Anyone who acts rightly, male or female, being a believer, We will give them a good life and will recompense them according to the best of what they did. (Surat an-Nahl: 97)
The Golden Age will be a period of great abundance, for each individual's material wants will be satisfied according to need. Technology will produce such an abundance of goods that hunger will be eradicated forever and all people will be provided with the necessities of life. Earth's wealth will serve humanity, and new agricultural technologies will lead to an unparalleled increase in crop production. People of faith will receive great rewards for every good deed they do, both in this world and the Hereafter. Bounty and abundance, which will permeate every moment of life, will be a grace that Allah will grant to those who live by the Qur'an's moral code. Every good act they do will turn into a great fortune. In one verse, Allah describes the great reward all believers will receive when they spend for His good pleasure:
The metaphor of those who spend their wealth in the Way of Allah is that of a grain that 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 reveal that there will be an unprecedented abundance of crops and goods, all of which will be distributed without measure:
During this (period), my ummah (people) will lead a kind of comfortable and carefree life that they have never known before. (The land) will bring forth its yield and will not hold anything back.2
In the last of times there will be a khalifa (successor) who will distribute wealth without even counting it.3
Then my Ummah, be its members good or wicked, will be blessed with a blessing the like of which they have never heard before. Allah sends them an abundance of rain, the land will produce a great abundance of crops, and possessions will be commonplace. 4
In those years my community will enjoy a time of happiness such as they have never experienced before. Heaven will send down rain upon them in torrents, the earth will not withhold any of its plants, and wealth will be available to all. A man will stand and say, "Give to me, Mahdi!" and he will say, "Take."5
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...6
The land will emit the treasures within.7
The land will turn like the silver tray growing vegetation...8
How To Attain Such Bounty
Someone sowing a measure of wheat will find 700 in return ... A person will scatter a few handfuls of seeds, but will reap 700 handfuls … Despite an abundance of rain, not a drop will go to waste.9
This hadith refers to an increase in agricultural production that will occur in the End Times by transitioning to modern agriculture, developing new production techniques, improving seed stocks, and using rainwater more efficiently by constructing new dams and ponds.
Indeed in our day, remarkable improvements in technology have increased both the productivity and quality of field crops. As with all other forms of technology, rapid developments, especially in genetics, is causing a revolution in agricultural technology. Without a doubt, this productivity will continue to grow until it reaches its peak in the Golden Age.
One hadith of our Prophet about the Golden Age is as follows: During the last days of my community, the Mahdi will emerge. Allah will give him abundant rain and the earth will bring forth its plants and give forth its wealth and herds will multiply and the community will be huge. (Al-Hakim Hadiths)
The Golden Age is a time when there will be an abundance of crops and possessions. This age's advanced technology and science will enable the production of high-quality and durable crops.
The Improvement of Crops
In the End Times, every agricultural development will serve all of humanity. In our own time, only some groups or societies benefit from technology, but in the Golden Age everyone, regardless of their ethnicity, age, gender, or language, will enjoy its benefits. No one will enjoy special privileges, for both rich and poor will have equal access to these services. No one will suffer from poverty or starve, for opulence and welfare will mark this era. Technology will ensure the transition to an agricultural system that secures healthy, tasty, durable, cheap, and abundant yields. Current scientific developments, especially in genetics, already provide hints about the nature of these technological developments and the kind of abundance that they will bring.
Genetics has a vast field of application in food production. Thanks to genetics, genes that cause abnormalities in the genetic codes (DNA) of plants can be eliminated, and those that improve plant quality and durability can be identified. Considering that substantial agricultural products can be obtained only from quality raw material, these methods, which ensure the production of plants resistant to salt and temperature extremes, will lead to an agricultural revolution. A plant's level of protein or vitamin can be increased by injecting DNA pieces into its cells. The same method can produce plants that are resistant to pests, herbicides, disease, severe weather conditions, and poor soil. Genetic studies of seeds seek to minimize anything that might harm a seed and support a year-round agricultural industry. The finalization of these studies will bring great prosperity and abundance in agriculture.
In the End Times, the prevailing Qur'anic morality will ensure that everyone will receive their just share of goods. In fact, these goods will be so abundant that everyone will receive all that they ask for, and much more besides. At all times, Allah grants to His servants who display this moral excellence an abundant life and promises them great blessings both in this world and beyond. This is related in Surat an-Nahl:
Anyone who acts rightly, male or female, being a believer, We will give them a good life and recompense them according to the best of what they did. (Surat an-Nahl: 97)
Like genetics, scientific researchers are working to produce fruits and vegetables that can stay fresher longer and field crops that can thrive in extreme climates. Long-term storage and preservation of food, as well as eliminating the factors that cause rot and decay, will be the sign of the abundance that people will experience in the End Times. Recent breakthroughs in technology and new methods (e.g., radiation, high temperature, high pressure, and genetic studies) render bacteria ineffective and thus make months-long food storage possible. Gamma or electron radiation, for instance, reduces or eradicates such disease-producing agents as microbes, bacteria, and nits. Food that is treated according to such methods become durable and carries no risk of food poisoning. Furthermore, processed food can maintain its flavor, freshness, taste, and color in a form very similar to its natural state and never lose its juice. A radiated strawberry can be safely stored in a refrigerator for months, and a potato can be kept for an extended period of time without budding.
Such processes will end waste and ensure the optimum employment of resources. Such technological developments, which are still at a very early stage, have only limited applications today. However, they will be very effective in maintaining the land's abundance in the End Times. People will be able to allocate resources wisely and minimize waste, and farmers will be able to produce huge amounts of long-lasting and quality agricultural products.
In the Golden Age, technology will serve humanity, and its blessings will be allocated evenly among all people regardless of ethnicity, community, and country. Nations that are far from one another, as well as societies of dissimilar cultures, will benefit from these sources evenly, and everyone will enjoy a just administration. Adherence to the Qur'an's morality in its true sense will ensure the maintenance of this Paradise-like order on Earth. The just administration of sincere Muslims, who turn to Allah for every deed they perform, will secure peace and security, as well as continued blessings.
Thanks to the technological developments that will occur in the Golden Age, seed quality and irrigation systems will improve greatly. This way, many deserts will become fertile and crop yields will increase.
Another benefit of agricultural technology will be satellites that constantly monitor agricultural fields. Aerial photography will enable the earliest possible discovery of all types of potential harm to crops. Weather conditions, underground water and mineral resources, and pests will be monitored by satellites. (Right) In this satellite picture, those regions invaded by harmful insects are shown in red. In our day, agriculture through satellite-monitoring is being implemented in some American states and has already proved to be successful. Genetic studies focus on producing more durable crops containing high level of vitamins.
Greening the Deserts
Another sign of the End Time's abundance is the greening of the world's deserts. This development's significance can be better understood if we consider that deserts make up 43 percent of all land. Today, the constant water supply to deserts makes agricultural production possible in even most barren locations. Applying technology to deserts will provide drought-hit countries on the edge of starvation with fertile land.
Computer-monitored irrigation systems that divert water directly to plant roots and prevent even a single drop of water from going to waste will allow agricultural production in deserts. Purifying and then using all forms of water are also important for desert agriculture. Treated flood and sea water will provide ample amounts of water, form the basis of agricultural technology, and be a great gain for the countries' economy. Our Prophet (saas) referred to the productive use of water, as follows:
Both the good and the evil members of the Ummah will be blessed with a blessing the like of which they will have never heard. Despite the abundance of rain, not a drop will go waste; the land will become fruitful without a single seed.10
The High Cost of Living and Poverty Will End
As the Golden Age will be a time of welfare and great wealth, all people will receive more than they demand. Nothing will be measured or counted. However, the high cost of living and poverty are the main features of the earlier periods of the End Times, for the poor will become poorer while the rich will become richer. This feature is also emphasized in a hadith, as follows: Poverty will spread.11
Allah sends starvation and poverty to warn people who are far removed from religion. If such people had faith, they would find relief from the great troubles and hardships that they meet throughout their lives. Indeed, Allah grants great wealth, happiness, and welfare to Muslims who have faith in Him and earnestly serve His cause, while He sends trouble and suffering to unbelievers in return for their disbelief. When people become ungrateful, Allah takes back their blessings and tests them with starvation and fear. One verse mentions this Divine Justice:
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: 41)
Allah gives the example of Pharaoh and his people, who were subjected to drought and scarcity of crops because of their ungratefulness. Allah tested Pharaoh with drought at a time when he had been enjoying great wealth and possessions:
We seized Pharaoh's people with years of drought and scarcity of fruits so that hopefully they would pay heed. (Surat al-A'raf: 130)
Throughout the Qur'an, Allah calls attention to these attributes of disbelieving societies:
Allah makes an example of a city that was safe and at peace, its provision coming to it plentifully from every side. Then it showed ingratitude for Allah's blessings, so Allah made it wear the robes of hunger and fear for what it did. (Surat an-Nahl: 112)
Allah reveals the real reason why He makes the unbelievers' lives troublesome:
But if anyone turns away from My reminder, his life will be a dark and narrow one … (Surah Ta-Ha: 124)
Those societies that turned away from Messengers' warnings and insisted upon denial have always encountered great trouble. However, as the verses and hadiths inform us, sincere Muslims are always rewarded with great blessings for their faith. In addition to this, our Prophet (saas) said that his people will live in blessings, especially during the Last Days:
A time will come when a person, with his golden alms in his hand, will go around, finding no one (in need) who is willing to receive the alms.12
Then will my Ummah be blessed, the number of animals will increase and the land will bear its fruits.13
Definitely possessions will be in abundance then, flowing like water. Yet no one will (condescend) to take any.14
Another sign for the greening of deserts is the following hadith: "…every piece of land will be planted" (Al-Isha‘ah li-ashrat al-sa‘ah, p.255). If we consider that deserts make up 43 percent of all land, we can better understand the importance of greening the deserts in order to feed starving countries.
Hydroponics (growing plants without soil) is another method for greening deserts. In the Golden Age, this method will be very instrumental, especially in regions with unfavourable climates and low incomes. This method, which is currently employed in very few regions, will make vegetable growing possible even in the most infertile desert and thus bring relief to lands suffering from drought and misery. Aquaponics (growing plants in water) offers many advantages, for it allows producers full control over the nutrients that plants need. Another advantage is that water does not contain the abundant microbes that are found in the soil.
Computer-monitored irrigation systems that divert water directly to plant roots and thus prevent even a single drop of water from going to waste is one of the technologies that will allow agricultural production in deserts. These technologies will be widely available in the Golden Age.
2. Ibn Majah.
4. Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan, p. 16.
6. Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi `Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar, p. 23.
7. Ibid., p. 45.
8. Ibn Majah.
9. Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar, p. 24.
10. Ibid., p. 23.
11. Mukhtasar Tazkirah Qurtubi, p. 457.
12. Ibid., p. 462.
13. Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar, p. 26.
14. Mukhtasar Tazkirah Qurtubi, p. 464.