies of a victory ... (Muhammad ibn `Abd al-Rasul Barzanji, Al-Isha`ah li Ashrat as-Sa`ah, p. 179)
Above you see some of the news about Iran-Iraq war.
- Those coming from the Farsi direction: those coming from the Iranian side
- Farsi: Iran, Iranian
- Coming down to the plain: Coming down to the Iranian plain
- Mutekh: Name of a mountain in the region
- Rakabeh: A region where the oil wells are concentrated
"You Arabs! You have been too zealous! If you don't give them their due rights, nobody will have an alliance with you…"
This hadith may draw attention to the outbreak of a racial dispute that will cause both sides to come down to the (Iranian) plain and wage war.
God will deprive both armies of a victory...
Further, as noted by the hadith, the Iran-Iraq war lasted for 8 years and, despite the many thousands of casualties, neither side could claim victory or a decisive superiority.
3. A Great Battle between the Tigris and the Euphrates
There will be a city called Zawra [Baghdad] between the Tigris and the Euphrates. There will be a great battle there. Women will be taken prisoner, and men will have their throats cut like sheep. (Muntakhab Kanz al-`Ummal, vol. 5, p. 38)
Quite likely, this hadith calls attention to the Iran-Iraq war. As mentioned above, there were many great clashes between these two Muslim countries. Heavy bombardments reduced villages, towns, and cities to rubble. Women, elderly people, and children lost their lives. The mass graves uncovered after the war revealed that the casualties were far higher than anticipated.
4.The Occupation of Afghanistan
Pity poor Taliqan [a region in Afghanistan]. At that place are treasures of God, but these are not of gold and silver. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi `Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-l-Zaman, p.59)
There is an indication that Afghanistan will be occupied during the Last Days. The Russian invasion of Afghanistan took place in 1979 (1400, according to the Islamic calendar).
… at that place are treasures of God, but these are not of gold and silver …
In addition, this hadith draws attention to Afghanistan's material riches. Today, large oil deposits, iron basins, and coal mines that have not been commercially exploited yet have been detected there.
5. Stopping the Flow of the Euphrates
Stopping and interrupting the flow of the Euphrates is one of the signs of the Mahdi's emergence, and therefore Jesus' second coming.
Soon the river Euphrates will disclose the treasure [the mountain] of gold. So, whoever will be present at that time should not take anything of it. (Sahih Bukhari)
Other hadiths reveal important information on this subject:
God's Messenger (may God bless him and grant him peace) said: "The Hour will not come to pass before the river Euphrates dries up to unveil the mountain of gold, for which people will fight. Ninety-nine out of one hundred will die [in the fighting], and every man among them will say: 'Perhaps I may be the only one to remain alive.' " (Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim)
The Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) said: "Tthe Euphrates reveals the treasures within itself. Whoever sees it should not take anything from it." (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi `Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p. 28)
It [the Euphrates] will uncover a mountain of gold [under it]. (Sunan Abu Dawud)
Interrupting this river's flow and disclosing its treasure of gold, both of which are important portents of Prophet Jesus' (pbuh) second coming, are mentioned in many respected books of hadith.
Let's examine some important statements revealed in the hadiths one by one:
God's Messenger said: "The Hour will not come to pass before the river Euphrates dries up and unveils the mountain of gold." (Sahih Muslim)
… the river Euphrates dries up …
As-Suyuti mentions this hadith as "the stopping of water." The Keban dam, built in 1975, has accomplished this.
… unveils the mountain of gold…
The surrounding land has become as valuable as gold for various reasons, for the Keban dam has enabled electricity production and higher soil fertility through irrigation and transport facilities.
The Keban and other dams lining the Euphrates resemble a concrete mountain, and wealth as valuable as gold comes out of it. Therefore, these dams take on the properties of "the golden mountain." (God knows best.)
6. Lunar and Solar Eclipses in Ramadan
There are two signs for the Mahdi... The first one is the lunar eclipse in the first night of Ramadan, and the second is the solar eclipse in the middle of this month. (Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi `Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar, p. 47)
A lunar eclipse will occur in the first night of the Ramadan. In the middle of the Ramadan, a solar eclipse will occur. (Muhammad ibn `Abd al-Rasul Barzanji, Al-Isha`ah li-Ashrat as-Sa`ah, p. 199)
During his [Mahdi's] reign, on the fourteenth of the Ramadan, a solar eclipse will occur. On the first of that month, the Moon will darken... (Imam Rabbani, Letters of Rabbani, p. 380; Letters of Rabbani, vol. 2, p. 1163)
There will be two solar eclipses in Ramadan before the Mahdi's advent. (Mukhtasar Tazkirah al-Qurtubi, p. 440)
... The solar eclipse in the middle of the Ramadan, and the lunar eclipse at the end ... (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi `Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p. 37)
There will be two lunar eclipses in Ramadan... (Ibn Hajar Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi `Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar, p. 53)
There will be two lunar eclipses in Ramadan before the Mahdi emerges. (Muhammad ibn `Abd al-Rasul Barzanji, Al-Isha`ah li-Ashrat as-Sa`ah, p. 200)
The most striking points here are that the solar eclipse will take place in the middle of the month and two solar and two lunar eclipses will take place within one month (Ramadan).
According to the first three hadiths above, the lunar eclipse will occur on the first night of the Ramadan. The fourth hadith says that it will occur on the last day of this month. Accordingly, the common results of all these hadiths are the following:
1- There will be solar and lunar eclipses during Ramadan.
2- These will be spaced about 14-15 days apart.
3- The eclipses will be repeated twice.
In line with these calculations, there was a lunar eclipse in 1981 (Hijri 1401) on Ramadan 15 and a solar eclipse on Ramadan 29. There was a "second" lunar eclipse in 1982 (Hijri 1402) on Ramadan 14 and a solar eclipse on Ramadan 28.
It is also particularly significant that in that particular instance, there was a full lunar eclipse in the middle of Ramadan, a most striking prophecy.
The occurrence of these incidents during the same period coinciding with the signs of the Mahdi's emergence, and their miraculous recurrence at the onset of the fifteenth Islamic century for two consecutive years (1401-02), indicates that they might be the signs foretold by the hadiths.
Moreover, an astoundingly similar series of eclipses occurred in the years 2002 and 2003.
7. The Rise of a Comet
A star with a luminous tail will rise from the east before the Mahdi emerges. (Muhammad ibn `Abd al-Rasul Barzanji, Al-Isha`ah li Ashrat as-Sa`ah, p. 200)
Before he arrives, a comet will appear in the east, giving out an illumination. (Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi `Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar, p. 53)
The rise of that star will occur after the eclipse of the Sun and the Moon. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi `Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p. 32)
... A comet appears when kings go on the pilgrimage to Mecca for travel, the wealthy for commerce, the poor for rest, and the hafiz [reciters] to show off. (Muhammad ibn `Abd al-Rasul Barzanji, Al-Isha`ah li Ashrat as-Sa`ah, p.123)
As referred to by the hadiths;
- In 1986 (Hijri 1406), Halley's Comet passed by Earth.
- The comet is a bright, shining star that travels from east to west.
- This happened after the lunar and solar eclipses of 1981 and 1982 (Hijri 1401-02).
The concurrence of this star's rise with other signs of the Mahdi's emergence indicates that Halley's Comet is the star pointed to in the hadith.
Imam Rabbani provides the following information about this comet:
A tailed star will be born in the east and spread its light. Its daily direction will be from east to west. (Imam Rabbani, Letters of Rabbani, vol. 2, p. 1170)
Throughout history, comets have heralded times of very important developments for Muslims, some of which became milestones in Islamic history. The Companions of the Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) also narrated some of these occurrences, as follows:
When this comet first appeared, the people of Prophet Noah (pbuh) perished, Prophet Abraham (pbuh) was cast into fire, Pharaoh and his people who fought against Prophet Moses (pbuh) perished, and John [Yahya] (pbuh) passed away. When you see that comet, take refuge in God from the evil of fitna. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi `Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p. 32)
Other important occurrences said to have happened with the appearance of this comet are as follows: Prophet Jesus (pbuh) was born, Our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) started to receive the first revelation, the Ottoman Empire emerged, and Sultan Mehmed II conquered Constantinople (Istanbul).
Some interesting figures about Halley's Comet
It is interesting that some figures pertaining to the comet are multiples of 19.
For example, Halley's Comet appears every 76 years
This comet was last seen in 1406
The number 74 is also the surah number of the Surat al-Muddaththir, which refers to the miracle of 19 in the Qur'an. Surat al-Muddaththir 74:30 reveals that 19 is a means of mercy for believers and of fitna for unbelievers.
A last great miracle and sign of Halley's Comet is the appearance of this comet in 1986 (Hijri 1406) is its nineteenth appearance since 607, when Prophet Mohammed (may God bless him and grant him peace) was honored with prophecy.
This striking relation of Halley's Comet with the number 19 may indicate a fitna upon unbelievers and a mercy on believers.
In Surat al-Muddaththir 74:1-2, God commands our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace): "You who are enveloped in your cloak! Arise and warn." The meaning is clear. Yet, they may also have a second hidden meaning that refers to the End Times. The word, "(the one) enveloped in cloak" may well refer to the Mahdi, who is from our Prophet's (may God bless him and grant him peace) lineage and whose appearance will be signaled by the rise of Halley's Comet in 1406 of the Islamic era.
8. Storming the Ka`bah and the Subsequent Bloodshed
The year in which he will emerge, people will perform hajj together and gather without an imam. The Hajjis will be looted, and there will be a battle at Mina in which many will be slain and blood will flow until it runs over the Jamra al-'Aqaba. [Jamra: a stone pillar representing Satan that is stoned during the pilgrimage.] (Narrated by `Amr ibn Shu`ayb, al-Hakim and Nu`aym ibn Hammad)
People make pilgrimage without an imam leading them. Big wars break out when they come down to Mina, and they are entwined just the way dogs entwine, and tribes attack each other. This strife is so widespread that legs are buried in lakes of blood. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi `Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p. 35)
The phrase "the year in which he will emerge" draws attention to a massacre that will occur on the date of the Mahdi's emergence. In 1979, a massacre very like this one occurred during the Ka`bah raid, which took place during the pilgrimage month at the very beginning of the period during which the signs of Mahdi's advent appeared – the first day of the Islamic year 1400 (21 November 1979).
The hadiths also mention bloodshed. The killing of 30 people during the clashes between Saudi soldiers and militants during the raid confirms the rest of this hadith.
Seven years later, an even bloodier incident happened during the pilgrimage. In this incident, 402 demonstrating pilgrims were killed. Both the Saudi soldiers and the Iranian pilgrims committed great sins, for they killed one another. These bloody incidents have great parallels to the environment described in the hadiths.
The Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) said:
"There will be a voice in Ramadan, a noise in Shawwal, and war between the tribes in the month of Dhu al-Qa`dah. Pilgrims will be despoiled. There will be a war in Mina in which many will die, to such an extent that so much blood will flow as to leave the stones there in a lake of blood." (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi `Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p. 31)
There will be a voice in Ramadan, and a voice in Shawwal. In Dhu al-Qa`dah, the tribes will fight one another. In Dhu al-Hijja, pilgrims will be despoiled. In Muharram, there will be a shout from the sky: "Take heed. Such a person is of the auspicious ones of the people of God. Listen to and obey him." (Ramuz al-Ahadith, vol. 2, p. 518, no.5)
There will be rebellion in Shawwal, talk of war in Dhu al-Qa`dah, and an act of war in Dhu al-Hijja. Pilgrims will be despoiled, and their blood will flow [over the Ka`bah]. (Muhammad ibn `Abd al-Rasul Barzanji, Al-Isha`ah li Ashrat as-Sa`ah, p. 166)
In the month of Dhu al-Qa`dah, the tribes will wage war, pilgrims will be kidnapped, and there will be bloody wars. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi `Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p. 34)
There come the cries of war in [the month of] Shawwal with the outbreak of war, massacre, and carnage in [the month of] Dhu al-Hijja. The pilgrims are plundered in this month, the streets cannot be crossed because of the blood shed, and religious prohibitions are violated. Big sins are committed near the Magnificent House [the Ka`bah]. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi `Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p. 37)
Examining the expressions in the hadiths indicates important events regarding the same period:
Big sins are committed near the Magnificent House [the Ka`bah].
This hadith draws attention to the incidents that will occur near the Ka`bah. The incidents during 1407 actually took place near the Ka`bah, and not inside it, unlike the event of 1400. Both incidents happened just as the hadiths indicated that they would.
It is not a mere coincidence that two such major events as bloodshed in the Ka`bah and the killing of pilgrims, as reported in the hadiths, should take place one after the other in the period when all portents regarding the Mahdi are coming true.
... [There will be] outbreak of war, massacre and carnage in [the month of] Dhu al-Hijja.
The fact that this war and conflict is discussed together with the killing of pilgrims shows that these events will take place in the same period of time. During that same period, the Iran-Iraq war broke out and the world saw the worst fighting and chaos in the Middle East.
A big flame will occur in the east for 3 or 7 days in a row, followed by darkness in the sky and a brand new redness unlike the usual color of red spreading over the sky. A proclamation will be heard in a language Earth can understand. (Muhammad ibn `Abd al-Rasul Barzanji, Al-Isha`ah li-Ashrat as-Sa`ah, p. 166)
9. Sighting a Flare in the East
In its section on the signs of the Mahdi's emergence, the book Iqd al-Durar states:
"The emergence of a big flare, which is seen in the east, in the sky for three nights. Sighting of an extraordinary redness, not as red as the usual color of the dawn, and its spread over the horizon." (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi `Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p. 32)
"This is a hadith narrated by Abu Ja`far b. Muhammad b. Ali (ra). When you see a flame rise in the east for three or seven days, then wait for the emergence of Al-i Muhammad; God will proclaim from the sky uttering the name of the Mahdi and everybody, whether in the east or the west, will hear that voice." (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi `Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p. 32)
"I swear that a flame will engulf you. That flame is presently in an extinguished state at the valley called Berehut. That flame swallows up people with terrible pain inside it, burns down and destroys people and property, and spreads all over the world by flying like a cloud with the assistance of winds. Its heat at night is much higher than its daytime temperature. By going as deep as the center of Earth from above the heads of people, that flame becomes a terrible noise, just like the lightning between the ground and the sky," he narrated. (Mukhtasar Tazkirah al-Qurtubi, p. 461)
Here we give a brief explanation of this flame, as follows:
Some people wait for this flame as a sign that comes suddenly and for no particular reason, that never goes out, and that everyone in the world can see. Since the trial continues during the occurrence of these signs, just because people will see them does not mean that they will understand them. Thus, people will make their decisions by using their intellect, mind, conscience, and will. If the End Time signs had been narrated in full detail (e.g., how, when, and where they will occur), everybody would have to accept them. Thus, no differences of degree would be left among the people. For this reason, these hadiths have been communicated in a semi-implicit manner.
The sign concerning the flame must be evaluated in this manner. A flame is the result of an accident and neglect, or of a deliberate action. The hadith does not say that it must occur as a very strange and extraordinary sign. What really counts is its occurence in compliance with the properties of the flame described in the hadiths and the time of its occurrence. To do this, first we must consider its properties.
In July 1991, after Iraq invaded Kuwait, a huge fire spread throughout Kuwait and the Persian Gulf as the Iraqis fired Kuwait's oil wells. This is how this fire was covered in the media:
- The burning oil in Kuwait led to the deaths of people and animals. According to experts, half a million tons of oil went up into the atmosphere as smoke. Every day, more than 10,000 tons of soot, sulfur, carbon-dioxide and large quantities of hydrocarbons with their carcinogenic properties hang suspended over the Gulf. It is not just the Gulf but, on its behalf, the world is burning.21
I swear that a fire will enfold you. That fire is currently lying extinguished in the valley known as Berehut [which is the name of a valley or a well].. (Mukhtasar Tazkirah al-Qurtubi, p. 461).24
The first part of the hadith says that the flame "is presently in an extinguished state." Given that the flame is the result of burning an inflammable substance, what waits in an extinguished state is not the flame itself but rather the material to be burned by the flame. In this context, this may mean underground oil. Berehut is the name of a well. This can be considered as an oil well. When the time comes, oil extracted from these wells will become a fire ready to be burned.
"That flame swallows up people with terrible pain inside it." That flame is not merely a burning flare, but also one that deprives people of their lives and possessions, making them miserable and sorrowful, and contaminating the surrounding environment.
"That flame… burns down and destroys people and property." That flame causes the death of certain people. In addition, it burns down property, causing material damage and, by polluting the surrounding environment, destroys what people need in order to live.
"… spreads all over the world by flying like a cloud with the assistance of winds." This particular element of the flame is the smoke that it produces. Thus, this metaphor indicates that the smoke will reach as high as the clouds and spread in all directions due to the wind.
"Its heat at night is much higher than its daytime temperature." In other words, the flame will burn around the clock.
"By going as deep as the center of Earth from above the heads of people, that flame makes a terrible noise, just like the thunder between the ground and the sky." Attention is drawn to the facts that the flame will climb very high into the air and cause a very strong noise and explosions resembling a thunder.
"… a brand new redness unlike the usual color of red spreading over the sky…" This part of the hadith points out that the incident will occur at night, for the flames of a large explosion occurring at night leads to a very strong illumination. The red illumination caused by such red flames is very different from the red "dawn" redness with which people are familiar. Such an illumination at night, which is very similar to daylight, is an extraordinary phenomenon.
10. A Sign out of the Sun
He [the Mahdi] will not come unless a sign emerges out of the Sun. (Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi `Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar, p. 47)
The Mahdi will not emerge unless the Sun rises as a sign. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi `Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p. 33)
Another sign of Doomsday is extraordinary solar explosions. During the twentieth century, a great solar explosion took place and had a great impact upon the world. The sign referred to in the hadith may well be this great explosion.
11. A Solar Eclipse
The Mahdi will not emerge unless the Sun rises as a sign. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi `Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p. 33)
As well as the solar explosion mentioned above, the sign that will appear on the Sun may well be the great solar eclipse that happened on August 11, 1999, the last total solar eclipse of the twentieth century. It was the first time that so many people had been able to watch and study an eclipse for so long.
It is of course no coincidence that so many signs have occurred one after the other in such a short space of time. These signs are each glad tidings from God to His faithful servants.
12. A Change of Systems
A man called the Mahdi will come at a time when time is interrupted… (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi `Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p. 14)
In this hadith, our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) foretold that the Mahdi would come when "time is interrupted." Many scholars interpret this expression as a "differentiation of time" when a "change of systems" takes place. What is meant by this "change of systems" may be the collapse of communism, the governing ideology of many nations, toward the end of the twentieth century.
One of the major reasons for the bloody wars and massacres that characterized the twentieth century was the rule of communist ideology, which was a product of materialist philosophy. This ideology was influential on a global scale, and many countries were either ruled by the communist regimes for decades or were the target of communist rings. Communism was the reason for the cold war, which continued until the 1990s, as well as the most ruthless assassinations.
Apart from attempting to spread their ideology by fighting other countries, communist regimes oppressed their subjects and killed large numbers of people through executions, mass massacres, harsh conditions in prison camps, and food and other scarcities.
According to historians' estimates, communist regimes caused the deaths of 120 million people during the twentieth century. Most of them were civilians, not soldiers. Tens of millions of people died because of the rigid and savage characteristics of communist regimes. Apart from this, millions of people who were subjected to atrocities fled their native lands. As a result, they lost all of their possessions and lands, and lived in constant fear of being arrested for various political or ideological "crimes" or of being subject to further atrocities.
However, these supposedly powerful and invincible regimes began collapsing one after the other in the late 1980s. The pulling down of the Berlin Wall in 1989 was the most distinctive symbol of this collapse. Two years later, the Soviet Union, the largest and most powerful communist state, collapsed, and the Eastern Bloc soon followed suit. Other communist regimes collapsed one after the other. This sudden end of the bi-polar world order that had existed since the end of the Second World War was totally unexpected. Now, a new world order is in the process of coming into being. The "change of system" mentioned in the hadith thus is materializing in our own time.
Today, the last ideological and political remnants of communism are disappearing and the world is being cleansed of this bloody ideology. With the spread of Islamic ethics, the atrocities, pain, ignorance, and poverty finally will be eradicated, and humanity will attain beauty, wealth, prosperity, and peace. As a manifestation of His forgiveness and grace, God will offer humanity an end to darkness, war, massacre, and sorrow.
13. A Tribulation of Dust and Smoke
Before the Hour comes, there will be a dusty and smoky tribulation like patches of dark night... (Sunan Abu Dawud)
This hadith foretells a dusty, smoky, and dark wave of tribulation just before the Mahdi's advent. The word "tribulation" (fitna) implies anything that turns peoples' reason and hearts away from the true path, or war, incitement, chaos, disorder, and conflict.25 The tribulation mentioned in this hadith will leave behind smoke and dust.
Furthermore, as this tribulation is described as resembling "patches of dark night," its origins are unclear and it is unexpected. Thus, this hadith could refer to one of the world's worst terrorist attacks: 9/11, when New York City and Washington, DC, were attacked. As the whole world saw, a big, thick cloud of dust and smoke swallowed up the immediate surroundings.
A large cloud of smoke formed after the airplanes exploded after smashing into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The resulting smoke reached so high and spread so far that it could be seen throughout the city and even from neighboring cities. The ensuing collapse of the Twin Towers caused yet another huge cloud of smoke and dust, which completely enveloped people in the area.
This incident is very important for several reasons: It is one of the most serious acts of terror in world history, and it occurred along with other signs and bears characteristics similar to ones described in the hadith. Therefore, this act may well be the "tribulation like patches of dark night" foretold by the hadith as the sign of the Mahdi's emergence.