Signs of Jesus’ (pbuh) Second Coming
The Signs from the Islamic Resources 5
44. The Global Pervasiveness of Chaos and Conflict
At a time when the world will be in harj [utter confusion and disorder], fitna will appear, people will be attacked, the old will not have mercy on the young, and the young will not show respect to the old, God will send someone to eradicate hostility and conquer the castles of perversion, uphold faith in the End Times just as I upheld it formerly, someone who will fill this Earth with justice where violence prevailed before. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi `Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p. 12)
The Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) said: “Fitna will spread after me. Terror and war will rage. Then, there will be greater fitnas. When people will say that the fitna has ended, new rebellions will appear. Until someone from my lineage [the Mahdi] emerges, there will be no home in Arabia into which fitna will not enter and a Muslim to whom fitna will not reach. (Fera Idu Fevaidi'l Fiqr Fi'l Imam al-Mahdi al-Muntadhar, p. 147)
As these hadiths reveal, such chaos will spread around the world. Indeed, many countries have been ruined, either wholly or in part, by chaos, war, murder, and terrorism. Every day, hundreds of people are exiled or murdered for no reason. (For further information, see Harun Yahya, Signs of the Last Day [Global Publishing: 2003].)
45. The Occurrence of Great and Astonishing Events
So many appalling incidents will occur in his time. (Imam Rabbani, Letters of Rabbani, vol. 2, p. 258)
Great phenomena will happen in his time. (Ibn Hajar Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi `Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar, p. 27)
“… earthquakes, sorrows, and great events are near. That day, Doomsday, is closer than this hand is to your head,” he [The Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace] said. (Sunan Abu Dawud)
The signs of his emergence resemble those preparatory signs that earlier gave an indication of our Rasulullah. (Imam Rabbani, Letters of Rabbani, vol, 2, p. 258)
Great and extraordinary events preceded Prophet Mohammed’s (may God bless him and grant him peace) birth. For example, a new star rose on that night, 14 towers of the Iranian Emperor’s Palace collapsed, the Magians' (fire worshippers') fire that had burned for 1,000 years in Iran went out, the Semavi Valley was flooded, and the Save Lake dried up.
As indicated in the hadiths above, the Mahdi’s emergence will resemble that of our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace). Great and miraculous phenomena will also take place when he emerges.
Some of the remarkable phenomena that took place during the last century are as follows:
- The Ka`bah was raided, and many Muslims were killed
- The 2,500-year Iranian monarchy collapsed and Mohammad Reza Pahlavi died
- A gas leak in a Bombay factory killed 20,000 people
- War broke out between two Muslim nations: Iran and Iraq
- The Soviet Union occupied Afghanistan
- On September 19, 1985, Mexico City was devastated by an earthquake
- The Nevado del Ruiz volcano erupted, wiping the town of Armero off the map and killing 25,000 people
- Floods in Bangladesh killed 25,000 people
- Rome, the heart of the Catholic Church, was flooded
- The worst forest fire in history broke out in China
- Indian Prime Minister Gandhi, President Anwar al-Sadat of Egypt, and Swedish Prime Minister Olaf Palme were assassinated
- Pope John Paul II was shot
- The AIDS virus, identified in 1980, has so far killed tens of thousands of people and is known as the "Plague of the Age"
- The Challenger space shuttle exploded after take-off in 1986
- The worst nuclear accident in history occurred when the Chernobyl Nuclear Reactor, located in the Soviet Union, exploded on April 26 1986 and affected many European countries by the released radiation
- A hole was discovered in the ozone layer
- The Soviet Union collapsed, thanks to Gorbachev, and the newly independent states of Central Asia emerged
- The Gulf War broke out, Iraq annexed and then fled Kuwait, and was finally occupied by America and Britain in 2003.
- An earthquake in Armenia reduced cities to rubble, causing 500,000 people to leave their homes and more than 40,000 people to lose their lives.
- The Chinese government sent its tanks into Tienanmen Square during 1989 to crush a student movement demanding greater freedom; 2,000 students died
- The Berlin Wall, which for 28 years had symbolized the cold war, was torn down
- More than 1,400 pilgrims were killed in a stampede at a tunnel in the Ka`bah in 1990
- Approximately 139,000 people died from flooding in Bangladesh in 1991, and ten million were left homeless
- Hundreds of thousands of Muslims were killed in the atrocities in Bosnia and Kosovo, and hundreds of thousands more were exiled
- The Ebola virus led to the deaths of tens of thousands
- The hurricanes, tornadoes, whirlwinds, and floods caused by El Niño led to the deaths of thousands of people, to millions fleeing their homes, and to billions of dollars worth of damage
- The London Stock Exchange collapsed on October 19, 1987, and the ensuing panic resulted in a value loss of 50 billion Pounds.
- 168 people were killed in a bomb attack on a federal building in Oklahoma City April 19, 1995.
-In 1997, the Hale-Bopp Comet passed so close to Earth that it could be seen with the naked eye
- 1,500 people died in an earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale in Iran on May 10, 1997
-5,000 people died in an earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale in Afghanistan on February 1998
- 1,171 people were killed in an earthquake measuring 6.0 on the Richter scale in Columbia on January 25, 1999
- More than 2,100 people died in an earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale in Taiwan on September 21, 1999
- The biggest-ever terrorist attack on America took place on September 11, 2001. Two passenger airplanes crushed into the World Trade Center in New York within 18 minutes of each other. Another plane crushed into the Pentagon. Over 5,000 people died.
- An earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale struck India, killing thousands of people
- Many European countries have experienced heat waves that have killed many people
- Mars was closer to Earth in August 2003 than at any other time in the past 60,000 years
In November 2003, 12 people lost their lives in a flood in Makkah, which is one of the driest regions in the world.
46. The Situation of Some Muslims
He said: “I swear by God, Who holds my soul in His hands, that when that time of fitna comes, you will turn into snakes rising to twist each others’ necks.” (Mukhtasar Tazkirah al-Qurtubi, p. 386, no. 672)
In this hadith, our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) calls attention to the disagreement among some Muslims. It indicates that in the End Times, some Muslims having status, rank, and power will show hostility to each other instead of joining forces. In other hadiths, our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) also draws attention to such threats as jealousy, envy, and hostility – all of which will be prevalent among Muslims.
.... Fitna will appear from right there, from the place where Satan’s two horns will rise. Yet you still strike one another’s neck. (Mukhtasar Tazkirah al-Qurtubi, p. 369, no. 675)
... if you start competing with one another, feeling jealous of one another, turning your backs or separating and becoming enemies of one another. (Sahih Muslim)
A time will come when my people will envy one another, just as goats do. (al-Hatim)
47. The Current Situation of the Islamic World
I swear to God, Who endowed me with justice, that after me there will be a period of gap among my people. At that time, everyone will ask for possessions without considering whether they are halal [lawful], blood will shed, and poems will be held as dear as the Qur’an. (ad-Daylami)
In the past, the Islamic world built one of the greatest and most glorious civilizations in history. The collapse of the Ottoman Empire after the First World War had great impact on the Islamic world, for it damaged Muslim unity. Right now, unresolved problems and disagreements are pervasive in many parts of the Islamic world. This aside, nearly all Muslim countries are far behind when it comes to any type of progress associated with science, technology, and economic development. The “period of gap” may refer to this deplorable situation.
We need to remember that, as in the past, it is very easy for the Islamic world to establish a glorious civilization that once again will set an example for the entire world with its moral excellence, peace, security, and abundance. But this will not happen until Muslims once again strive to live according to the morality of the Qur’an and the Sunnah of our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) and to establish the Union of Islam that this morality envisages.
48. Wars between Muslims
Doomsday will not come until the two great Islamic armies get into war with one another… (Mukhtasar Tazkirah al-Qurtubi, p. 454, no. 831)
Muslims who fail to get along well with one another in those days cannot avoid being the target of the Dajjal. (al-Hakim, Mustadrak, vol. 4, pp. 529-30)
Abu Hurayra reported that God’s Messenger narrated: "The Last Hour will not come until the two parties [of Muslim] confront each other and there is a large-scale massacre amongst them and the chain of both of them is the same." (Sahih Muslim)
In these hadiths, our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) called attention to some events that would take in our day. Indeed, as these hadiths reveal, at the beginning of the year 1400 of the Islamic era, Iraq and Iran were fighting each other, and Iraq would later invade Kuwait.
49. Muslims Are Subjected to Severe Troubles
At the end of time, their rulers will cause My people severe trouble in such a way that there will be no comfort for Muslims anywhere. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi `Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p. 12)
Woe to this community because of those tyrannical rulers. These cruel ones frighten even the silent and submissive, apart from those who obey them. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi `Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p. 13)
The cruelty of leaders … is one of the portents of Doomsday. (Muhammad ibn `Abd al-Rasul Barzanji, Al-Isha`ah li Ashrat as-Sa`ah, p. 143)
... There will be no home into which strife does not enter, and no Muslim who is untouched by it. This will continue until a rajul [a man of gnosis and illumination] from my lineage appears. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi `Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p. 25)
[One portent of Doomsday is] sinners raising their voices in the mosques and having victory and dominion over devout believers in place of the religion’s commandments. (Mukhtasar Tazkirah al-Qurtubi, p. 450)
I swear that [great] misfortunes will befall the people, and one will not find any refuge from cruelty and tyranny. At such a troublesome time, God will send someone from my lineage. (Mukhtasar Tazkirah al-Qurtubi, p. 437)
This hadith points out that before the Mahdi comes, those who lack religious morals and have a cruel and merciless character will come to power in some Muslim countries. This is one of the signs indicating that the coming of the Mahdi and Prophet Jesus (pbuh) is drawing nigh.
In another hadith, our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) tells us that due to all of this oppression at the End Times, sincere Muslims may be forced to hide their belief and worship in secret:
Just as the hypocrites lead their lives in secret among you today, a time will come when believers will try hard to lead their religious lives among others. (Ibn Sunni)
As we all know, some contemporary Muslim rulers oppress Muslims and crush their people and prevent Muslims from living by their religion and performing their acts of worship. Meanwhile, economic conditions have made life harder. In other countries, people are subjected to trouble because their rulers are unqualified to rule.
Some examples of these incidents are as follows:
In Iraq, which lost about one million people during its war against Iran, the Ba`thist dictator Saddam Hussein subjected all Iraqis to unbearable tortures and atrocities.
Instability and turmoil have ruled in Afghanistan ever since the Soviet occupation in 1979. Some Afghanistan authorities (viz., the Taliban), which never represented real Islam, established a very oppressive, ruthless, and intolerant system.
Syrian Muslims suffered a myriad of atrocities during Hafez Assad's 30-year rule. Some cities were entirely destroyed during the massacres, which also led to raping women and a wide-ranging torturing of men.
Djibouti, a tiny African country, has been ruled by a harsh regime that, during 1977-91, killed about 2,000 Muslims, arrested 7,000 people, and tortured many more without any justification.
In Somalia, an oppressive regime led by Major General Mohammed Siad Barre, which targeted Muslims directly, was in power from 1969-91.
Tunisia, ruled by the dictator Habib Bourgiba for 31 years, suffered great oppression during the rule of this self-proclaimed “President for Life.”
It is also worthwhile to say that this situation is prevalent in some Muslim countries due to a lack of knowledge about Islamic morality. One of the common features of such regimes is their repressive and cruel power-based ideologies. This is surely incompatible with religion’s morality. Therefore, believers need to carry out intellectual struggles against these ideologies, for an ideology that is defeated on intellectual grounds can hardly survive. Muslims must expose these ideologies’ errors and deviances and call their adherents to the right path by telling them about religion’s true morality. Through this method, which complies with the Qur’anic morality and the Prophet’s (may God bless him and grant him peace) Sunnah, all of these cruelties will end, by God’s permission, and the Muslim world will attain a celebratory future.
50. The Killing of the Innocent
The Mahdi will not emerge until innocent people are massacred, and he will appear when those on Earth and up in the sky can no longer put up with such massacres ... (Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi `Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar, p. 37)
The Mahdi will not appear until seven out of nine [people] are killed. The killing of the innocent will be among them. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi `Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p. 35)
The Mahdi will not emerge until innocent people are killed. When those who are without sin are killed, the people of Earth and sky [will] detest the killers. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi `Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p. 35)
While the hadiths about the Mahdi’s emergence mention such massacres as commonplace, they also emphasize that such massacres will target innocent people. As we discussed earlier, almost all of the wars today target civilians. So, civilians and such innocent people as children, the elderly, and women are slaughtered. Targeting these defenseless people in particular has resulted in more comprehensive massacres, while the number of people dying as a result continues to climb.
In addition to such massacres, acts of terror, particularly in recent years, have resulted in the mass annihilation of people. Since terror seeks to spread fear and horror, the very group that such attacks often target are innocent civilians.
Many people continue to lose their lives in different countries as a result of terrorists targeting shopping malls, restaurants, and schools frequented by defenseless women, youths, and children.
51. People Killed for No Reason
Abu Hurayra relates: “Our Prophet said that: 'People will see such days that the killer will not know why he kills, nor the innocent why they are slain.' He was asked: 'How will this be?' He replied: 'It is haraj [killing]. Both killer and killed are in the flames.'” (Sahih Muslim)
The increase in murders is one of the signs of the End Times. In newspapers, the stories of those who commit murder because of a minor dispute often appear. Similarly, an unwanted reaction of the other party, the displeasure incurred by the music one plays, or even a small amount of money may well be the reason for such murders.
52. Corruption that Causes Conflict Everywhere
Fitnas will follow one another in the near future. Then, there will be other fitnas and the ones following them. (Mukhtasar Tazkirah al-Qurtubi, p. 374, no. 684)
... Then there will be misfortunes, fitna, and many evil things that you will not like. Such misfortunes will occur that the latter, often much greater, will make the preceding one appear insignificant. (Mukhtasar Tazkirah al-Qurtubi, pp. 394-95, no. 733)
The hadiths above mention a steadily expanding fitna that continues for extended periods of time. The term fitna also means "war, disorder, quarrel, dispute," as mentioned earlier. As we know, these events often spread far beyond the points where they begin, as expressed by the narrated hadith. This was especially true of the twentieth century, which is remembered as "the century of wars." As for the twenty-first century, it again started off with war and terror, both of which remain common features all over the world.
About 180 million people lost their lives during the wars of the twentieth century. This is certainly a record in the annals of human history. According to historians, 165 wars and confrontations took place, each causing the death of a minimum 6,000 people.30
When we analyze the places where wars of all kinds have taken place in just the last 25 years, we can see that such instances of corruption end in one place but then reemerge in another. For example, consider the following partial list of areas so affected: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Albania, Bulgaria, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Palestine, Israel, North Korea, Cambodia, Eastern Turkestan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Yemen, Uganda, Algeria, Rwanda, Mozambique, Angola, Congo, Liberia, Burundi, Sudan, Lebanon, Argentina, Northern Ireland, El Salvador, and Nicaragua.
World history is full of war, but the wars, terrorist acts, and massacres that took place in the twentieth century and in the beginning of twenty-first century differ from all previous ones in many respects. As mentioned earlier, their death tolls were much higher than the total of all previous wars. In addition, wars used to remain regional and contained, as opposed to spreading from one place to another, and sometimes even becoming global in nature. However, by the beginning of the twentieth century, we saw the first truly global war. Virtually no country or region escaped war, confrontation, or an act of terror during the twentieth century.
Another distinguishing feature is the power of the weaponry used: tanks, heavy cannons, and aircraft are all death machines that appeared in the twentieth century. On the other hand, far more terrible massacres were carried out through the use of nuclear and chemical weapons, especially with the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Immense damage was inflicted not only upon those generations caught up in these wars, but also the one or more new generations that followed.
Presently, biological warfare is seen as one of the most serious dangers. The anthrax bacteria mailed during October 2001, immediately after 9/11 in America, is one example of this. This mailing infected ten people with anthrax; two of them died.31
As a result, it is highly probable that the specific incidence of corruption (fitna) referred to in the hadith as spreading to many places relates to the war, confrontation, disorder, and acts of terror, all of which multiplied in the twentieth century and continue even in this new century. All of this may just be yet another sign of the approaching Golden Age that will be established by the Mahdi and Prophet Jesus (pbuh), and that we are living at the end of time.
53. Loss of Hope in the Mahdi
God Almighty will send the Mahdi after despair has reached the point that people will say: "There is no Mahdi." (Narrated by Nu`aym ibn Hammad)
This hadith informs us that one sign of the End Times is the people's despair of the Mahdi's coming. The prevalence of this despair is also a sign of Prophet Jesus’ (pbuh) second coming.
People who struggle with war, starvation, injustice, epidemics, and all forms of depravity lose their hope that such disasters will ever end. Many Muslims, on the other hand, start to despair that Islamic morality will never prevail and believe that evil will spread even further.
Indeed in our day, we frequently see examples of this spirit. Despite the existence of countless hadiths about the Mahdi's coming, Prophet Jesus’ (pbuh) return, and the Golden Age characterized by great blessings, many people believe that such a period will never come. This assumption is also a sign of the End Times. In a time of despair, people will enjoy the benefits of the prevailing Qur’anic morality, thanks to God's mercy. By God’s Will, Prophet Jesus (pbuh) will return and religion’s genuine morality will prevail all over the world. Just as the world was filled with violence and injustice, after Prophet Jesus’ (pbuh) return, by our Lord’s Will, it will abound with justice, peace, security, and blessings.