The Signs of the approach of the Day of Judgment
Allâh said in Surat al-A`raf, Ayah 187: (يَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ السَّاعَةِ أَيَّانَ مُرْسَاهَا قُل إِنَّمَا عِلمُهَا عِندَ رَبِّي). It means: « They ask you (Muḥammad) about the final hour, when will be it’s appointed time? Say the knowledge thereof is with my Lord alone. None but He can reveal as to when it will be. » Allâh has ; however, identified for us signs which serve to indicate the approach of the Day of Judgment. There are minor signs and major signs. The minor indications, are what take place first and as the time draws closer to the Day of Judgment ; the major indications will follow the minor signs. These chain of minor signs will not happen in a short span of time, they are expected to continue prevailing over thousands of years leading into the time when major signs will begin to appear one after the other in a short span of time.
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيم
Praise be to Allâh, the Lord of the worlds, to Him belong the endowments and proper commendations. May Allâh raise the rank of our Master Muḥammad Salla lLâhu `alayhi wa sallam and his kind Al and Companions and protect his nation from what he fears for it.
Thereafter, Allâh said in Surat Ghafir, Ayah 59:
﴿إِنَّ السَّاعَةَ لأَتِيَةٌ لاَّ رَيبَ فِيهَا وَلَكِنَّ أَكثَرَ النَّاسِ لاَ يُؤمِنُون﴾
It means: « The hour will certainly come. There is no doubt ; Yet most men believe not. »
Allâh the Exalted created the worlds. He has created earth as our temporary living place. Earth is merely a passage way to the hereafter and not a permanent (everlasting) living place. The Qur'ân informs, that nothing in this life is eternal, everything we see will eventually perish, taking with it life on earth.
Undeniably, life on earth is constantly interchanging. This is evident in our daily circumstances and in the nature of the land we live on. Since the beginning of human life on earth, people die while others are born every day. This will continue until a time when every one will die including Humans, Jinn and animals. This will be the end of life on earth ; when Angel Isrâfîl will blow the horn before his life is taken.
The time of that day is unknown to all creation. We know from the Qur’ân, that Allâh the Exalted has concealed this knowledge from the highest ranking angels and the best creations, the prophets and messengers.
Allâh said in Surat al-A`raf, Ayah 187:
﴿يَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ السَّاعَةِ أَيَّانَ مُرْسَاهَا قُل إِنَّمَا عِلمُهَا عِندَ رَبِّي﴾
It means: « They ask you (Muḥammad) about the final hour, when will be it’s appointed time? Say the knowledge thereof is with my Lord alone. None but He can reveal as to when it will be. »
Allâh has ; however, identified for us signs which serve to indicate the approach of the Day of Judgment. There are minor signs and major signs. The minor indications, are what take place first and as the time draws closer to the Day of Judgment ; the major indications will follow the minor signs. These chain of minor signs will not happen in a short span of time, they are expected to continue prevailing over thousands of years leading into the time when major signs will begin to appear one after the other in a short span of time.
The fact that the time of the Day of Judgment is concealed from all was made apparent when Angel Jibrîl visited the Prophet and his Companions. The scholar, Imam Muslim related that Angel Jibrîl approached the Prophet Muḥammad Salla lLâhu `alayhi wa sallam one day in the form of a man and sat himself among the companions who were gathered with the Prophet. He asked the prophet a few questions for the purpose of extending knowledge about Islam to the companions. One of the questions he asked was, “Tell me about the day of Judgment?” The Prophet replied the meaning of: “I don’t know any more about it than you do.” By this the Prophet meant both angel Jibril and he knew nothing about the destined time of the Day of Judgment. Jibril then asked, “Then tell me about the signs of the Day of Judgment?” The Prophet Salla lLâhu `alayhi wa sallam, replied with what means, “The Day of Judgment will arrive after the girls will harm the mothers immensely, they would treat them as if they were their slaves, and the peasants along with the shepherds who were once known to be both bear foot and poor, will be wealthy enough to build tall buildings.”
These are among the minor signs, and it’s been stated by some Islamic scholars that these are some of the minor signs and have already prevailed.
Some other minor indications are ; some mountains will be demolished from their bases, people will announce their claim to Prophet hood, earthquake occurrences will increase, as well as a population of deceivers and misleaders – among them will be the preachers of corruption, diseases unfamiliar to society will spread, detectable changes to the weather conditions and a widespread of events of killings and injustice will take place, a speedy elapse of time, whereby a year would seem like a month and a month would seem like a week and so on will be experienced also the case will be, the close distances between shopping centers. In addition, other nations will take advantage of the fortunes of the Muslim nation, as one would take advantage of a delicious banquet of food, whilst they surround them from all directions. All of these indications are known to have already prevailed.
Among the last of the small signs yet to happen is the appearance of our Master al-Mahdiyy. This was mentioned by the Prophet in a Hadîth:
« لا تقومُ السّاعَةُ حتى يَملِكَ النَاسَ رجلٌ من أهلِ بيتي يواطىءُ اسمُهُ اسمي واسمُ أبيهِ اسمَ أبي فيملؤها -أي الأرض- قِسطًا وعدلاً »
It means: « The Day of Judgment will occur only after a man from my descendants comes forth. His name is like mine and his father’s name is like my father’s name. He will fill the earth with peace and justice as it had been congested with corruption and injustice. »
This Hadîth has been related by Ibn-Hibban in his book as-ṣaḥīḥ and by Abu Dawud in his book as-Sunnan and by at-Tirmidhiyy in his book al-Jami` and al-Hâkim in his book called al-Mustadrak, as it was in turn, related from the companion `Abdullâh Ibn Mas`ud, may Allâh raise his rank, as he heard it from the Prophet, Salla lLâhu `alayhi wa sallam.
Known as al-Mahdiyy, his full name is Muḥammad Ibn `Abdillâh. He will be from the descendants of either al-Hasan or al-Husayn, the sons of Fatimah, the daughter of the Prophet Muḥammad.
Initially, in his mission, al-Mahdiyy will be accompanied by an angel. This angel will call unto the people “Oh people he is the Caliph (Khalifah) of Allâh al-Mahdiyy so follow his path.”
It was mentioned from the route of the Companions that when al-Mahdiyy appears, he will come out from Madinah accompanied with one-thousand angels ; three hundred from the awliya’ (upright Muslims) will wait for him in Makkah ; they will be the first ones to pledge allegiance to him. Then an army will set forth to fight him, Allâh will then make the earth cave in underneath them. After that al-Mahdiyy will come to the land of ash-Sham.
A famine will take place during the days of al-Mahdiyy, the complete believer will be satisfied by mentioning the name of Allâh and Glorifying Him.
The ten major signs which will occur in the following order:
The Imposter (Dajjal) will emerge, Prophet `Isa Jesus will descend from the second sky, Ya'juj and Ma'juj will come forth from their concealed place of residence, the sun will rise from the West, the Earth Dabbah (Animal) will emerge. Then a vast spread of smoke will be followed by three land slides, and the journey of great fire will originate from the deep valley of Aden in Yemen.
As we mentioned earlier the emerging of the Dajjal is the first of the major signs of the approach of the Day of Judgment. He is also called al-MasiH ad-Dajjal (means he is a great deceiver, because he is a blasphemer who sweeps through the land with speed), and al-MasiH al-Kadhab (means the liar).
The way in which he will travel the world is strange and unlike our ways.
He will travel the world with a tremendous ease, which is given to him by Allâh the Exalted. He will travel the earth from all directions in just one and half years, spreading corruptions every where. He will gain access to every place with the exception of entry to Makkah and Madinah, in Saudi-Arabia. This is because at every gateway thereof will be an angel guarding the entry with his sword drawn, making the Dajjal flee at their sight. His travels will be eased in a strange way, he will lead people astray here and there ; he will say to people: “I am your great lord.” He will deceive them in many ways. The disbelievers of the Children of Israel will believe in him and also other whom Allâh had willed for them to die as blasphemers.
At that time hunger will spread on earth, however the followers of the Dajjal will not be affected. What will seem to them as a blessing, will actually be a curse. Allâh will provide for them plenty of food and good fortune. However the Muslims who rejected the Imposter will experience the hunger, but they will be relieved from it’s pain by mentioning and Glorifying Allâh in their worship. This will also be their means of nourishment. Therefore this state of hunger will not have any side effects upon them.
When the prophet `Isa (Jesus) descends, he shall kill the Imposter ; after that there will be great luxury and prosperity. When `Isa Jesus descends, he will meet al-Mahdiyy. Al-Mahdiyy will ask Prophet `Isa to lead them in prayers. However, `Isa will decline, leaving al-Mahdiyy to be the Imam. This signifies that Prophet `Isa, `alayhi s-salâm, will rule by the teachings revealed to the Prophet Muḥammad Salla lLâhu `alayhi wa sallam. After this first time, `Isa Jesus will lead in prayers because Prophet `Isa Jesus has a higher status than al-Mahdiyy.
During the days of Prophet `Isa Jesus there will be lots of safety and luxury. The earth will release all it’s gold and treasures, making the people rich to an extent leaving no-one in need of charity (sadaqah).
Al-A`war ad-Dajjal is a human from the Children of Adam, apparently he is from the Children of Israel. He is described as having one eye protruding like a bulging out grape, while the other one is totally flat, as well as being a great deceiver and liar. This is why he is also called ‘the one-eyed Imposter’, and in Arabic “A`war Ad- Dajjal”, which means the same.
Amazingly, he is now chained by angels on an island. The whereabouts of this island is unknown to anyone. He cannot emerge before his due time. He has been imprisoned there for a long time as it was illustrated by the incident told by a Companion of the Prophet Muḥammad Salla lLâhu `alayhi wa sallam.
Tamim Ibn Aws tells that he and other Companions were sailing when their boat went astray leaving them lost in the ocean for one month. The boat was drifting deeper into the ocean when it stopped at an island. There, they were met with the one-eyed Imposter. The Companion described him to the Prophet as having a huge body and obviously knows the Arabic language, since he communicated with him in Arabic. He introduced himself to them and asked them many questions. Among his questions he asked if the prophet of an Arab origin – meaning Prophet Muḥammad – has come forth yet. They said: “Yes.” The purpose of his question was to measure the remaining term of his imprisonment before his freedom. He is aware that his release will be one of the signs indicating the approach of the Day of Judgment, which will happen in a time after the Revelation of Prophet Muḥammad.
Then the description of the Imposter was revealed to Prophet Muḥammad Salla lLâhu `alayhi wa sallam and it was the same as that Companion mentioned.
He will possess extraordinary powers all given to him by Allâh, the Exalted.
It has been mentioned that of the extraordinary things he will display – by the Will of Allâh – is that he will split a person in two halves and restore him together again. Then that person will say: This has increased my belying of you. He will also order the sky to rain, and it will do so. He will then order the land to produce its plants, it will do so. The Imposter, will bring about two rivers, one will seem to be of fire ; in reality this one will be a cool one for the believers. The other one will seem to be of water, in fact it will be fire for them.
When the Imposter first appears, a day will feel as long as a year, then as long as a month and finally a day will feel as long as a week. Three years before his appearance, the sky will hold off one-third of its water, a year after it will hold off two-thirds of its water, then one year before his appearance it will hold off all of its water.
Prophet `Isa Jesus will encounter the Imposter in Palestine and will kill him at the gate of Ludd (a village in Palestine).
As for Ya'juj and Ma'juj (Gog and Magog), they are originally two tribes of the human race of the Children of Adam and have many off-springs, all of which are blasphemers. The people of Ya'juj and Ma'juj have been alive for many thousands of years and are insulated from other humans by the will of Allâh. They are seized in a place which our civilization has not yet discovered. Allâh separated them from us, so until their time is due, they can’t interact with us nor us with them.
As-Sa`b Dhul Qarnayn built a huge wall separating them from us. Dhul Qarnayn is said to be an upright righteous waliyy, Allâh the Exalted has provided him with extraordinary abilities. The wind used to carry him from the East to the West. Allâh ta`âlâ gave him a karamah (extraordinary act) enabling him to build a huge iron mountain wall, he then hardened it with an added cast of copper. It is mentioned that this wall is so magnificent in strength and size that none of the inhabitants behind it could climb over it.
Since their isolation thousands of years ago, Ya’juj and Ma’juj have been struggling daily to cut through the mountainous wall. Everyday, from dawn till dusk they try unsuccessfully to break through the wall. At the end of each day, they leave their incomplete task of breaking through the passage, agreeing to finish it off the next day. Except, on the following day and to their disappointment, they return to find the passage closed again. Obviously they have no choice but to start again. This dilemma will continue to happen daily until the day that Ya’juj and Ma’juj will seek the help of Allāh in their intention to open the passage through the wall. As a result of asking the help of Allāh, they will wake up and continue where they left off and eventually on that day they will successfully open for themselves a passage into our life.
Each one of them will not die before having one-thousand or more off-spring as the Messenger of Allâh Salla lLâhu `alayhi wa sallam mentioned. The population of Ya’juj and Ma’juj has been dramatically increasing in numbers since their isolation thousands of years ago. It is mentioned that they are such a large population that on the Day of Judgment the ratio of Ya’juj and Ma’juj compared with the common humans will be a hundred to one (100:1). It is falsely claimed that these people are midgets with extremely huge ears, using one ear as pillow and the other ear as a blanket. These claims are indeed untrue.
A famine will occur during their days. They will approach a lake in Tabaraya in Palestine and drink the lake dry. When the last of them reaches the bank of the river seeking water, he will say, “There once was water here”. Prophet ^Isa and his followers also try to kill the people of Ya’juj and Ma’juj, but they will be unable to terminate all of them and free the land from their calamity. So Prophet ^Isa and the Muslims will go to the mount of at-Tur. There they will supplicate Allāh to rid them from this calamity. Their supplication will be answered. Allāh will swamp the people of Ya’juj and Ma’juj with worms. These worms will eat their way into their necks killing them instantly as they fell to the ground. Allāh will send birds that will carry them and throw them in the sea. Heavy rain will then fall, washing the traces of the people of Ya’juj and Ma’juj into the sea ridding the earth from all the non-believers. Those people will appear sometime after Prophet `Isa Jesus comes down to Earth.
As for Prophet `Isa’s descend to Earth, this was mentioned in more than one Hadîth. Al-Hakim related that the Messenger of Allâh Salla lLâhu `alayhi wa sallam said:
" لَيَهبِطَنَّ عيسَى بنُ مريم حَكَمًا مُقْسطًا، وَلَيسلُكَنَّ فَجًا حَاجًا أو معتمرًا، وليَأْتِيَنَّ قبري حتى يسلِّم عليَّ، ولأرُدَنَّ عَلَيهِ"
It means: “ `Isa (Jesus), the son of Maryam (Mary) will descend to earth as a ruler and a fair judge, will perform Hajj or `Umrah, and will travel to visit my grave in order to salute me and I will return his salutation.”
Prophet `Isa Jesus will be bestowed with a unique miracle at that time. He will have the ability to kill the non-believers in the distance that he can see, by exhaling (breathing out) at them. Clearly, before his death, Prophet `Isa Jesus would have succeeded in providing for the Muslims a life of peace, safety and luxury with good fortunes and pleasurable worships.
In the Hadith about his descend the Prophet indicated that money will be plenty to the extent that there no one will be found to accept it. Adding to their luxurious life will be the pleasures encountered in every prostration they perform to Allâh.
Prosperity will engulf the land and an abundance of wealth and fortune will be at the reach of every Muslim.
The earth will release all it’s gold and treasures, making the people rich to an extent leaving no-one in need of charity (as-Sadaqah…which is money donated to the poor and needy).
The exact time of `Isa’s descend is unknown, what is known however is that he will descend at the Eastern side of Damascus at the white minaret. He will be escorted down to earth by two angels with his hands resting on their wings. The Prophet Salla lLâhu `alayhi wa sallam mentioned that minaret although it was not in Eastern Damascus at that time ; however, it is now there as the Messenger of Allâh Salla lLâhu `alayhi wa sallam described it. The minaret is the light post which was made for the new airport in Eastern Damascus.
He will meet a group of Muslims preparing to pray with al-Mahdiyy as their Imam in ash-Sham. Ash-Sham includes Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, and Jordan. Al-Mahdiyy will as ask Prophet `Isa to lead them in prayers. However, `Isa will decline, leaving al-Mahdiyy to the Imam. This signifies that Prophet `Isa will rule by the teachings revealed to Prophet Muḥammad Salla lLâhu `alayhi wa sallam. After this first time, `Isa will lead in prayers because Prophet `Isa has a higher status than the Mahdiyy.
Prophet `Isa will then travel to Palestine where he will encounter the Imposter and kill him as we have mentioned earlier.
Prophet `Isa will live on earth for forty years after his descend from the second sky. When Prophet `Isa dies, the Muslims will perform the Funeral Prayer for him and bury him.
Prophet Muḥammad described `Isa in a hadith classified as ṣaḥīḥ, as having an olive complexion, and as being of medium height and medium built, and has having straight hair.
Ibn Abi Hatim and An-Nasa’iyy related that Ibn `Abbas said: “`Isa was with twelve of his companions in a house, and he said: ‘There are among you those who will blaspheme after believing.’ He continued: ‘Who among you will be made to look like me and be killed in my place, then will become my companion in Paradise?’ The youngest among them stood up and said: “Me”. Jesus repeated his question. The youngest again stood up and said: “Me”. He repeated the question a third time the youngest again stood up and said: “Me”. Prophet `Isa the son of Maryam said: “You are the one.” Prophet `Isa was raised to the sky from a window in the ceiling of the house (sunroof). When the Jews came after prophet `Isa , they saw that young man whom Allâh made to look similar to `Isa, they took him, thinking he was Prophet `Isa, they killed him and crucified him.
What some people narrate that a Jew came with the Jews to show them where Prophet `Isa was, and that the Jews promised to give him a sum of money. They claimed that when he let them into the house he was made to look similar to `Isa, they thought the he was `Isa and killed him is not confirmed, although it is famous according to the historians. In fact the true narration is the one that `Abdullâh Ibn `Abbas mentioned.
These three signs: The emerging of the Dajjal, the descend of Prophet `Isa from the second sky, and the coming forth of Ya’juj and Ma’juj are the first of the big signs of the approach of the Day of Judgment ; after that the rest of the ten major signs will occur which will happen in the following order:
The sun will rise from the West rather than the East. Every day, the sun asks permission from Allâh to rise ; it will be permitted ; on that day it will not be permitted to rise ; it will rise from the west.
In the Earth Animal will emerge. That Earth Animal will distinguish between the believer and the blasphemer, Allāh mentioned it in the Qur’ân in verse 82 of Surat an-Naml:
﴿وَإِذَا وَقَعَ الْقَوْلُ عَلَيْهِمْ أَخْرَجْنَا لَهُمْ دَآبَّةً مِّنَ الأَرْضِ تُكَلِّمُهُمْ أَنَّ النَّاسَ كَانُوا بِئَايَتِنَا لاَ يُوقِنُونَ﴾
No one will be able to escape from it.
These two signs happen in one day between dawn and duha (mid morning), after that repentance will not be accepted from anybody.
Accordingly, if the blasphemer utters the Testification of Faith at that time, it will not be accepted from him. If a disobedient Muslim wanted to repent from his sins, his repentance will not be accepted. So the door of repentance is open until the day when the sun rises from the west and when that Earth Animal emerge.
After this a vast spread of dense smoke will travel over the land. This will have harmful effects on the non-believers it will suffocate them to near death. The Muslims on the other hand will be mildly affected showing symptoms similar to the symptoms of the common cold.
Then there will be three major land slides. One will happen in the East, the other in the West and the third will occur in the Arabian Peninsula. They will shake the land and swallow everything in their surface.
The last of the ten major signs indicating the approach of the Day of Judgment will be a magnificent fire. This fire will erupt from the inner valley of Aden in Yemen, driving the people in fear towards the West from their countries.
In the final days of this world, Iman (Belief) will be confined to Madinah as the snake is normally confined in its hole. That is because the last of the Muslim villages to be ruined will be Madinah as the Prophet Salla lLâhu `alayhi wa sallam indicated in the Hadith. Certainly Madinah has a better status than other places in the past and in the future, and that is why the Prophet sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam indicated in the Hadith that Iman (Belief) will be confined to Madinah as the snake is normally confined in its hole.
The Qur’ân will be raised to the sky in the final days, not a single verse of it will stay in this Earth, al-Khadir peace be upon him would die at that time.
Once these ten major signs take place, a soft breeze will enter under the arms of every Muslim taking their life gently. One hundred years will pass during which only the non-believers will exist on earth. There will be no Muslim to Praise or Glorify Allāh the Exalted. Only the blasphemers will stay alive to face the time when life on earth will come to an end (al-Qiyamah). Angel Israfil will blow the horn. This tremendous blast will rip the hearts of the non-believers and kill all living creature on earth, including humans and jinn ; no humans or jinn will stay alive.
Those Muslims and blasphemers who have died before that will lose consciousness at that time save that martyrs, who will not lose consciousness. What is meant here that if the bodies had already decayed, then the souls will lose consciousness. The bodies which will have the souls in them at that time will be shocked too even the prophets ; however, they will not get any pain due to that. The martyrs will not lose consciousness at that time, this does not mean that they have higher rank than the prophets ; but Allāh has made that significance thing for the martyrs so that people will be encouraged to do it.
The Messenger of Allâh Salla lLâhu `alayhi wa sallam mentioned in a Hadith which was related by al-Bukhâriyy that once the people get that shock on the Day of Judgment, he will be the first one to wake up from it ; he would then see prophet Musa Moses holding on to one of the legs of the Throne (^Arsh…The ceiling of Paradise). He indicated that he will not be able to tell whether Musa woke up before him, or that he was spared from that because he was shocked at the mount of Tur before.
After the death of the humans, the angels will die, the last of them to die would be `Azra’il. Some scholars said: Except for the angels in charge of Paradise, the angels in charge of Hellfire, those who carry the Throne, al-Hur, and al-Wildan. After that Allāh will bring Israfil back to life, who had already blown the horn the first time, he will blow it a second time ; forty years after the first one ; making the dead people come out of their graves for the questioning (as-su'al) and al-Hisâb (Questioning).
We ask Allāh to make us steadfast to Iman (Belief) and to grant us martyrdom. And all praise be to Allāh.