Signs of the Hour and Ahadith on Fitan
(A) Ka`b ibn `Iyad (ra) says he heard the Prophet (asws) say: “Every Ummah had a means by which it was tried. My Ummah will be tried with wealth.” (Tirmidhi)
Yet strange it is that when people are asked to do any service to Islam which requires time and energy, they say they cannot because they are afraid that if they neglect their world they will fall prey to poverty, while this hadith clearly states that the Ummah in general will remain in a state of wealth.
(B) Ka`b ibn Malik (ra) reports the Prophet (asws) as saying: “Two hungry wolves let into a flock of sheep will not do as much harm as man’s greed for wealth and fame will do to his religion.” (Tirmidhi, Darami)
(C) Anas (ra) reports the Prophet (asws) as having said: “The signs of the Hour are that knowledge (of Islam) will be withdrawn, ignorance will be widespread, adultery and drinking will be common, and men will be lesser than women so that for every fifty women there will be one man.” (Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Nasai, Ahmed)
It must be understood of course that these signs will not appear on a sudden. They will appear gradually. Most of them have already appeared although they are in their preliminary stage. It is not clear how the ratio of women to men will grow to the extent of 1:50. The most plausible explanation is that it could happen due to constant wars taking toll of male lives, or a virus that attacks males alone.
(D) Abu Huraira (ra) relates that once a Bedouin came to the Prophet (asws) and asked: “When will be the Last Hour?” He replied: “When trust is wasted, then expect the Last Hour.” The man enquired: “And how can it be wasted?” The Prophet replied: “When affairs are entrusted to the incompetent, then wait for the Last Hour.” (Bukhari)
By the ‘affairs’ are meant all those affairs that affect the life of a large number of people such as the affairs of the government or local bodies, moral or religious leadership, etc. This prediction has also proved to be true in many parts of the world where the government and its various machineries are in the hands of the inept who are incapable of maintaining law and order and guiding the country to peace, stability, and economic growth despite the availability of all local means as well as outside aid.
The same thing is happening in the realm of morals. Today, it is the worst creatures on earth who have become the models of behavior for the young generations which know less and less of those who attained high moral, intellectual and spiritual development.
(E) Hudhaifa (ra) says the Prophet (asws) said: “The Last Hour will not be called until the most crafty, vulgar man, son of a most crafty and vulgar man, is considered (by the people) as the best of them.” (Tirmizi, Baihaqi in Dalail An‑Nubuwwa)
That is, it will be the world of crooks, and a man will be judged in terms of how crooked he is. The more crooked, the more honoured he will be. It will not be seen as to how a man earns what he earns. Rather, how much does he earn. The mere ability to gather the riches of this life will make a hero of him and a model to be emulated.
(F) Abu Huraira (ra) says the Prophet (asws) said: “The Last Hour will not strike until there is such abundance of wealth that a man will come out with his charity and there will be no one to accept it. And, (another sign is that the Last Hour will not arrive) until the land of the Arabs returns to (its original state of) blooming fields (among flowing) rivers.”
The sign of such abundance of wealth, that there will be no takers of charity, will probably occur after the second arrival of Jesus. As for the reverting of the Arab lands to that of the land of meadows and rivers, we do not know when it will happen. That both will be artificially created is a probability.
And the wordings ‘until it returns to the state’ are significant. It means once the Arabian Peninsula had lots of water and vegetation on its soil. The discovery of large amounts of oil in our times is also indicative of the fact that once there were very thick forests in these deserts, which due to some geological phenomenon sank under the sands and in time got converted to shoal and then to oil due to internal heat. Thus, in the hadith there is a prediction.
(G) Ayesha (ra) says, “Coarse and unlettered Bedouin used to come to the Prophet (asws) and ask, ‘When will the Hour be?’ He would point out at the youngest of them and say, ‘If this boy lives, he will not reach his old age but your Hour would have arrived.’” (Bukhari, Muslim)
What the Prophet meant was that they would die before the youngest of them would attain to old age and their death would be “their” Hour, since a man is questioned about his faiths in his grave and he starts tasting the punishments or blessings that will be his ultimate lot in the Heaven or Hell.
Also, the Doomsday will not be a day when one would be able to repent and work good deeds. That is only possible in this life. So also, with death the opportunity to repent and work good deeds are lost. Hence, too, the Doomsday of a man is the day of his death.