THE LAST DAY
The Last Day is so named because there is no day (of this world) after it. On that day, Allah will cause this world to perish, and will replace it with another wherein people will be given the dues of their worldly actions.
The Time of Occurrence of the Last Day
Its exact time is known only to Allah. “They ask you about the Hour, when will its coming be? Say : its knowledge is only with my Lord. None will reveal it at its time save Him. [Its knowledge] is weighty upon the [inhabitants of the] heavens and the earth. It will not come to you except suddenly. They ask you as if you are well-informed about it. Say : Its knowledge is only with Allah, but most of mankind do not know.” [Qur’an, 7:187] At the end of the Jibreel hadith, the angel Gabriel asked the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), “When is the Hour?” He replied, “The questioned is not more knowledgeable about it than the questioner,” and then recited a verse of the Qur’an. “Indeed, with Allah is the knowledge of the Hour.” [Qur’an, 31:34]
Thus, it is totally forbidden to engage in speculation or calculation in order to try to predict the end of the world. Anyone who believes that a psychic or fortune-teller shares in Allah’s knowledge of the Hidden, has left Islam. On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be well pleased with him) : “Whoever came to a diviner, or a fortune-teller, and affirmed him in that which he said, has disbelieved in that which was revealed to Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace).” [Nasa’i, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and Al-Hakim] Nor is it permissible to visit psychics and the like for fun, and the person who does risks losing his prayers for forty days. “Whoever came to a fortune-teller, and asked him about something and then affirmed him , the salah of forty days will not be accepted from him.” [Narrated by Muslim]
Signs before the Day of Judgement
Although the exact time of the Day of Judgement is known only to Allah, there are certain events and signs that will occur on the earth prior to it. These signs are categorized into minor and major signs.
The minor signs are those which start occurring well before the Day of Judgement, and which in themselves are not strikingly extraordinary. The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) mentioned, as reported at the end of the Gabriel hadith, that among its signs are “that the slave-girl will beget her mistress, and that you will see barefoot, naked, poor shepherds [competing with one another in] building tall buildings.” [Narrated by Muslim]
On the authority of Anas ibn Malik : He said : I heard the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) say, “Indeed, among the portents of the Hour are that knowledge will decrease, ignorance will abound, adultery will become widespread, wine will be drunk, and men will abound and women will become scarce, to the extent that there will be a single provider for fifty women.” [Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim]
On the authority of Anas : the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Among the portents of the Hour is that people will compete with one another in [building and decorating] mosques.” [Nasa’i]
On the authority of Abu Hurayrah : While the Messenger of Allah was talking, a Bedouin came and asked, “When is the Hour?” [The Prophet] replied, “When trust is lost then await the Hour.” [The Bedouin] asked, “How will its loss occur?” He replied, “When affairs are rested with those unworthy of [handling] them, then await the Hour.” [Narrated by Bukhari]
Imam Mahdi marks the transition from the phase of minor signs to that of major signs. He will be a pious man from the Prophet’s Household, who will lead the Muslims and fill the earth with justice. Muslims will fight several battles against injustice under his leadership.
The major signs are those which will occur closer to the Day of Judgement, and they are bizarre and remarkable. It is possible to see these anomalous phenomena as precursors to the final breakdown of the order of this world, which in turn ushers in the Hereafter, which in itself is an astounding and novel world.
The False Messiah is the greatest tribulation of all time. He will be an evil man who will first be a king, then claim prophethood, then claim divinity. Although he will apparently be capable of many ‘miracles,’ he is one-eyed, and has K-F-R inscribed between his eyes.
“The False-Messiah will emerge amongst my ummah, and he will abide forty, … Then, Allah will dispatch Jesus, son of Mary …. and then he will seek him out and annihilate him. Then, people will abide seven years with no enmity between [any] two [individuals] …” [Narrated by Muslim, Ahmad]
The End of this World
Eventually, “the worst people will remain [on the earth] . . . who neither recognize good nor spurn iniquity. Then, Satan will materialize before them and say, ‘Will you not hearken [to me] ?’ Thereupon, they will ask [him], ‘What do you command us?’ Then, he will command them to worship idols, and in that condition, their sustenance will be plentiful and their life good. Then, the Trumpet will be blown . . . The first to hear it will be a man who will be plastering the water-trough of his camels, and then he will swoon away, and [the remainder of] mankind will swoon away. Then, Allah will send, or send down (the narrator is not sure) a rain like dew, or like a shadow (the narrator is unsure again), and then the bodies of mankind will grow from it. Then, [the Trumpet] will be blown a second time, and behold! They will be standing, looking.” [Narrated by Muslim]
The blasts on the Trumpet are mentioned in several places in the Qur’an, and scholars differ as to whether their total number is two or three. “On the day the Trumpet shall be blown, then whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth will be terrified, except those whom Allah wills [to exempt].” [Qur’an, 27:87] “And the Trumpet is blown, and then whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth will swoon away, except those whom Allah wills [to exempt].” [Qur’an, 39:68] Some scholars are of the opinion that these are two separate blasts on the Trumpet, while others considered that they are one and the same, such that people will first be terrified, and then fall unconscious and die. Those whom Allah will exempt are the martyrs of the battlefield, for they are living before their Lord, receiving sustenance; and perhaps some of the chief angels. After that, Allah will command the Angel of Death to take the souls of the remainder, and finally the Angel of Death will die. Then, Allah alone will remain, being the Last as He was the First. He will ask, three times, “To whom belongs sovereignty this day?” and then will reply Himself, “To Allah, the One, the Overcomer.”
This intermediate period will endure for forty years.
[….this section to be expanded, God willing]