Monday, May 9, 2011

Signs of the Hour

Fourteen hundred years ago, the Prophet Muhammad (saas) related a number of secrets concerning the Doomsday, and of his thoughts about it, to his Muslim companions.

These valuable words have been passed down from generation to generation to the present day in the form of books of hadiths and works of Islamic scholars. ...The hadiths used in the coming sections of this book contain such information given by the Prophet (saas) in this regard.

At this point, there may arise some doubt in the reader in regards to the truth and authenticity of these hadiths about the end.

It is a recognized fact that, in the past, there had been a number of fabricated hadiths falsely attributed to the Prophet (saas), but the hadiths that form the subject of our inquiry will be easily recognized as issuing from the Prophet (saas).

There is a method to distinguish those that are true from those that are false.
As we know, hadiths about the Doomsday relate to events that are to take place in the future. For this reason, when a hadith comes true in the course of time, all doubt as to the source of the words is removed.

Several Islamic scholars who conducted research on the subject of the End Times and of the signs of the Last Day have used this criterion.

This is expressed in a hadith:

Signs following one another like the pieces of a necklace falling one after the other when its string is cut.

When we examine the End Times in the light of the information related above, we come up with a surprising conclusion. The signs that the Prophet (saas) described in detail are occurring one after the other in every corner of the world, just in the way they were described in the age in which we live.

It is so that the hadiths paint a perfect portrait of our time. This is indeed a miracle, and demands careful consideration. Every sign that occurs is to remind people once again that the Doomsday is very near, a day when they will give account of themselves in the presence of Allah, and therefore, that they should immediately apply the moral values of the Qur’an to their lives.

Most people know at least something about the Last Day.
Almost everyone has heard one thing or another about the horror of the Hour.
Nevertheless, most tend to have the same reaction to it as they do to other matters of vital importance, that is, they do not want to speak or even think about it.
They try very hard not trying to think about the terror they will experience on the Last Day.
They cannot bear the reminders of the Last Day found in a news report of a terrible accident or a film report about some disaster.They avoid thinking about the fact that that day will certainly come.
They do not want to listen to others who talk about that great day, or to read authors’ works about it.

These are some of the ways that people have developed in order to escape the dread of thinking about the Last Day.

Many do not seriously believe that the Hour is coming. We are presented with an example of this in a verse of Surat al-Kahf, about the wealthy owner of a rich vineyard:

I do not think the Hour will ever come. But if I should be sent back to my Lord, I will definitely get something better in return. (Surat al-Kahf: 36)

The above verse reveals the true mentality of someone who professes to believe in Allah but avoids thinking about the reality of the Last Day and puts forward claims contradicting some verses of the Qur'an. Another verse relates the doubt and uncertainty that engulfs disbelievers in regards to the time of the end.

When you were told, “Allah’s promise is true and so is the Hour, of which there is no doubt,” you said, “We have no idea what the Hour is. We have only been conjecturing. We are by no means certain.” (Surat al-Jathiya: 32)

Some people entirely deny that the Last Day is coming. Those who have this opinion are mentioned in the Qur’an as follows:

But instead, they deny the Hour; and We have prepared a Searing Blaze for those who deny the Hour. (Surat al-Furqan: 11)

The source that can guide us on the way and show us the truth is the Qur’an.
When we look at what it says, we learn an obvious fact. Those who deceive themselves about the Last Day commit a grave error, because Allah reveals in the Qur’an that there can be no doubt that the Last Day is near.

And the Hour is coming without any doubt ... (Surat al-Hajj: 7)

We did not create the heavens and earth and everything between them, except with truth. The Hour is certainly coming. (Surat al-Hijr: 85)

The Hour is coming—there is no doubt about it …(Surat al-Mu’min: 59)

There may be some who think that the message of the Qur’an concerning the Last Day was revealed more that 1400 years ago and that this is a long time compared to the length of a human life. But here, it is a question of the end of the world, the sun and the stars, in short, of the universe. When we consider that the universe is billions of years old, fourteen centuries is a very short period of time.

The Qur’an says, “The Hour has drawn nigh.” (Surat al-Qamar: 1)
That is, Doomsday is near. It still not having come after a thousand or this many years does not injure its closeness. Because, Doomsday is the appointed hour of the world, and in relation to the life of the world one or two thousand years are like one or two minutes in relation to a year.
The Hour of Doomsday is not only the appointed hour of mankind that it should be related to it and seen as distant.

Allah’s promises are certainly true. No one can change His promises or prevent their fulfillment. As in every matter, the best and most beautiful words in this matter are stated in the Qur’an:
Say: “Praise be to Allah. He will show you His Signs and you will recognize them...” (Surat an-Naml: 93)

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