Among His signs is that He sends the winds bearing good news, to give you a taste of His mercy, and to make the ships run by His command, and to enable you to seek His bounty so that hopefully you will be thankful. (Surat ar-Rum: 46)
Great Advances in Technology
The technological advances of the twentieth century, especially during its last quarter, were without historical precedent. Many technological instruments that were unknown just 100 years ago have become integral parts of our lives. The gap between the technology of the previous century and of today has reached unimaginable dimensions. Current developments provide important signs regarding the technological advances from which people will benefit in the Golden Age.
That age's technological advances will provide great comfort and ease to people's lives. The time spent at home, at one's job, and in school will be comfortable, enjoyable, and pleasant. Housework, shopping, security systems, heating, ventilation, electricity are just a few of the things that will be monitored by computers. Robots will replace human labor in many areas. In their comfortable armchairs, watching television, people will be able to handle their work through remote-controlled robots. Scientists predict that housework, instrument maintenance, removing of dust at home will be done by robots, some as small as nanochips. By Allah's Will, all of these predictions will come true, and the majority of time-consuming tasks will be accomplished by technological instruments.
Technology will present the beauties of the world to people. Through high-tech television, people will have the privilege to see and enjoy three-dimensional environments and even to participate in recreational activities and games. Virtual reality technology will enhance learning and provide people with valuable life skills.
The extensive use of computers and Internet technologies will bring radical changes to education. Home-schooling will be easier and more involved with the developing virtual reality technologies. More efficient learning systems, which will rely on gaining personal experience through virtual reality technologies or the Internet, will replace the classical education methods, which are based on memorization. Virtual reality is used extensively today in training. For example, environments that may be hazardous in the real world can be simulated quite easily by using virtual reality technology. Thanks to this technology, pilot training, for instance, has become safe. In the Golden Age, these technologies will be applied from business and planning to manufacturing and entertainment, and to many diverse business domains.
The radical changes due to appear in education and training in the Golden Age will benefit entire nations. As is the case with all other times, those people of the Golden Age who live according to the real spirit of the Qur'an's moral teachings will attain all of the beauty, comfort, and ease that they deserve. They will live amidst abundance.
Advances in Transportation
Advances in transportation will offer comfort and security and minimize time loss. New highways and high-tech vehicles will be instrumental in preventing accidents.
The extensive use of underground transportation will eliminate traffic congestion. Electricity, solar energy, or wind power will replace the air polluting fuel oils used in vehicles and thus make cities more livable places.
Supersonic planes, trains, and other high-tech vehicles will offer all the comforts one may need. More importantly, this technology will serve everyone, and not just a particular part of the world's population. All people will have access to the same technology, and discrimination will end.
The Pace of Technological Advancement In The End Times
The technological advances witnessed in the last two decades of the twentieth century were unprecedented in world history. Many technological instruments we had no idea of even 100 years ago are now integral parts of our lives. Cellular phones, for instance, described as a product of "space technology" in the journals of the 1980s, are now the most ordinary means of communication. These rapid scientific and technological developments provide clues about the sort of technology that people will enjoy in the Golden Age.
Until the 1960s, television-related technology could only produce black and white televisions. Today, televisions offer three-dimensional images and high-quality sound.
Since Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in 1876, communication technology has developed rapidly and become widespread. The production of cellular phones was a technological breakthrough. The next big step in communication technology is expected to be video-phones.
The first sound recording was done by Thomas Edison in 1877. During the last two decades, sound quality has attained perfection in terms of quality.
The twentieth century's greatest breakthrough was computer technology. There is a tremendous gap between the first bulky computers and the modern computers of today. In many areas, ranging from medicine to education and from science to agriculture, computers have changed the course of our lives.
Over the last 140 years of photography, cameras have evolved into hundreds of species, ranging from single-use pocket cameras to 4x5" studio cameras. Bridging the gap to digital imaging took place during the last two decades.
(top) In the Golden Age, more efficient learning systems that rely on gaining personal experience through virtual reality technologies or the Internet will replace the classical education methods, which are based on the mere memorization of learning material.
(bottom) Environments that may be hazardous in the real world can be simulated using virtual reality technology. Thanks to this technology, pilot training, for instance, has become safe. In the Golden Age, these technologies will be used in all fields ranging from business and planning to manufacturing and entertainment.
It will be easier to notice the flaws and find solutions for someone who is trained in car manufacturing in a virtual environment. Thus, experience and quality will replace education based on memorizing.
Technological advances in the Golden Age will add great comfort, ease, and joy to people's lives. However, these benefits will not be confined to a handful of people but will be available to all people.
Employing robots in technology or housework will offer great comfort.
In the Golden Age, technological advances in transportation will put new energy resources to use. Electricity, solar energy, or wind power will replace air-polluting fuel oils used in vehicles, and thus will make cities more livable.
The transition from steam locomotive to supersonic trains has been very rapid. But in the Golden Age, aside from speed, security and comfort also will gain importance.The extensive use of underground transportation will improve all cities' beauty and eliminate traffic congestion. As a result, people will live in more beautiful and pleasing cities.
Advances in Communication
Great advances in communication will provide very rapid communication and information exchange among all people, regardless of location. Satellite-based telecommunication networking, in particular, will provide tremendously rapid communication, and holographic telephones will introduce a new dimension to communication by projecting a life-size holographic image of the person being called.
Computer and Internet Technology in Humanity's Service
Computer technologies will surely play a great role in the abundance of blessings. Today, computers are improving life quality in houses, workplaces, medicine, communication, the arts, and so on. In the Golden Age, these developments will accelerate in the socioeconomic domain on a global basis and bring more comfort to humanity.
In the twentieth century, Internet technology opened a new era by making communication and information sharing almost instantaneous. Learning, reading an international organization's reports, researching in a library, getting news, learning about technological developments and relevant comments now takes only a few minutes. As a result, comprehensive information collection that used to take long years of research can now be done with a minimum of effort.
As the Internet has overcome all obstacles to sharing accumulated information, all people and nations can have access to it. The ever-developing Internet technologies will have more to offer in the future.
One point deserves a special mention here. At no time in human history has the world witnessed such rapid development. In particular, the twentieth century's technological developments have been unprecedented. Only 100 years ago, no one could have imagined the world in which we live today. Only 15 or 20 years ago, people would have seen the Internet as a very advanced technology that could only be attained maybe after 100 years. Each of these developments indicates that humanity is approaching a very important time. It appears that the Golden Age will be a glorious time when people will benefit from all sorts of technology and thousands of blessings.
Technological Revolution in Energy
The energy age that began with the Industrial Revolution, usually considered to designate the period of 1750-1830 in Britain, reached a defining point with the technological developments of the twentieth century. In the coming 50 years, the world's population is expected to double and energy consumption to triple. Meanwhile, according to the best estimations, available oil reserves will meet humanity's needs for no longer than a century. Natural gas reserves, on the other hand, will be exhausted within a few decades. These facts have led scientists to turn their attention to cheaper and readily available energy sources, such as the sun, wind, and water.
Energy production from non-polluting sources is the major development of the foreseeable future. For instance, wind power will make coastal cities, in particular, less dependent on customary energy supplies and promote economic development by lessening dependency on foreign supplies and thereby increasing the general welfare. Wind power's non-abating nature and easy-accessibility have encouraged scientists to focus on producing renewable energy from wind.
Solar energy is another potential energy source. On an annual basis, Earth receives an amount of solar energy that amounts to 15,000 times our total current energy consumption. The solar energy received over a 20-day period equals the world's total energy reserves. Therefore, the efficient use of these resources will end our oil dependency.
Thanks to the Internet, any development that occurs in any part of the world will be communicated to all nations. The Internet will eliminate all problems related to information sharing. The advance of science and technology in the Golden Age will make the Internet a better means to serve to humanity.
Thanks to fiber optic cables, the concept of distance will lose its meaning in the Golden Age. The network of fiber optic cables covering the entire world will provide rapid information exchange and communication to such an extent that information filling millions of volumes of books will be conveyed to another continent in less than a second.
The significance of putting all energy resources to use is better understood if we consider that the sunlight received by Earth in only 20 days equals the world's total energy reserves.
The efficient use of solar energy and wind power will end dependency on oil. These alternative sources of energy will meet all energy needs in houses, transportation, heating, or appliances.