The Signs Before the Day of Judgement

The Hour in the Light of Ayat and Ahadith

Source: The Signs Before the Day of Judgement

Ibn Kathir

Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) said: “They ask thee about the Hour, ‘When will be its appointed time? Wherein art thou (concerned) with the declaration thereof? With thy Lord is the Limit fixed therefore. Thou art but a Warner for such as fear it. The Day they will see it, (it will be) as if they had tarried but a single evening, or (at most till) the following morn!” (Surah Al-Nazi’at: 42-46)

“They ask thee about the (final) Hour – when will be its appointed time? Say: ‘The knowledge thereof is with my Lord (alone): none but He can reveal as to when it will occur. Heavy were its burden through the heavens and the earth. Only, all of a sudden will it come to you.’ They ask thee as if thou wert eager in search thereof: say: ‘The knowledge thereof is with Allah (Alone), but most men know not.'” (Surah Al-A’raf:187)

There are many Ayat and Ahadith concerning this subject:

Allah said: “The Hour (of Judgment) is nigh, and the moon is cleft asunder.” (Surah Al-Qamar:1)

The Prophet (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam) said, whilst pointing with his index and middle fingers, “The time of my advent and the Hour are like these two fingers.” In another report he said, “The Hour almost came before me.”

This indicates how close we are, relatively speaking, to the Hour.

Allah said: “Closer and closer to mankind comes their Reckoning: yet they heed not and they turn away.” (Surah Al-Anbiya’:1)

“(Inevitable) cometh (to pass) the Command of Allah: seek, ye not then to hasten it.” (Surah An-Nahl: 1)

“Only those wish to hasten it who believe not in it: those who believe hold it in awe, and know that it is the Truth.” (Surah Al-Shura: 18)

In Sahih al-Bukhari, there is a Hadith which states that a Bedouin asked the Prophet about the Hour. He said, “It will surely come to pass. What have you prepared for it?” The man said, “O Messenger of Allah, I have not prepared much in the way of prayer and good works, but I love Allah and His Messenger.” The Prophet said, “You will be with those you love.” The Muslims had never rejoiced as much they did when they heard this Hadith.

Some Ahadith report that the Prophet (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam) was asked about the Hour. He looked towards a young boy and said, “If he lives, he will not grow very old before he sees your Last Hour coming to you.” By this he meant their death and entering the Hereafter, because everyone who dies enters the Hereafter; some people say that when a person has died, his judgment has begun. This Hadith with this meaning is “correct” (Sahih).

Some heretics comment on this Hadith and give it an incorrect meaning. The exact timing of the Great Hour (al-Sa’at al’Uzma) is something which Allah Alone knows and which He has not revealed to anyone, as is clear from the Hadith in which the Prophet (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam) said: “There are five things which nobody knows except Allah;” then he recited, “Verily the knowledge of the Hour is with Allah (Alone). It is He Who sends down rain, and He Who knows what is in the wombs. Nor does anyone know what it is that he will earn on the morrow: Nor does anyone know in what land he is to die. Verily with Allah is full knowledge and He is acquainted (with all things).” (Surah Laqman: 34)

When Gabriel (Jibreel) (alayhe salam) came to the Prophet in the guise of a Bedouin, he asked him about Islam, Iman (faith) and Ihsan (excellence of faith); and the Prophet (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam) answered his questions. But when he asked him about the Hour, he said, “The one questioned about it knows no better than the questioner.” Jibreel said, “Tell me about its signs.” Then the Prophet described them, as we shall see later when we quote this Hadith and others in full.

Hudhayfah said: “The Prophet stood up one day to speak to us, and told us everything that was going to happen until the Hour, and left nothing unsaid. Some of the listeners learnt it by heart, and some forgot it; these friends of mine learnt it. I do not remember it completely, but sometimes it springs to mind, just as one might remember and recognise the face of a man whom one had forgotten, when one sees him.” (Reported by Abu Dawud, Muslim.)

Imam Ahmad reported via Abu Nudrah that Abu Sa’id said: “One day the Prophet led us in praying the afternoon prayer (Salat al’Asr). Then he stood and addressed us until sunset. He mentioned everything that was to happen until the Day of Resurrection, and left nothing unsaid. Some of us remembered it, and some of us forgot it. One of the things he said was: ‘O people, this world is full of attractive temptations. Allah has appointed you as vicegerents (Khalifah) in this world, and He will see how you will act. So guard yourselves against the temptations of this world and of women’ Towards the end of this speech, he said, ‘The sun is about to set, and what remains of this world, compared to what has passed, is like what remains of this day compared to what has passed.’”

‘Ali ibn Zayed ibn Jad’an al-Timi narrated some Gharib and Munkar Ahadith – which could bring into question the validity of this Hadith. But there are some reports which are similar to this Hadith, and which were transmitted with different isnads. Part of this Hadith is in SMuslim, through Abu Nudrah on the authority of Abu Sa’id. This Hadith refers to something which is beyond any doubt: what remains of this world, compared to what has passed, is very little. In spite of that, no-one can know exactly how much time is left except Allah, and no-one can know exactly how much time has passed, except Allah.

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