Many Islamic concepts have been distorted to conform with ‘modernity’, while some were interpreted wrongly due to corruption of the pure Islamic thoughts by foreign concepts. Alien notions like the Apocalypse and Armageddon have led some Muslims to assume that the Islamic concept of the end of the world is that humanity is doomed. Hence, anything related to death and the final hour is a cause for fear and panic. On the contrary, the fact disagrees with that. Although, there are ahadith that predict some fretful events shall take place before the world ends, there are those that come with glad tidings.
Abu Hurayrah reported the Messenger of Allah (saw) said:
“The Hour shall not commence until two parties shall fight each other while having the same claim, and there shall be a huge massacre between them; and the Hour shall also not commence until around 30 deceitful liars appear, each claiming that he is the Messenger of Allah.” (Bukhari)
This hadith clearly prophesied some horrible events, yet another prophesied a rejoiceful one.
Abu Hurairah also reported that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said:
“The Hour shall not commence until the Son of Mary shall descend among you as a just ruler. He shall break the cross, kill the swine, and enforce the jizya. Wealth shall accumulate to the extent that no one hall accept it [as charity].”
Surely, this is a most desired and welcomed event all Muslims will want to witness. Yet, it is one of the signs of the hour. Therefore, it will be wrong to suggest that the final hour is exclusively about crises and chaos. Besides, in a single hadith the Rasool (saw) made mention of rejoiceful events and crises.
Awf b. Malik said: I approached the Messenger of Allah (saw) during the battle of Tabuk, and he was sitting in a leather tent. He then told me:
“Count six signs that shall indicate the coming of the Hour: my death, the conquest of Jerusalem, a plague that will afflict you just like a plague that afflicts a hoard of sheep, the abundance of wealth to an extent that even if a man were given 100 dinars, he still would not be satisfied, a fitnah that shall enter every Arab household, and then a truce between you and the Romans. They will betray you and attack you with 80 banners. Under each banner there will be twelve thousand soldiers.” (Bukhari)
The death of the Rasool (saw) struck Muslims hard and was a source of grief, however, the conquest of Jerusalem was a source of joy. This shows events will happen that Muslims will rejoice over, while others will cause grief. The question is: what then is the phenomenon behind the repeated reminder of the day of judgement?
The Rasool (saw) said:
Sahl b. Sa’d reported that the Messenger of Allah (saw) once put his index and middle finger together and then said: “The time of my advent and the Hour are like these 2 fingers.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
This hadith equates the start of Muhammad’s mission with the final hour, meaning it is as if they were both put at the same time. We all know that Muhammad’s birth and message is the best thing that ever happened on earth. Allah (swt) said:
“O Prophet, indeed We have sent you as a witness, a bearer of glad tidings and a warner; And as one who invites to Allah, by His permission, and an illuminating torch.” [Qur'an 33:45-46]
And if the coming of the Rasool is itself a sign of the hour, then clearly the signs are not meant to indicate that humanity is doomed. Rather, it is a way of constantly reminding the Ummah of the urgency of the message. Exhorting us to realize that we don’t have time to waste on cheap matters of the world. We must spend our time in the service of Allah (swt) carrying this torch the Rasool (saw) came with. Muhammad’s message from day one was to spread Allah’s word and make it dominant over all else. When He (saw) passed away, the Sahabah (rah) took after him, so did the ones after them. And if we were to salvage ourselves and hope for Allah’s mercy, we must do the same by engrossing ourselves into the dawah to re-establish Allah’s deen on earth. This was the message the warnings of the hereafter send – exhorting us to hold on to the teachings of Muhammad (saw) and we shall never go astray, no matter the trial.
In addition, the Dunya is but a prison for the mu’min and a paradise for the kafir (non-believer). The Muslim should not be worried and concerned about the world ending because even the Messenger (saw) said he didn’t know the exact time, but the signs of it. Furthermore, the Rasool (saw) and His Sahabah (rah), while wary of the final hour did not let it become an obstacle or an excuse to keep them away from fulfilling their duties of implementing the ahkam of Allah (swt) and spreading the message. Likewise, in our times, the thought of the final hour should not be abandoned, yet it should not be an excuse for dormancy and an obstacle to carry the dawah for change. Rather, it should be an infinite motivator that keeps us awake and energetic, fearing we will be meeting Allah without fulfilling the obligations He (swt) charged us with.
Of the greatest of obligations is the presence of a Khalifah that implements the ahkam of Allah (swt). Without the khalifah, half (or more) of the deen stays unimplemented. And Allah (swt) said in Surah al-Baqarah
“Oh you who believe, enter into the deen completely and do not follow the false (path) of Shaytan” (TMQ Baqarah)
Meaning if you do not enter the deen completely by implementing its ahkaam you will be falling into Shaytan’s trap. This is why Allah said in Baqarah, again
“Will you then believe in some parts of the book and disbelieve in other parts? Then what is the recompense of those that do that amongst you except for extreme hardship in this life and on the day of judgement they return to harsh punishment.”
Liberal Capitalism has created a dangerous mindset that is riveted on the material values of this world. Therefore, those whose mindsets are affected shiver in the mention of death and judgement day. They fear of leaving the luxuries of earth, forgetting the bounties of jannah are far more precious.
The signs of the hour are not solely focused on chaos, but on reminding us of the short time we have on earth to fulfill the obligations on our necks. Therefore, the signs should be taken as constant reminders of our duties to the Deen instead of doom, because the world is not the ultimate destination we seek.
And Allah knows best
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