The Tokens of Doomsday
When will the Day of Resurrection come? Nobody knows except Allah. In the holy Quran Allah proclaims:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ عِنْدَهُ عِلْمُ السَّاعَةِ وَيُنَزِّلُ الْغَيْثَ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا فِي الأَرْحَامِ وَمَا تَدْرِي نَفْسٌ مَاذَا تَكْسِبُ غَداً وَمَا تَدْرِي نَفْسٌ بِأَيِّ أَرْضٍ تَمُوتُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ (لقمان: 34)
(Translation of meaning) [“Lo! Allah! With Him is the knowledge of the Hour. He sendeth down the rain, and knoweth that which is in the wombs. No soul knoweth what it will earn tomorrow, and no soul knoweth in what land it will die. Lo! Allah is knower, Aware” (Luqman: 34)].
In another place He pronounced:
يَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنْ السَّاعَةِ أَيَّانَ مُرْسَاهَا قُلْ إِنَّمَا عِلْمُهَا عِنْدَ رَبِّي لا يُجَلِّيهَا لِوَقْتِهَا إِلاَّ هُوَ ثَقُلَتْ فِي السَّمَوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ لا تَأْتِيكُمْ إِلاَّ بَغْتَةً يَسْأَلُونَكَ كَأَنَّكَ حَفِيٌّ عَنْهَا (الأعراف: 187)
(Translation of meaning) [“They ask thee of the [destined] Hour, when it will come to port. Say: Knowledge thereof is with my Lord only. He alone will manifest it at its proper time. It is heavy in the havens and the earth. It cometh not to you save unawares. They question thee as if thou couldst be well informed thereof. Say: Knowledge thereof is with Allah only, but most of mankind know not” (Al-A’raf: 187)].
Once Hadrat Jibril (Alaihis Salam) descended to the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and inquired from him about the Hour of the resurrection. The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) replied that: The respondent does not know more than the inquirer (Al-Bukhari). Nevertheless, the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) has informed the people of some tokens of the Day of resurrection. He has pointed out certain minor and certain major tokens of the Last Day.
The Minor Tokens of the Doomsday
Among the minor tokens of the Doomsday will be the general proliferation of evil and corruption among the people during their last days; the prevalence of murder; the distance of people from the law of God; and the emergence of Muhammad (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) himself as the last prophet is one of such tokens. Thus he said that:
«بُعِثْتُ وَالسَّاعَةُ كَهَاتَيْنِ» (البخاري)
(Translation of meaning) I and the Hour have been sent like this and he joined his index and middle fingers. Pointing them to the people, he told them just as these are adjacent and follow each other similarly, I and the Last Day are adjacent to each other and I will be followed by Qiyamah [Resurrection].
When a man asked him about the time of the occurrence of the Last Day he replied that:
«إِذَا ضُيِّعَتِ الأَمَانَةُ فَانْتَظِرِ السَّاعَةَ» (البخاري)
(Translation of meaning) When breach of trust becomes common, then you must wait for the Hour [Sa’ah]. Every believer has full belief and conviction in what is pointed out by the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) as the tokens or signs of the Day of Resurrection, viz. prevalence of murders; general strife and wars. Similarly, he also pointed out that:
«إِنَّ بَيْنَ يَدَيِ السَّاعَةِ أَيَّامًا، يُرْفَعُ فِيهَا العِلْمُ، وَيَنْزِلُ فِيهَا الجَهْلُ، وَيَكْثُرُ فِيهَا الهَرْجُ» (البخاري)
(Translation of meaning) When the Last Day will come near, knowledge will be lifted and ignorance will become the order of day and murders will become common (Al-Bukhari).
It is in another tradition that:
«مِنْ أَشْرَاطِ السَّاعَةِ، أَنْ يُرْفَعَ العِلْمُ، وَيَظْهَرَ الجَهْلُ، وَيُشْرَبَ الخَمْرُ، وَيَظْهَرَ الزِّنَا، وَيَقِلَّ الرِّجَالُ، وَيَكْثُرَ النِّسَاءُ حَتَّى يَكُونَ لِلْخَمْسِينَ امْرَأَةً القَيِّمُ الوَاحِدُ» (متفق عليه)
(Translation of meaning) Among the tokens of the Day of Resurrection will be the absence of knowledge, prevalence of ignorance, and indulgence in sinful acts. On another occasion, he said that knowledge will be lifted, ignorance will rule, adultery will become commonplace, intoxicants will be taken freely, and women will outnumber men till there will be one man for every fifty women (Al-Bukhari & Muslim).
Every Muslim also believes, that, during the last days of the world temptations will abound so, it will be better to keep away from them. The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said that:
«سَتَكُونُ فِتَنٌ الْقَاعِدُ فِيهَا خَيْرٌ مِنَ الْقَائِمِ، وَالْقَائِمُ فِيهَا خَيْرٌ مِنَ الْمَاشِي، وَالْمَاشِي فِيهَا خَيْرٌ مِنَ السَّاعِي» (مسلم)
(Translation of meaning) Very soon many temptations will become manifest. One who secludes himself to keep away from them is better than one who remains standing and one who remains standing is better than one who keeps walking and one who keeps walking is better than one who is running (Muslim). This simply means that everybody should try to keep his guard against evil and corruption according to one’s standing and conditions. It is also an article of faith with a believer to believe in the information provided by the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) that during the last days of the world there will be so much evil and ungodliness that an honest man will be forced to prefer death to life. Thus the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) prophesied that:
« لاَ تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ حَتَّى يَمُرَّ الرَّجُلُ بِقَبْرِ الرَّجُلِ فَيَقُولُ: يَا لَيْتَنِي مَكَانَهُ» (متفق عليه)
(Translation of meaning) The Last Hour will not come until a man passing by a grave says wish I were in his place in this grave (Al-Bukhari & Muslim). He also prophesied that:
« لَا تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ إِلَّا عَلَى شِرَارِ الْخَلْقِ » (مسلم).
(Translation of meaning) The Hour of Reckoning is destined to overtake the most wicked people (Muslim).