Signs of Jesus’ (pbuh) Second Coming -
The Signs from the Islamic Resources 051-060
The Signs from the Islamic Resources 6/12
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.
54. Poverty and Hunger
The poor will grow in number. (Amal al-Din al-Qazwini, Mufid al-`Uulum wa Mubid al-Humum)
Gains will be shared out only among the rich, with no benefit to the poor. (Tirmidhi)
Three years before the appearance of the Dajjal, there will be exceedingly stressful days and hunger will rule … (Muhammad ibn `Abd ar-Rasul Barzanji, Al-Isha`ah li Ashrat as-Sa`ah, p. 220)
Many hadiths of our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) mention the poverty and hunger that people will suffer before the Mahdi comes. Of course, poverty and hunger have existed throughout history, but the poverty of the End Times will increase enormously all over the world. This situation will herald Prophet Jesus’ (pbuh) second coming.
Today, many people live without sufficient amounts food and water, as well as in unhealthy conditions all over the world. While most of these people are located in Africa, Asia, and South America, they are also quite numerous in such rich counties as America and those of western Europe. As only a small portion of people live in great prosperity, nearly 2 billion live below the poverty line. This article, written at the start of the year 2000, explains the global situation, as follows:
As we enter the new millennium, we bring with us a world in which 35,000 children die each day from causes related to poverty. That is one child dying every 2.5 seconds. We face a world in which the total number of people below the poverty line is growing each year, and now stands at around 1.5 billion. This is greater than the population of China, four times the entire population of the European Union.The combined wealth of the world's richest three families… is more than the annual income of 600 million people in the least developed countries. Moreover, in more than 80 of the world's poorest countries per capita income is lower today than it was 10 years ago.32
In the world today, poverty has reached alarming proportions. A recent report by UNICEF stated that one in four people live in "unimaginable suffering and want."33 Moreover 3 billion people struggle to survive on less than $2 a day.34 Approximately 1.3 billion people lack safe water, and 2.6 billion people are without access to adequate sanitation.35
According to a report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), for the year 2000, 826 million people did not have enough to eat. In other words, one in six people are hungry.36
Over the last 10 years, the injustice of income distribution has increased more than one can imagine. Reports by the United Nations show that in 1960, the income of the 20% of the world's population living in the richest countries was 30 times greater than that of the 20% in the poorest countries. In 1995, it was 82 times greater.37 As an example of the collapse of social justice, the combined wealth of the world's 225 richest individuals is equal to the annual income of the poorest 47%.38
Such current statistical data point to what the Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) said about the increase of poverty. The hadiths reveal that poverty and hunger will be among the signs of the End Times’ first period. Obviously, this period describes conditions in our day. If we look at past centuries, we see that the difficulties and anxiety brought about by drought, war, and other calamities were temporary and limited to a particular region. However, today, poverty and the difficulty of earning a living are permanent and endemic.
Certainly our Lord, Who has endless compassion and mercy, does not wrong people. Indeed, this unjust state of affairs shows clearly that the world is stratified on the basis of selfishness and greed rather than on religion, moral values, and conscience.
Indeed, with the verse, “Corruption has appeared in both land and sea because of what people’s own hands have brought about, so that they may taste something of what they have done, so that hopefully they will turn back” (Surat ar-Rum, 30:41), God informs us that the reason for this corruption is humanity’s turning away from His religion.
With the dawning of the Golden Age, all of these problems will disappear. Hunger and poverty will give way to wealth and plenty. In that age, nobody will be poor or needy, for religion will be lived in the manner God describes in the Qur'an and people will share their goods with those in need, as revealed in the verse, "And beggars and the destitute received a due share of their wealth" (Surat adh-Dhariyat, 51:19). In any case, it is impossible for some people to be wealthy and others to be poor in a society that lives by Islamic values. If a person believes, then that person will be afraid of falling into the position of "nor did he urge the feeding of the poor. Therefore, here today he has no friend" (Surat al-Haqqa, 69:34-35). This is a means by which great social justice, well-being, and plenty can come about in society.
During the three years just before the Dajjal comes, there will be one year when the sky will withhold one third of its rain and the Earth one-third of its fruits. In the second year the sky will withhold two-thirds of its rain, and the Earth two-thirds of its fruits. In the third year all of its fruits, and all the animals will die. (Ibn Ahmad Hanbal)
As the hadith reveals, a global drought will occur before the Dajjal’s appearance. Indeed, the threat of drought, a consequence of global warming today, influences many parts of our world. A UN report issued in 2001 states the seriousness of the situation:
“The Century of Hunger Knocks at the Door”
In the 21st century, climate changes resulting from global warming will bring hunger.
The detrimental dimensions of global warming, which may be the greatest yet unrecognized threat to humanity, will escalate in the 21st century. According to the recent UN report, scientists predict global warming will make the 21st century also an “age of hunger” and warn that these changes will make the diminishment of crops in Asia unavoidable …
Again according to the report, global warming will result in diminished amounts of rain and crops, [and the growth of] desertification and flash floods. The scientists also warned that small islands and countries will suffer seriously from the consequences of global warming.39
Some of the newspaper headlines about drought in recent years are as follows:
Every year, 100 million hectares of fertile areas become extinct.
More than 1 billion people in 110 countries are vulnerable to desertification. Before it is too late, an efficient program has to be launched to cope with the problem. (02.09.2003 www.ntvmsnbc.com)
The Theme of the World Environment Day of this Year Is “Water”
The UN has called attention to the problem of water on the Day of Environment, stressing the importance of the issue with the headline: “Water: Two billion people are dying for it.” (05.06.2003 www.ntvmsnbc.com)
The American West Is Vulnerable to Drought
Due to global warming, some sectors of the population in the American West are becoming increasingly vulnerable to drought.
Safe Water Problem May Last until 2025
Authorities warned that humanity may suffer from a safe water problem until the year 2025. (17.10.2002 www.ntvmsnbc.com)
Drought Alarm around the World
Until the year 2025, a lack of safe water will threaten one-third of the world’s population. (15.08.2001 www.ntvmsnbc.com)
56. A Weakening Economy in Specific Years
People will prosper until the ninety-fifth year, that is, their business will prosper. In the ninety-seventh and the ninety-ninth year, their possessions will go to waste ... (Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi `Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar, p. 54)
This hadith contains detailed information about the economic situation during the Golden Age.
It is highly probable that “ninety-fifth year” refers to the year 1995, a period when people had a relatively better life and its conditions had not become so difficult. Indeed, as described in the hadith, during that year people had enough income to earn a living and had some possessions. However, during 1997-99 the economy deteriorated, poverty spread, and possessions lost their value. Such an event can happen very quickly, as exemplified by Argentina's recent economic crisis.
57. The Cutting of Trade and Roads
When trade and roads are cut and strife multiplies ... (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi `Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p.52)
Before the Mahdi appears, trade and roads between nations will be cut and strife among people will grow. (Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi `Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar, p. 39)
Despite the commercial and economic cooperation between countries in our day, security concerns hinder many commercial activities. We can see this in the difficulties faced by those who want to transport the Caspian region’s underground riches to other regions. Disputes and tensions elsewhere hinder similar economic cooperation opportunities and thereby limit commercial activities.
58. Decreased Earnings
Everyone complaining about decreased earnings... the rich respected for their money... (Muhammad ibn `Abd al-Rasul Barzanji, Al-Isha`ah li Ashrat as-Sa`ah, p. 146)
Stagnation in the markets, a reduction in earnings… (Muhammad ibn `Abd al-Rasul Barzanji, Al-Isha`ah li Ashrat as-Sa`ah, p. 148)
A man will proceed with his money to the various parts of the Earth [for a business trip] and will comment after his return: “I didn’t earn any profit.” (Hakim)
Economic distress is one of the most important problems of many countries today. People fail to earn their living and, in some cases, cannot find any buyer for their goods. In some countries where governments have to fight against poverty and unequal distributions of income, this situation shakes the social order and becomes a major source of chaos. Argentina is one of the most recent examples of such economic collapse.
59. The Division of National Wealth among the Rich
The Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) said: “If my ummah bears fifteen traits, tribulation will befall it.” Someone asked, “What are they, O Messenger of God?” He said: "... when the booty [i.e., national wealth] is taken in ruin and property given in trust as spoil...” (Tirmidhi)
This portent of Doomsday is seen all over the world today. As the world’s wealthiest people control a large part of the world's wealth, billions of people are condemned to live in poverty and hunger. This is most clear in Africa, where millions of people live in poverty and hunger.
In its 2003 reports, the International Work Organization declared that 2 billion people survive on $1 a day and that approximately 1 billion people struggle to survive on $2 a day. In a press release, the organization declared that the gap between the poorest 20% of the world’s population and the richest 20% of the world’s population doubled during the last 40 years.40
Basing itself on Forbes magazine, the Turkish daily Radikal reported that “the top 400 richest Americans” had a combined wealth of $1.2 trillion, which is six times the total of Turkey’s national revenue. The wealth of Bill Gates, who for a long time was the wealthiest man in America, is estimated to surpass the total national revenue of Peru, a country with 25 million people. Meanwhile, it is one-third of Turkey’s national revenue, which is around $200 billion. The same report mentioned that the personal income of Warren Buffet, more than $28 billion, is more than the national revenue of Kuwait, an oil-rich country with a population of more than 2 million. Ted Turner, who ranks twenty-first on the list, is worth $9.1 billion, an amount that equals the national revenue of Panama, which has a population of 2.7 million people. This picture reveals that on the national and international levels, the poor become even poorer and more numerous, whereas the wealthy have become even richer. The total amount of wealth held by the 400 people on the list increased by 20% in one year.41
On 2 February 2003, the Turkish daily newspaper Aksam illustrated the inequality of income around the world in the following terms:
The most important problem of the world: According to the World Development Report of 2003, the inequality of income among countries is growing even deeper. The report indicates that the most important problem of development on the world agenda is to find jobs for the three million people whose daily income is less than 2 dollars a day, in order to make them individuals who can contribute to production and to provide them better a quality of life. One of the foremost factors threatening world peace today is global poverty.
The Situation of the World: The average income of the 20 wealthiest countries is 37 times greater than the average income of the 20 poorest countries of the world. The developed countries, where 20 percent of the wealthiest people live, hold 86 percent of the world’s national revenue, 82 percent of the world’s export markets, 68 percent of all foreign investments, and 74 percent of all telephone lines. Meanwhile, the share of the 20 percent of the poorest in these areas does not exceed 1.5 percent.
Figures related to the gap between the 20% of the wealthiest and the 30% of the poorest are striking:
Year Ratio of Gap
The number of people living in extreme poverty, who survive on less than $1 a day, is over 200 million.
Today, the total wealth of the 3 richest people of the world is more than the total gross national product of the poorest countries, where 600 million people live...
Eighty percent of the total natural resources of the world is consumed by 16 percent of the world population. Meanwhile, 5 percent of the entire world population is deprived of safe water resources. The number of people dying of diarrhea alone is over 50 million. As the great part of the population in underdeveloped countries lives in rural areas, these people become even poorer as the natural resources on these lands diminish. Indeed, the women and children living in poor countries spend 4-5 hours looking for wood to burn. These same people spend 4-6 hours looking for safe water and then carrying it home.42
This situation is a sign of the End Times, as related in our Prophet’s (may God bless him and grant him peace) hadiths. By our Lord’s Will, this situation heralds the closeness of the coming of the Mahdi, Prophet Jesus (pbuh), and the Golden Age, a time when people will not suffer from such misery. In the Golden Age, the world’s situation will be just the reverse, for people will fully abide by the Qur’an’s morality.
As God orders in the Qur’an:
… so that it [booty] does not become something that merely revolves between the rich among you. Whatever the Messenger gives you you should accept, and whatever he forbids you you should forgo. Have fear of God – God is severe in retribution. (Surat al-Hashr, 59:7)
60. An Increase in the Number of Earthquakes
No other natural event affects people as strongly as earthquakes, for they can happen anywhere and at any moment. Throughout history, they have caused many deaths and great material loss. For this reason, they are greatly feared. Even modern technology has been able to prevent earthquake-related damage only to a certain extent.
The 1995 earthquake in Kobe serves as an example to those who mistakenly think that technology will one day harness nature. This earthquake caused massive and unexpected damage to Japan's largest industrial and transportation center. Although it only lasted 20 seconds, as Time reported, it caused about $100 billion worth of damage.43
The Hour [Last Day] will not be established until ... earthquakes will be very frequent. (Sahih Bukhari)
There are two great events before the Day of Judgment ... and then years of earthquakes. (Ramuz al-Ahadith, p.187, no.2)
The days when you can find no homes to shelter you, or animals to carry you, have come close. Earthquakes will demolish your houses. (Muhammad ibn `Abd al-Rasul Barzanji, Al-Isha`ah li Ashrat as-Sa`ah, p. 146)
There will be disagreements and frequent earthquakes. (Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Rasul Barzanji, Al-Isha'ah li-Ashrat al-Sa'ah, p. 166)
In the last few years, major earthquakes have occurred repeatedly and are among the foremost fears of people. According to the data collected by the American National Earthquake Information Center for 1999, we find that 20,832 earthquakes took place and killed an estimated 22,711 people.44
When past figures are examined, we see that the number of earthquakes was quite low. According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reports, the number of earthquakes with a magnitude of 5.0 or greater on the Richter scale that took place during the 400 years between 1556-1975 was only 110; between 1980-2003, the number of earthquakes with a magnitude of 6.5 or greater on the Richter scale was 1,685.45 These figures reveal that the number of earthquakes had increased by the beginning of the year Hijri 1400.
The Qur'an contains certain verses that point out the relation between earthquakes and the End Times. Surat al-Zilzal, the Chapter of the Great Shaking (earthquake), is composed of eight verses that describe the ground’s violent shaking. It further states that this seismic activity will be followed by the Day of Judgment, the Resurrection, and everyone being called to account for their deeds by God, Who then will reward or punish them according to His absolute justice:
When Earth is convulsed with its quaking, and then disgorges its charges, and man asks:
"What is wrong with it?"
On that Day, it will impart all of its news, because your Lord has inspired it.
On that Day, people will emerge segregated to see the results of their actions.
On that Day, people will emerge segregated to see the results of their actions.
On that Day, people will emerge segregated to see the results of their actions. (Surat al-Zilzal, 99:1-8)