Doomsday will be both the end of the life of this world and also the beginning of the eternal life of the Hereafter. The great might of Allah will be understood by everyone through the terrible events that will take place on Doomsday.
Fourteen hundred years ago, our Prophet Muhammad (saas) described the portents that would take place prior to Doomsday in detail in the hadiths. According to these, there will be war, anarchy, poverty, a rise in sexual degeneracy, and frequent natural disaster; in addition, people will turn away from proper moral values and false prophets will appear. Following all these, Allah will bring the moral values of the Qur’an to prevail over the whole world by means of the blessed Mahdi.
The most important proof of the truth of this information in the hadiths of our Prophet (saas) will be that when the time comes, these events will all transpire, one after the other, in exactly the way described (Allah knows best). Many of the signs revealed in the hadiths have already taken place, one after the other and in a very short space of time, in terms of world history, between 1979 and 2006.
What we need to do in order to understand these portents is to reflect carefully upon the verses of the Qur’an and the hadiths of our Prophet (saas) revealed 1400 years ago regarding Doomsday and the portents thereof. Our Lord makes the following promise in one verse:
Say: Praise be to Allah. He will show you His Signs and you will recognize them. Your Lord is not unaware of what you do.’ (Surat an-Naml, 93)
However, it is also important to make it clear that Allah knows the truth of all things. As in all other matters, we have no other knowledge about Doomsday than what He teaches us. Only Allah knows for certain when Doomsday will take place, although it most certainly will.
Say: ‘I do not know whether what you are promised is close or whether my Lord will appoint a longer time before it.’ He is the Knower of the Unseen, and does not divulge His Unseen to anyone. (Surat al-Jinn; 25, 26)
The Occupation of Afghanistan (1979)
Pity poor Taliqan (a region in Afghanistan) that at that place are treasures of Allah, but these are not of gold and silver but consist of people who have recognized Allah as they should have. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir al-zaman, p.59)
There is an indication that Afghanistan will be occupied during the Last Days. The Russian invasion of Afghanistan took place in 1979 (1400, according to the Islamic calendar).
The Fourth Peace and Arab-Israel Peace Agreement (1979)
There will be four [periods of] peace with you and people [in one copy, this is said to be the Greeks]. The fourth peace, which lasts for seven years, will be through a person from the people of Heraclius. (Kıyamet Alametleri, (Signs of the Doomsday) Osman Çataklı, (299/8)
This hadith mentions one of the signs of the Mahdi who will ally with the Prophet ‘Isa (as) during his tenure on Earth. According to this sign, a fourth peace agreement will be signed between the Muslims and the non-Muslims, and this agreement will last for seven years. At the end of this period, the Mahdi will appear. According to the general conviction, this fourth peace-agreement is the Camp David agreement signed by the U.S., Israel, and Egypt, in 1979. (Allah knows best.)
Storming the Ka`ba and the subsequent bloodshed
People will perform hajj together and gather without an Imam. The Hajjis will be looted and there will be a battle at Mina in which many will be slain and blood will flow until it runs over the Jamra al-'Aqaba. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir al-Zaman, p. 35)
The phrase 'the year in which he will emerge' draws attention to a massacre that will occur on the date of the Mahdi's emergence. In 1979, a massacre very like this one occurred during the Ka'ba raid, which took place during the pilgrimage month. It is very interesting that this raid occurred at the very beginning of the period during which the signs of the Mahdi's advent appeared, that is, the first day of the Islamic year 1400 (21 November 1979).
The hadiths also mention bloodshed and massacres. The killing of 30 people during the clashes between Saudi soldiers and attacking militants during the raid confirms the rest of this hadith.
Iran Iraq War (1980)
There will be tumult in Shawwal (the tenth Islamic month), talks of war in Dhul-Qa`dah (the eleventh Islamic month), and the outbreak of war in Dhul-Hijjah (the twelfth month). (Allamah Muhaqqiq Ash-Sharif Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Rasul, Al-Isaatu li Asrat'is-saat, p. 166)
These three months coincide with the months during which the Iran-Iraq war developed. The first uprising against the Shah took place on 5 Shawwal 1398 (8 September 1976), as indicated by the hadith. A full-blown war broke out between Iran and Iraq in Dhu al-Hijjah 1400 (October 1980).
An Increase in the Number of Earthquakes
The Hour (Last Day) will not be established until ... earthquakes will be very frequent. (Bukhari)
There are two great hadiths before the day of Judgment ... and then years of earthquakes. (Narrated by Umm Salama (r.a.)
In the last few years, major earthquakes have occurred repeatedly and are among the foremost fears of people around the world. If we look at the data collected by the American National Earthquake Information Center for 1999, we find out that 20,832 earthquakes happened in various locations around the world. As a result, an estimated 22,711 people lost their lives.
The 500,000 people who died in the Afghanistan and the Indonesian earthquakes are not included in those statistics.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reports, the number of earthquakes with a magnitude of 5.0 or greater on the Richter scale, that took place during the 400 years between 1556-1975, was only 110; between 1980-2003, the number of earthquakes with a magnitude of 6.5 or greater on the Richter scale was 1,685. These figures reveal that the number of earthquakes had increased by the beginning of the year Hijri 1400.
The Killing of the Ruler of Egypt (1981)
Before he comes, the inhabitants of Egypt and Sham will kill their rulers and their commanders... (Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi `Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar, p. 49)
In 1981, Egyptian president Anwar al-Sadat (1970-81) was assassinated during a military review.
Eclipse of the moon and sun in/during Ramadan (1981-1982)
There are two signs for the Mahdi... The first one is the lunar eclipse in the first night of Ramadan, and the second is the solar eclipse in the middle of this month. (IbnHajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi `Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar, p. 47)
... The solar eclipse in the middle of the month and the lunar eclipse at the end... (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir al-zaman, p. 37)
There will be two solar eclipses in Ramadan before the Mahdi's advent. (Mukhtasar Tazkirah Qurtubi)
The most striking point here is that it is impossible for there to be two solar eclipses as well as two lunar eclipses within one month. Such things cannot occur under ordinary conditions. Most signs of the End Times are incidents that the human mind can grasp and realize, depending on certain reasons. If these incidents are examined carefully, some differences become apparent. The best thing to do in such a situation is to locate the areas of agreement. These are the following:
1. There will be solar and lunar eclipses during Ramadan,
2. These will be spaced about 14-15 days apart,
3. The eclipses will be repeated twice.
In line with these calculations, there was a lunar eclipse in 1981 (Hijri 1401) on the 15th day of Ramadan, and a solar eclipse on the 29th day of the month. There was a second lunar eclipse in 1982 (Hijri 1402) on the 14th day of Ramadan, and a solar eclipse on the 28th day of the month. It is also particularly significant that, in that particular instance, there was a full lunar eclipse in the middle of Ramadan, a most striking prophecy.
The occurrence of these incidents during the same period coinciding with the signs of the Mahdi's emergence, and their miraculous recurrence at the onset of the fourteenth Islamic century for two consecutive years (1401-02) makes it possible for these events to be the signs foretold by the hadiths.
The Killing of the Ruler of Damascus (1982)
Before he comes, the inhabitants of Egypt and Sham will kill their rulers and their commanders... (Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi `Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar, p. 49)
The word Sham is not only used for Damascus, for it also means "left" and has long been used to refer to those countries to the left of the Hijaz (where the cities of Makkah and Madinah stand). Many leaders have been killed in region.
The Rise of a Comet (1986)
A star with a luminous tail will rise from the East before the Mahdi emerges. (Ka'bal-Ahbar)
A comet will be appearing in the East, giving out illumination before he arrives. (Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi `Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar, p. 53)
The rise of that star will occur after the eclipse of the Sun and the Moon. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir al-zaman, p. 32)
As referred to by the hadiths, in 1986 (1406), Haley’s Comet passed by Earth. The comet was a bright, shining star that traveled from East to West. This happened after the lunar and solar eclipses of 1981 and 1982 (1401-1402).
The concurrence of this star's rise with other signs of the Mahdi's emergence indicates that Haley’s Comet was the star pointed to in the hadith.
A Tribulation of Dust and Smoke (2001)
Before the Hour comes, there will be a dusty and smoky tribulation like patches of dark night... (Hadith from Jalaladdin as-Suyuti, Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir al-Zaman, p. 26)
This hadith foretells a dusty, smoky, and dark wave of tribulation just before the Mahdi's advent. The word tribulation (fitna) implies anything that turns peoples' reason and hearts away from the true path; or, it can also imply war, incitement, disorder, and conflict. The tribulation mentioned in this hadith will leave behind smoke and dust. Furthermore, as this tribulation is described as resembling patches of dark night, its origins are unclear and it is unexpected. Thus, this hadith could refer to one of the world's worst terrorist attacks: 9/11, when New York City and Washington, D.C., were attacked. As the whole world saw, a big, thick cloud of dust and smoke swallowed up the immediate surroundings. A large cloud of smoke formed after the airplanes exploded, smashing into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The resulting smoke reached so high and spread so far that it could be seen throughout the city and even seen from neighboring cities. The ensuing collapse of the Twin Towers caused yet another huge cloud of smoke and of dust, which completely enveloped people in the area.
This act may well be the tribulation like patches of dark night foretold by the hadith as the sign of the Mahdi's emergence. (Allah knows best.)
Flames Destroy Homes in Baghdad (2003)
Baghdad is destroyed by fire in the End Times ... (Risalat al-Khuruj al-Mahdi, vol. 3, p. 177)
During the Second Gulf War in 2003, from the very first day, Baghdad was the target of a very intensive bombing campaign. Under heavy bombardment, Baghdad burned in flames, just as the hadith said it would. Images of Baghdad, which appeared on TV and in newspapers, conveyed this reality to the world. Thus, this is a clear indication that we are living in the End Times. (Allah knows best.)
The Division of Iraq into Three Parts (2003)
According to our Prophet (saas), the people of Iraq will be divided into three groups. One part will join the looters. One group will flee, leaving their families behind. And one group will fight and kill. Prepare yourselves for Doomsday when you see this. (Fera Idu Fevaidi'l Fiqr Fi'l Imam al-Mahdi al-Muntadhar)
Another sign of the End Times is the division of the Iraqi people into three. As the hadith relates, some Iraqis will join the looters. Indeed, at the end of the war, some Iraqis took advantage of the loss of authority and engaged in looting. In fact, some of these people stole and looted in acts that can be defined as pillaging.
The hadith informs us that some people would try so hard to escape that they would not even think about the families they would leave behind.
The hadith also tells that some people would fight and be killed. During this latest Gulf war, some Iraqis fought and died.
The division of Iraq into three, as is related in the hadith's first part, also came true after the first Gulf War in 1991, when the country was divided into the following regions: between the 32nd and 36th parallels, south of the 32nd parallel, and north of the 36th parallel. (Allah knows best.)
An Embargo against Iraq and Damascus (2003)
“It may happen that the people of Iraq may not send their qafiz and dirhams [their measures of food-stuff and their money]." We said:" Who would be responsible for it?" He (saas) said: "The non-Arabs would prevent them." He (saas) again said: "There is the possibility that the people of Syria may not send their dinar and mudd." We said: "Who would be responsible for it?" He (saas) said: "This prevention would be made by the Romans." (Sahih Muslim)
The embargos imposed upon Iraq and Damascus are signs of the End Times. For more than a decade, Iraq has endured embargos. Meanwhile, there exists the possibility of placing an embargo upon Syria.
Iraqis Flee to Damascus and the North (2003)
The innocent and clean people of Iraq will flee to Sham. (Risalat al-Khuruj al-Mahdi, p. 210)
In 2003, immediately before the outbreak of the latest Gulf war, tens of thousands of Iraqis sought to migrate to other countries, especially to Syria. This bears a great similarity to the event described in the hadith. News and pictures about this attempted migration appeared in the media.
No Money Will Be Left to the Iraqis (2003)
The Iraqis will be left with no weighing equipment, and no money will be left to them with which to buy and sell. (Muntakhab Kanz al-`Ummaal, vol. 5, p. 45)
Another portent of the End Times, and thus of the second coming of the Prophet ‘Isa (as), is that the Iraqi currency will have no value.
This hadith may indicate two situations. One of them is Iraq's economic collapse after the Iran-Iraq and the Gulf wars. The Iraqi economy, faced with such crisis, could not recover in the post-war period due to the embargos imposed by America and by the UN. The Iraqi people grew even poorer, and poverty became a major problem.
The Loss of an Army (2003)
There are five portents of the Mahdi: a cry from Sufyani, Yemani, and Sama, the sinking of an army in Bayda, and the killing of the innocent. (Narrated by Nu`aym ibn Hammad)
... An army will be sent to him. This army will be leveled while it is somewhere in the desert. (Sahih Muslim)
An army comes to fight. Once they enter the desert, the one in the front and the back disappear, and the ones in the middle cannot save themselves. (Tirmidhi, Sunan Ibn Majah, Sunan Abu Dawud)
The almost sudden disappearance of a large part of the Iraqi army was one of the most striking features of the 2003 American-led war against Iraq. Many newspapers and television channels reported that a 60,000-man army from the Republican Guard, along with some 15,000 Iraqi militiamen from the Fedayeen, got lost. This account indicates that the loss of an army, a portent of the Mahdi's coming, and hence of the Prophet ‘Isa's (as) second coming, may already have taken place. (Allah knows best.) In fact, the discovery of some warplanes buried under the desert sands reinforces the possibility that the leveling of an army refers to the Iraqi army.
The Restructuring of Iraq (2003)
Doomsday will not come until Iraq is attacked. Innocent people in Iraq will seek shelter in Sham. Sham will be rebuilt, and Iraq will be rebuilt. (Muntakhab Kanz al`Ummal, vol. 5, p. 254)
The hadith draws attention to the reconstruction of Iraq. Many Iraqi cities were reduced to rubble during the Iran-Iraq war, and then again during the two Gulf wars of 1991 and 2003. After this latest war, Iraq's rebuilding became compulsory because so much of it had been ruined. Looting also contributed to this situation.
Disorder in Damascus, Iraq, and Arabia (2003)
Our Prophet (saas) said: "There will be such troubles and calamities that nobody will be able to find a place of shelter. These woes will move around Sham, fall upon Iraq, and tie the hands and feet of the Arabian Peninsula. The community of Islam will fight against troubles in the steppes. Nobody will feel any sympathy for them or even say: "Alas!" As they try to remedy their woes on the one hand, they will emerge again on the other." (Muntakhab Kanz al-`Ummal, vol. 5, pp. 38-39)
The Sinking down in the East, Tsunami (2004)
… It [the Last Hour] will not come until you see ten signs… landslides [with a sinking down, caving in, or displacement of the earth] in three places, one in the East, one in the West and one in Arabia… (Sahih Muslim)
One of the signs of the Last Day revealed by our Prophet (saas) is that of the sinking down in the East.
The probable significance of this sign is the disappearance of an area of land or a human community. (Allah knows best.) This portent bears a close similarity to the 2004 tsunami disaster in Asia. Therefore, our Prophet's (saas) portent regarding the sinking down in the East may be indicating this terrible catastrophe. (Allah knows best.)
Throughout history, various disasters, earthquakes, and tornadoes have struck Asia and the Far East. These wrought terrible destruction and large numbers of people lost their lives in them. However, the tsunami that took place on 26 December 2004, in Southern Asia that resulted in the loss of more than 220,000 lives, was the worst of these disasters. During this dreadful catastrophe, the enormous energy released by 1000-kilometer breaks, as a result of the movement of underground plates and shifting land masses, together with the enormous energy produced in the oceans, struck the coasts of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Malaysia, Thailand, Bangladesh, Myanmar, the Maldives, the Seychelles, and even Somalia, 5,000 kilometers away.
This tsunami disaster in the End Times, when the signs of the Last Day are coming true, one by one, affected a very wide area, and led to cities being flooded by sea water and to a new map of the world. Therefore, the expression sinking down in the East may well be referring to this disaster in southern Asia. (Allah knows best.)
The Sinking down in the West, Katrina (2005)
… It [the Last Hour] will not come until you see ten signs… landslides [with a sinking down, caving in, or displacement of the earth] in three places, one in the East, one in the West and one in Arabia…(Sahih Muslim)
The terrible destruction wrought by Hurricane Katrina in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, last month, brings to mind another of the signs of the Last Day mentioned by our Prophet (saas): the sinking down in the West.
This sinking, which our Prophet (saas) declares will take place in the End Times, must necessarily be much greater and have a much greater impact than similar ones in the past. Indeed, the damage inflicted by Hurricane Katrina was far worse than that inflicted by similar phenomena in the past.
What becomes of you when death meets people and homes become graves?" (Mukhtasar Tazkirah al-Qurtubi, p. 392, no. 726)
The Sinking of the City of New Orleans
Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc on a number of cities, and New Orleans was made uninhabitable. Eighty percent of the city, regarded as one of the main tourist and cultural centers of the USA, was left under water. The water level exceeded 6 meters (19 feet) in some areas. That means that New Orleans literally disappeared by sinking under the waters. In the same way that the portent of a sinking in the east reported by our Prophet (saas) may refer to the tsunami catastrophe that struck Indonesia, so the hadiths of a sinking in the west may indicate the disappearance of the city of New Orleans. There is no doubt that Allah knows the truth of this.
The Occurrence of Great and Astonishing Events
So many appalling incidents will occur in his time. (Imam Rabbani, Letters of Rabbani, vol. 2, p. 258)
Great phenomena will happen in his time. (Ibn Hajar Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi `Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar, p. 27)
The signs of his emergence resemble those preparatory signs that earlier gave an indication of our Rasulullah. (Imam Rabbani, Letters of Rabbani, vol, 2, p. 258)
Great and extraordinary events preceded the Prophet Mohammed's (saas) birth. For example, a new star rose on that night, 14 towers of the Iranian Emperor's Palace collapsed, the Magians' (fire worshippers') fire that had burned for 1,000 years in Iran went out, the Semavi Valley was flooded, and the Save Lake dried up.
As indicated in the hadiths above, the Mahdi's emergence will resemble that of our Prophet (saas). Great and miraculous phenomena will also take place when he emerges.
The 2,500-year Iranian monarchy collapsed and Mohammad Reza Pahlavi died.
The AIDS virus, identified in 1980, has so far killed tens of thousands of people and is known as the Plague of the Age.
The Nevado del Ruiz volcano erupted, wiping the town of Armero off the map and killing 25,000 people.
The Berlin Wall, which for 28 years had symbolized the cold war, was torn down.
The Soviet Union collapsed, thanks to Gorbachev, and the newly independent states of Central Asia emerged.
The Gulf War broke out; Iraq annexed and then fled Kuwait, and was finally occupied by America and Britain in 2003.
Hundreds of thousands of Muslims were killed in the atrocities in Bosnia and Kosovo, and hundreds of thousands more were exiled.
Mars was closer to Earth in August 2003 than at any other time in the past 60,000 years.
12 people lost their lives in a flood in Makkah, which is one of the driest regions in the world.