The Major Signs of the Day of Judgment 5-7
The Major Signs of the Day of Judgment (part 5 of 7): The Return of Jesus
Description: The following series of articles mention the Major Signs that will occur shortly before the end of the world and the coming of the Day of Judgment. This part includes some of the many sayings of Prophet Muhammad about the return of Jesus.
Another one of the amazing signs shortly before the Day of Judgment is the return and descending of Jesus (peace and blessings of God be upon him) to this earth again. God says in the Quran:
“And because of their saying (in boast), ‘We killed Messiah Jesus, son of Mary, the Messenger of God,’ – but they did not kill him and nor did they crucify him, but the resemblance of Jesus was put over another man (and they killed that man), and those who differ therein are full of doubts. They have no (certain) knowledge, they follow nothing but conjecture. Surely, they did not kill him. But God raised him (Jesus) up (with his body and soul) unto Himself (and he is in the heavens). And God is Ever All-Powerful, All-Wise. And there is none of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), but must believe in him (Jesus) before his death. And on the Day of Resurrection, he (Jesus) will be a witness against them.” (Quran 4:157-159)
The words, “And there is none of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), but must believe in him (Jesus) before his death,” refer to Jesus’ worldly death after he returns to earth. At that time, the Jews and Christians will finally believe in him as a Messenger of God and a human being only, as that will be the only option possible at that time. In fact, some scholars state that part of the wisdom in Jesus’ return is the final and undeniable refutation of the Jews’ claim that they had crucified him and to bring an end to the false claim that he was the Son of God.
There are numerous hadeeth which speak about the coming of Jesus during the last days of this world. They give a description of many of the acts of Jesus after his return.
As is clear from the last hadeeth presented under the section concerning the Dajjaal, Jesus’ return will occur while the false messiah is upon the earth. The following is the continuation of the above hadeeth:
“He [the Dajjaal] would then call a person brimming with youth and strike him with the sword and cut him into two pieces and (make these pieces lie at a distance which is generally) between the archer and his target. He would then call (that young man) and he will come forward laughing with his face gleaming (with happiness) and it would be at this very time that God would send Christ, son of Mary, and he will descend at the white minaret in the eastern side of Damascus wearing two garments lightly dyed with saffron and placing his hands on the wings of two Angels. When he would lower his head, there would fall beads of perspiration from his head, and when he would raise it up, beads like pearls would scatter from it. Every unbeliever who would smell the odor of his being would die and his breath would reach as far as he would be able to see. He would then search for him (the Dajjaal) until he would catch hold of him at the gate of Ludd and would kill him.”
Al-Bukhari and Muslim record that the Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, stated:
“By Him in Whose hand is my life, the son of Mary (may peace be upon him) will soon descend among you as a just judge. He will break crosses, kill swine and abolish Jizyah and the wealth will pour forth to such an extent that no one will accept it.”
At the time of his appearance, he will bring an end to all of the false beliefs which crept into Christianity. Thus, he will break all of the crosses, as they signify a worship of him. Similarly, at his time, he will not accept the jizyahbecause there will be no excuse for any Jew or Christian not to believe in him and follow him. In another narration of the same hadeeth, there is a mention of the state of the followers of Jesus at that time. The Prophet said:
“He would leave the young she-camel and no one would endeavor to (collect Zakat on it). Spite, mutual hatred and jealousy against one another will certainly disappear and when he summons people to accept wealth, not even one would accept it.” In other hadeeth, the following is described, “Peace will prevail and people will use their swords as sickles. Every harmful beast will be made harmless; the sky will send down rain in abundance, and the earth will bring forth its blessings. A child will play with a fox and not come to any harm; a wolf will graze with sheep and a lion with cattle, without harming them.”
At the time of Jesus’ return, the Muslims will be lead by the Mahdi (A guided leader), as is mentioned in various hadeeth, such as the Prophet’s words:
“What will be your state when the son of Mary descends among you and there will be an Imam among you?” (Al-Bukhari, Muslim)
In another hadeeth in Saheeh Muslim, it reads:
“A section of my people will not cease fighting for the Truth and will prevail till the Day of Resurrection.” He then said, “Jesus son of Mary would then descend and their (Muslims’) commander would invite him to come and lead them in prayer, but he would say, ‘No, some among you are commanders over some (among you). This is the honor from God for this Nation.’”
This hadeeth is evidence that when Jesus returns, he will not return in the role of being a new messenger with a new law. Instead, he will return as a follower of the Prophet Muhammad and submitting to the laws of Islam. In fact, another hadeeth in Saheeh Muslim describes Jesus as performing the Islamic ritual of Hajj (pilgrimage).
A hadeeth in Saheeh Muslim further describes that Jesus will remain ruling among the people for seven years. The Prophet said:
“Then people would live for seven years that there would be no rancor between two persons. Then God would send cold wind from the side of Syria that none would survive upon the earth having a speck of good in him or faith in him but he would die, so much so that even if some amongst you were to enter the innermost part of the mountain, this wind would reach that place also and that would cause his death.” He further said, “Only the wicked people would survive and they would be as careless as birds with the characteristics of beasts. They would never appreciate the good nor condemn evil.”
As stated earlier, when one of these great signs appear, the others are soon to follow. It is in the context of Jesus’ return that the Prophet also spoke about Gog and Magog.
Jizyah is the “exemption tax” that non-Muslims pay to the Islamic state in lieu of military service.
These items are mentioned in various hadeeth recorded by Ahmad, ibn Hibbaan, Abu Dawood and others.
The Major Signs of the Day of Judgment (part 6 of 7): The Tribes of Gog and Magog
Description: This part of the series is about the vast Tribes of Gog and Magog that will appear shortly after the return of Jesus Christ to earth.
The Tribes of Gog and Magog are referred to in a couple of places in the Quran. In one place in the Quran, God makes it clear that these tribes existed during the time of Dhul-Qarnain. God says:
“Then he [Dhul-Qarnain] followed (another) way, until, when he reached between two mountains, he found, before them a people who scarcely understood a word. They said, ‘O Dhul-Qarnain! Verily! Gog and Magog are doing great mischief in the land. Shall we then pay you a tribute in order that you might erect a barrier between us and them?’ He said, ‘That which my Lord had established me is better (than your tribute). So help me with strength (of men), I will erect between you and them a barrier. Give me pieces (blocks) of iron,’ then, when he had filled up the gap between the two mountain-cliffs, he said, ‘Blow,’ till when he had made it (red as) fire, he said, ‘Bring me molten copper to pour over it.’ So they [Gog and Magog] were made powerless to scale it or dig through it. [Dhul-Qarnain] said, ‘This is a mercy from my Lord, but when the Promise of my Lord comes, He shall level it down to the ground. And the Promise of my Lord is ever true.’ And on that Day [i.e., the day Gog and Magog will come out], We shall leave them to surge like waves on one another, and the Trumpet will be blown, and We shall collect them all together.” (Quran 18:92-99)
Elsewhere in the Quran, God also speaks about them as a sign of the end of times. God says:
“Until, when Gog and Magog are let loose (from their barrier), and they swiftly swarm from every mound. And the true promise (Day of Resurrection) shall draw near (of fulfillment). Then (when mankind is resurrected from their graves), you shall see the eyes of the disbelievers fixedly stare in horror. (They will say), ‘Woe to us! We were indeed heedless of this; nay, but we were wrongdoers.’” (Quran 21:96-97)
The Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, gave the following description for the ruthlessness of these tribes when they are finally released upon the world:
“Gog and Magog would walk until they would reach the mountain of al-Khamar and it is a mountain of Bait-ul-Maqdis and they would say, ‘We have killed those who are upon the earth. Let us now kill those who are in the sky’ and they would throw their arrows towards the sky and the arrows would return to them besmeared with blood.”
Ahmad recorded the following hadeeth in his Musnad:
“Every day, Gog and Magog are trying to dig a way out through the barrier. When they begin to see sunlight through it, the one who is in charge of them says, ‘Go back; you can carry on digging tomorrow,’ and when they come back, the barrier is stronger than it was before. This will continue until their time comes and God wishes to send them forth. They will dig until they begin to see sunlight, then the one who is in charge of them will say, “Go back; you can carry on digging tomorrow, God willing.” In this case he will make an exception by saying, ‘God willing,’ thus relating the matter to the Will of God. They will return on the following day, and find the hole as they left it. They will carry on digging and come out against the people. They will drink all the water, and the people will entrench themselves in their fortresses. Gog and Magog will fire their arrows into the sky, and they will fall back to earth with something like blood on them. Gog and Magog will say, ‘We have defeated the people of earth, and overcome the people of heaven.’ Then God will send a kind of worm in the napes of their necks, and they will be killed by it. By Him (God) in Whose hand is the soul of Muhammad, the beasts of the earth will become fat.” (As-Suyuti)
In the lengthy hadeeth from which two portions have been quoted above, the Prophet further described the relationship between Jesus and the tribes of Gog and Magog. After Jesus will kill the false messiah, the Prophet continued speaking about what would occur:
“Then a people whom God had protected would come to Jesus, son of Mary, and he would wipe their faces and would inform them of their ranks in Paradise and it would be under such conditions that God would reveal to Jesus these words, ‘I have brought forth from amongst My servants such people against whom none would be able to fight; you take these people safely to the Mount of Toor, and then God would send Gog and Magog and they would swarm down from every slope. The first of them would pass the lake of Tiberius and drink out of it. And when the last of them would pass, he would say, ‘There was once water there.’ Jesus and his companions would then be besieged here (at Toor, and they would be so hard pressed) that the head of the ox would be dearer to them than one hundred dinars(old currency) and God’s Apostle, Jesus, and his companions would supplicate to God, Who would send to them insects (which would attack the necks of the Gog and Magog) and in the morning they would perish like one single person. God’s Apostle, Jesus, and his companions would then come down to the earth and they would not find in the earth as much space as a single span which is not filled with their putrefaction and stench. God’s Apostle, Jesus, and his companions would then again beseech God, Who would send birds whose necks would be like those of Bactrian camels and they would carry them and throw them where God would will. Then God would send rain which no house of clay or (the tent of) camels’ hairs would keep out and it would wash away the earth until it could appear to be a mirror. Then the earth would be told to bring forth its fruit and restore its blessing and, as a result thereof, there would grow (such a big) pomegranate that a group of persons would be able to eat that, and seek shelter under its skin, and a milch cow would give so much milk that a whole party would be able to drink it. And the milch camel would give such (a large quantity of) milk that the whole tribe would be able to drink out of that and the milch sheep would give so much milk that the whole family would be able to drink out of that. At that time God would send a pleasant wind which would soothe (people) even under their armpits, and would take the life of every Muslim and only the wicked would survive who would commit adultery like asses and the Last Hour would come upon them.”
In another important hadeeth from Saheeh Muslim, the Prophet spoke about the future coming of Gog and Magog and, at the same time, stated a very important lesson that all should reflect upon. This lesson has to do with the importance of not allowing evil to be prevalent in society. In this narration, the Prophet said,
“There is no god but God! There is a destruction in store for Arabia because of turmoil which is at hand, the barrier of Gog and Magog has opened so much.”
And Sufyan [the subnarrator] made a sign of ten with the help of his hand (in order to indicate the width of the gap) and I [Zainab, the Prophet’s wife] said,
“God’s Messenger, would we be perished in spite of the fact that there would be good people amongst us?” He replied, “Of course, but only when the evil predominates.”
(Incidentally, there is a great deal of speculation concerning who exactly these tribes are. However, due to space limitations, the discussion here is limited to what is known directly from the texts of the Quran and Sunnah. As such, these are the tribes of Gog and Magog and, with respect to identifying them, very little more can be said, although a couple of hadeeth do give further information concerning their physical characteristics.)
The Major Signs of the Day of Judgment (part 7 of 7): The Last of the Major Signs
Description: This final article of the series mentions the very last of the Major Signs that will occur before the Day of Judgment. These signs include three landslides, the appearance of a smoke, the rising of the sun from the West, the appearance of a beast from the earth and finally a fire that will drive all people to a given location…
The Three Landslides
As quoted earlier in a hadeeth (saying of Prophet Muhammad), among the major signs of the Day of Judgment are the three landslides that will occur. One will occur in the East, one in the West and one in the Arabian Peninsula. Not much further information has been given concerning these events—and therefore not much can be added. However, the well-known hadeeth exegeteibn Hajar does note that landslides are a well-known occurrence and have occurred often. Therefore, he says, it is likely that the nature of these three landslides which will occur shortly before the Day of Judgment will be of a much greater magnitude and severity, setting them apart from what occurs customarily in this world. And God alone knows best.
Among the major signs mentioned by the Prophet, may God praise him, is that of “the smoke.” God refers to this event in the Quran, saying:
“Then wait you for the Day when the sky will bring forth a visible smoke, covering the people, this will be a painful torment” (Quran 44:10-11)
Again, beyond what has been stated explicitly by the Prophet, very little comment can be made concerning this sign. However, there is a hadeeth in which the Prophet said:
“Verily, your Lord has warned you concerning three [matters]: the smoke that overtakes the believer like a cold and overtakes the disbeliever and makes him swollen until it comes out of his ears.”
The Rising of the Sun from the West
According to a large number of the Quranic commentators, based on the hadeeth of the Prophet, the italicized portion of the following verse is in reference to the phenomenon of the rising of the sun from the West just prior to the Day of Resurrection:
“Do they then wait for anything other than that the angels should come to them, or that your Lord should come, or that some Signs of your Lord should come! The day that some of the Signs of your Lord do come, no good will it do to a person to believe then, if he believed not before, nor earned good (by performing deeds of righteousness) through his Faith. Say [to the disbelievers], ‘Wait you! We (too) are waiting’” (Quran 6:158).
In an authentic narration, the Prophet recited this verse after mentioning the people see the rising of the sun from the West. Thus, al-Bukhari records, that the Prophet said:
“The hour will not be established till the sun rises from the West; and when it rises (from the West) and the people see it, they all will believe. And that is (the time) when no good will it do to a soul to believe then.” Then he recited the complete verse (6:158).
In numerous narrations, the Prophet has made it abundantly clear that the nature of this sign is such that no one would have any reason to doubt, question or refuse to believe after seeing it. When an individual experiences a sign of this nature, the reality virtually becomes exposed to him and, therefore, there is no longer any sense of a trial or test. In fact, at that time, the test is over and the individual is already seeing the results unfolding in front of his/her very eyes. That is why “conversion” to faith will have no meaning at that time and will not be acceptable by God.
However, before this occurs, the door to repentance to God and His mercy is always open—such is how great the mercy of God is but it is also just and based on wisdom. Thus, Muslim recorded that the Prophet said:
“He who seeks repentance (from the Lord) before the rising of the sun from the west (before the Day of Resurrection), God turns to him with Mercy.”
The rising of the sun from the West is one of three greatly definitive signs of this nature. Thus, the Prophet said:
“When three things appear faith will not benefit one who has not previously believed or has derived no good from his faith: the rising of the sun in its place of setting, the Dajjaal, and the beast of the earth.”
Muslim also recorded that the Prophet said:
“The first sign would be the appearance of the sun from the west, the appearance of the beast before the people in the forenoon and which of the two happens first, the second one would follow immediately after that.”
This leads directly into the next sign which is the appearance of the Beast of the Earth.
The Beast of the Earth
God says in the Quran,
“And when the Word (of torment) is fulfilled against them, We shall bring out from the earth a beast to them, which will speak to them because mankind believed not with certainty in Our Signs” (al-Naml 27:82).
This verse referrs to the beast of the earth who will appear shortly before the Day of Judgment.
When the Beast comes, it will distinguish the people and declare who is a believer and who is a disbeliever. Ahmad recorded that the Prophet said:
“The beast will appear and he will brand the people on their noses. The people will then go on living with this branding such that a person will buy a camel and when he is asked, ‘From whom did you buy it?’ he will reply, ‘From one of the branded people.’” (Al-Albani)
The Fire that Will Gather the People
This is the last of the great signs. After this starts the beginning of a new experience and creation. Muslim records a hadeeth in which the Prophet stated the ten major signs and it concludes with, “at the end of which fire would burn forth from the Yemen, and would drive people to the place of their assembly.” One can only imagine the intensity of this fire and the shear horror and fear that the individuals alive at that time will experience. After this, all that will be left is for the masses of humanity to be resurrected and to face the reckoning of their Lord.
No one, of course, can say why God has chosen to end this creation in the remarkable and amazing fashion that He has so chosen. This is truly an amazing and marvelous creation and perhaps it is fitting that it should be brought to an end via amazing and marvelous events. In any case, a Muslim knows with full certainty that this is what is going to occur, as the Quran and Prophet have described these events. These events will occur and the Hour will be established. With the Hour comes judgment and this is what every human should be thinking about and preparing for, especially as he/she is reading about these events that shall occur before that momentous occasion.
Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Baari, vol. 13, p. 84.
The classic example of this nature found in the Quran is that of the Pharaoh. Once it became clear that he was facing his death, he proclaimed his belief.
Recorded by Muslim.
“The first sign” here is understood to mean the first of the extraordinary signs and not of the signs in general, as obviously these will occur after the coming of the Dajjaal and the return of Jesus.