Signs of Jesus’ (pbuh) Second Coming
The Signs from the Islamic Resources 10
114. The Close Approach of the Markets
... The Day of Judgment will not come until the markets draw close by. (Mecmauz-zevaid, vol. 7, p. 327)
Current opportunities for shopping are now incomparably more advanced than they were in the past. Even villages and small towns have supermarkets and shopping centers in which people can shop at will. In addition, improved methods of transportation allow them to shop in previously inaccessible places.
The Internet has opened up even more opportunities for shopping. While sitting at home, people can buy whatever they want from anyplace in the world. Looked at in these terms, it is as if the markets were actually in peoples' homes.
115. Speaking by Means of the Whip
The Last Hour will not come before the end of a man's whip speaks to him. (Tirmidhi)
In ancient times, the whip was widely used while riding saddle beasts, especially camels and horses. In this hadith, the Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) is making a comparison. Thus, "what speaking object can we compare to the shape of a whip?" The most likely answer would be a cell phone or similar communication devices. Such wireless communication devices as cell phones and satellite phones are very recent developments, and are more indications that the Judgment Day is drawing near.
116. The Speaking of One's Own Voice
There will be no Judgment... until a person's own voice speaks to him. (Mukhtasar Tazkirah al-Qurtubi, p. 471)
The message here is quite clear: a person's hearing his own voice is a characteristic of the End Times. For this to become a reality, one's voice first has to be recorded. Such recording and reproduction technology was developed during the twentieth century. This turning point in the advancement of science enabled the birth of the communications and media industries. Voice recording has now reached its apogee via the latest developments in computer and laser technology.
In short, such electronic devices as microphones and speakers have made it possible to record and listen to a person's voice, and thus have fulfilled the above hadith.
117. A Hand from the Firmament
The sign of that day: A hand will be extended from the sky, and people will look and see it. (Ibn Hajar Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi `Aalamat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar, p. 53)
The sign of that day is a hand extended in the sky and people stopping to look at it. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi `Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p. 69)
In these hadiths, the Arabic word for "hand" is yad. This word also has other meanings, such as "power, force, strength, and means." These hadiths probably use yad in these senses.
The idea of a "power, force, strength, or means" extending from the sky and looked upon by people might not have made much sense in the past. However, in our own time, it sheds considerable light on the television, camera, and computer, which have become indispensable parts of modern life. In other words, the "hand" is used in the sense of "force," thereby clearly pointing to television broadcasting in the form of pictures coming down from the sky in waves.
Some other relevant hadiths are very interesting:
A voice will call him by name … and even people in the east and west will hear it. (Ibn Hajar Haythami, Al Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi `Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar, pp. 54-55)
This voice will spread over the entire world, and every tribe will hear it in their own language. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi `Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p. 51)
A voice from the sky that everyone will hear in his own language. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi `Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir al-zaman, p. 37)
Evidently, this refers to radio, television, and other such methods of modern communication. This miracle, unimaginable 1,400 years ago, only became a reality a little over 100 years ago.
When Bediuzzaman Said Nursi interpreted these hadiths, he explained that they miraculously foretold the advent of radio, television, and other such communication devices.60
118. Increased Productivity
People will reap 700 measures of wheat for every one they sow… People will throw down a few handfuls of seeds and reap 700 handfuls… Although much rain will fall, none will be wasted. (Ibn Hajar Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi `Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar, p. 43)
The Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) provided many other details of the technological advances that will accompany the End Times, such as the move toward modern agricultural techniques, the development of new production methods, seed improvement research, and increasing production as a result of the better use of rainwater by building new dams and artificial lakes.
Today, technology is advancing rapidly, and the quality and quantity of products are constantly increasing. This rapid development, particularly in genetics, is creating a revolution in agricultural and other types of technology.
119. The Greening of the Deserts
The Day of Judgment will not come until there are rivers and gardens in Arabia. (Ibn Ahmad Hanbal, Musnad, vol. 17, p. 22, no. 8819)
The Day of Judgment will not come until there are rivers and streams in Arabia. (Mukhtasar Tazkirah al-Qurtubi, p. 471)
Another technological development pointing to the abundance available during the End Times is the greening of the deserts. If we consider that 43 percent of the Earth's land surface is comprised of deserts, then we can easier understand the importance of agricultural technology. Production now can be carried out even on the driest soil, as water is brought to infertile deserts. If this advanced technology is implemented in all deserts, then many countries on the brink of starvation will acquire productive lands. This, of course, requires considerable technology.
To green the deserts, sufficient amounts of water and land must be obtained. One relevant technology now being developed is computer-controlled irrigation. This enables water to be sent directly to the plant's roots so that not a single drop is wasted. Given that purified water is a crucial element of desert agriculture, flood and sea water forms the basis of agricultural technology. In this way, vast water resources will be obtained, a development that also will be a major support of countries' economies. Our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) also indicated the very productive use of water:
Both the Ummah's good and wicked members will be blessed with a blessing, the like of which they have never seen before. Despite the abundance of rain, not a drop will go to waste. The land will grow fruitful and fertile, without demanding a single seed... (Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi `Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar, p. 23)
120. Increased Life Expectancy
At that time... life spans will grow longer. (Ibn Hajar Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi `Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar, p. 43)
Fourteen centuries have passed since the Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) said these words. Records clearly show that the average life expectancy is now the highest in history. There was already a great difference between the beginning and the end of the twentieth century. For example, a person born in 1995 can expect to live more than 35 years longer than a person born in 1900.61 Another striking example is that in the past, people rarely lived for a 100 years; today, many people reach that age.
According to the United Nations Department of National Population, over the past few years the world's population has continued on its remarkable transition from high birth and death rates to one of low birth and death rates. As a result, we have seen an increased number and proportion of older people. Such a rapid, large, and pervasive increase is unique to our own time.62
One cause for this increase in life expectancy has been the development of health services due to the advance of medical technology. In addition, developments in genetics and the rapidly advancing Human Genome Project are on the verge of ushering in a totally new era in the field of health. No one living in the past could have imagined such profound advances. Based on all of these developments, we can say that people living in our time have reached the long and healthy life described in the above hadith. And, this standard apparently will rise even higher in the near future.
121. The Appearance of False Messiahs
The Hour will not be established until about thirty Dajjals [liars] appear, and each one of them will claim that he is God's Apostle… (Sahih Bukhari)
Those who are unwilling to prepare the coming of this worthy Messenger may be hoping to encourage believers towards slackness by seeking to portray such preparations as unnecessary. One of their ruses will involve the appearance of false messiahs. From time to time, those who were not of sound mind or who had various personal agendas have claimed to be Prophet Jesus (pbuh). Some groups have sought to use such people's ignorance for their own ends, such as by saying, in effect, "Declarations that Prophet Jesus (pbuh) will come have led to the emergence of false messiahs." Such statements are designed to slow down or even end these necessary preparations. However, God will allow nobody to delay this sacred time, which He has promised. In fact, the appearance of false messiahs is a portent, the glad tidings, of the coming of Prophet Jesus (pbuh).
The appearance of 60 liars, each of whom claims that God, the One God, has sent them as a prophet. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi 'Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p. 36)
The above hadiths remind us of developments in our own day. By taking advantage of the hopes of Muslims and Christians, various deceivers have claimed prophethood and, at times, have caused great suffering.
Experts have noted that the number of so-called messiahs began to proliferate in the 1970s and continue to rise. According to these experts, there are two basic reasons for this increase: the collapse of communism and the possibilities afforded by Internet technology.63
The following excerpts will give us a better understanding of this phenomenon:
The Qur'an also points to the advent of false prophets, as follows:
Who could do greater wrong than someone who invents lies against God or denies His Signs, or who says: "It has been revealed to me," when nothing has been revealed to him, or someone who says: "I will send down the same as God has sent down?" If you could only see the wrongdoers in the throes of death when the angels are stretching out their hands, saying: "Disgorge your own selves! Today you will be repaid with the punishment of humiliation for saying something other than the truth about God, and [for] being arrogant about His Signs." (Surat al-An`am, 6:93)
These people, who may have committed the sin described in the verse, will surely receive their recompense for their lies.
The days when the lies of all false prophets will be eradicated are close, for our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) announced that, after the liars have gone, Prophet Jesus (pbuh) would return.
True believers will recognize Prophet Jesus (pbuh) from the portents. Each of his deeds will be wise and inimitable, and these portents will set him apart from other people and make him immediately recognizable. No proof will be needed. The efforts of all false messiahs to prove themselves is the clearest indication of their falsity.
Prophet Jesus' (pbuh) actions will prove his identity. He will defeat all atheistic movements and other systems that attempt to spread the denial of God and immorality, use God's revelation to defeat with great ease the snares of the deniers, spread the religion's moral values among people, and negate the efforts of the ungodly. His miracles will prove that God's religion is the true way and that believers will inevitably prevail. In the Qur'an, our Lord gives these glad tidings to believers:
They desire to extinguish God's Light with their mouths, but God 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 associators hate it. (Surat as-Saff, 61:8-9)