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Part 3: Some Signs of Day of Resurrection

(25) Exact Timing: a Hidden Secret of Allah

The coming of the Day of Reckoning is a certainty, as Allah has said in the Qur'an:-

“This is because verily Allah, He is the reality, and because He gives life unto the dead, and because verily He has power over all things. And that the Hour (of resurrection) is to come, there is no doubt therein, and that Allah will raise up those in the grave” (Qur’an, 22:6-7)
But no one knows 'When'; and there is no exception in this statement. Allah has kept this knowledge to Himself, and even the angels or the Prophets were not given this knowledge. A few Ayats are given here to prove this fact:
“They ask thee about the Hour when will be its fixed time; say, 'The knowledge of it is only with my Lord; none shall manifest it at its time but He;heavy shall it be in the heavens and the earth; it will not come to you but of a sudden.' They ask thee as if thou wert solicitous about it. Say, its knowledge is only with Allah, but most people do not understand.'' (Qur’an, 7:187)
“O ye people, guard yourselves (against the wrath of) your Lord, and fear the day when a father shall not avail of his son, nor the child shall avail of father; verily, the promise of Allah is true, so let not the life of the world beguile you, nor let the deceiver beguile you concerning Allah. Verily Allah is He with whom is the knowledge of the Hour; and He sends down the rain, and knows He what is in the wombs; and knows no soul what he shall earn tomorrow (i.e., what will happen to him tomorrow); and knows no soul in what land he shall die. Verily, Allah is All-knowing, All-Aware.” (Qur’an, 34:33-34)
“The people ask thee about the Hour. Say, 'The knowledge of it is only with Allah'. And what will make thee know, perhaps the Hour may be near”. (Qur’an, 33:63)
It is clear from these and other such Ayats that the exact time of the Day of Judgement is known only to Allah. Still, Allah, in His Mercy, had informed the Holy Prophet of some Signs of its approach, and the Holy Prophet (S) in his turn told us about them. The purpose of this information was to keep us on the alert and to give us an added impetus to obey the commands of Allah in the face of hurdles and difficulties which are bound to multiply near the Day of Judgement.
These Signs may be divided into two categories:-
First: The signs which are connected with the general behaviour of the society - moral corruption, shamelessness, dishonesty, and in short, a complete lack of the sense of direction on the part of mankind. The appearance of these signs may serve as a warning to those who believe in Allah and His Prophet; they will realize that the 'Hour is near'! Still, their appearance does not imply that its approach is imminent.
Second: The Signs which are to appear just before Qiyamat one after another culminating in Qiyamat. Those Signs are not in the hands of society, and most of them are what is termed in modern language as 'the acts of God'.
One of these Signs is the Re-appearance of our 12th  Imam (A).
As the first group of the Signs is to appear before the Re-appearance of the Imam (A), many of the traditions of previous Imams (A,S) have described them among the Signs of the Re-appearance of the 12th Imam (A). And it fits with the forecast of the Holy Prophet (SAW.) that Imam Mahdi (A) will re-appear when the world would become full of injustice and tyranny (and he will fill it with justice and equity).
There are many traditions of the Holy Prophet (S) and Imams concerning the first category of the Signs. In the next chapter, is given a summary of one important tradition, together with short comments.

(26) Said The Holy Prophet

Abdullah bin Abbas (r.a.) said that after completing the Last Pilgrimage (in the 10th year of Hijrah), the Holy Prophet (S) stood before the door of the Kaaba, keeping the latch of the door in his hand, and said to his companions: “Should I not tell you of the Signs of the Day of Resurrection? Salman Farsi (r.a.) was nearest of all there and he replied: “Surely, O Messenger-of Allah.” The Holy Prophet said:
“Verily, amongst the Signs of the Hour is that people will neglect the prayer (i.e., will not pray at all, or will pray without fulfilling its conditions, or will not pray in the preferred time), and will follow their own views (and desires will supersede the commands of Allah, they will follow only those rules which will appeal to them, and will leave other rules), and will incline towards their own preferences, and will respect the wealthy people (forgetting the Islamic criterion of honour, i.e., piety), and will sell the religion for worldly benefits (for example, the greed of worldly riches will instigate them to go to such places where, they very well know, it would be difficult to observe their religious commands); at that time the heart and soul of the believer will melt (from grief) as salt melts in water, because he will see the unlawful things (and actions) and will not be able to change them.”
Salman (r.a.) said: “And is this to happen, O Messenger of Allah?”
The Holy Prophet said: “Yes, by (Allah) in whose hand is my soul. “O Salman, at that time the rulers will be tyrants, the ministers transgressors and the trustees embezzlers.”
Salman (r.a.) said: “And is this to happen, O Messenger of Allah?”
The Holy Prophet (S) Said: “Yes, by (Allah) in whose hand is my soul.
“O Salman, verily at that time the evil will become virtue, and the virtue will become evil; the embezzlers will be trusted, and the trustworthy people will be thought untrustworthy; and the liars will be vouchsafed, and the truthful one will be considered liars.”
Salman (r.a.) said: “And is this to happen, O Messenger of Allah?
The Holy Prophet (S) said:'Yes, by (Allah) in whose hand is my soul.
“O Salman, at that time, women will be rulers and the concubines will be consulted; (It may mean the government of the women and /or the domination of women over their husbands - so much so that the husbands will not, or cannot, ask them to remain within the limits of the Sheriat, leaving them free to go wherever they want in whatever clothes they like) and the children will sit upon 'Minber' (Pulpit) (It may mean that children will sit upon pulpit of the Prophet even though they cannot appreciate the sanctity of the 'Minber'. Or it may mean that such people will ascend the pulpit who will not deserve such honour. The 'Minber' was created for delivering the commands of Allah to His servants. Its only purpose was to enjoin to do good and to forbid from evil', and later on the narration of the tragedy of Karbala was included in it, because the 'Fadhilat' (Superiority) and sufferings of Ahlul-Bait (A) are important parts of religion. If someone wants to exhort others to do good, he must sincerely follow the Sheriat himself, and if he wants to forbid others from doing evil, he, first of all, must abstain from the sins himself. Unfortunately, nowadays anyone who can recite a few poems of Iqbal or Rumi, and who is unrestrained enough to invent 'Fadhail' and 'Masaib' of Ahlul-Bait on the spur of the moment, is given the titles 'Allamah', 'Maulana' and 'Zakir' and is offered heavy fee to demonstrate his oratorical power, even if he shaves his beard, even if he knows nothing about Qur'an and Hadith, even if he expresses his own opinions against the sayings of the Holy Prophet and Imams (peace be on them all), even if he uses the pulpit to mislead the masses); and the lie will be considered as cleverness; and Zakat will be (disliked) as fines; and the booty of war will be like personal property (or in present days' context, public property will be squandered as personal property); and man will be tyrant to his parents and generous to his friend; and at that time comets will appear.”
Salman (R. A) said: “And is this to happen, O Messenger of Allah?”
The Holy Prophet (S) said: “Yes, by (Allah) in whose hand is my soul”.
“O Salman , at that time the woman will become a partner of her husband in trade (It means, more probably, that she will help her husband in the shop, acting as sales-girl, accountant and what not); and the rain will be very hot; (Its meaning is not clear yet. Does it mean radio-active rain?) and virtuous people will remain sorrowful; and the poor person will be dishonoured; at that time, the markets will come nearer. (It has already happened, thanks to the fantastic developments in means of communications, like teleprinters, radios, satellites. A man sitting in New York buys and sells in Tokyo.) Then this will say. 'I did not sell anything' and that will say, 'I did not get any profit'. Thus, you will see none who is not complaining against Allah.
Salman (R. A.) said: “And is this to happen, O Messenger of Allah?”
The Holy Prophet (S) said: “Yes; by (Allah) in whose hand is my soul.
“O Salman, and then it will happen that their rulers will be such people that if they talked, they would kill them, and if they remained silent, they would confiscate their wealth, would put their honour under their feet and would shed their blood - and the people's hearts will fill with fear; then you will not find anyone but that he would be afraid, fearful, awed and in terror.”
Salman (R. A.) said: “And is this to happen, O Messenger of Allah?” The Holy Prophet (S) said: “Yes, by (Allah) in whose hand is my soul.
“O Salman, verily at that time something will be brought from the East, and something from the West, and my Ummat (Muslims) will be dyed in them. (It means that un-Islamic behaviour and character will be imported from East and West and Muslims will imitate those things and will be dyed in un- Islamic colour). Then woe be unto the weaker people of my Ummat from them; and woe be unto those (un-Islamic agents) from Allah. They will not have mercy upon little ones, and will not respect old ones; and will not pardon anyone who committed a mistake. Their bodies will be of human beings, and their hearts will be of Satans.”
Salman (r.a.) said: “And is this to happen, O Messenger of Allah?”
The Holy Prophet (S) said: “Yes, by (Allah) in whose hand is my soul.
“O Salman, and at that time males will satisfy their lust with males; and females will satisfy their lust with females; and minor boys will be mounted upon like women; and the males will liken themselves to females (i.e, will look like females); and females will look like males (The clean-shaved faces and long hair on one side, and pants and bell-bottoms on the other side are proof of the fulfilment of this forecast); and females will ride the saddles (i.e, horses, cycles, scooters and motor-cycles). So there will be Curse of Allah upon those women of my Ummat.”
Salman (r.a.) said: “And is this to happen, O Messenger of Allah?”
The Holy Prophet (S) said: “Yes, by (Allah) in whose hand is my soul.
“O Salman, verily, at that time mosques will be decorated (by gold etc.) as are synagogues and cathedrals; and the (copies of the) Qur'an will be beautified (with designs and golden colours etc.); and the minarets (of the mosques) will be high, and the lines of the people standing in prayers will increase but their hearts will be hating each other and their talks will be different from each other (i.e., though the external show of religion will be on the increase, the spirit of religion will disappear. Even when they will pray together, the Islamic brotherhood and unity will be absent. They will hate each other; they will not speak with one voice.)
Salman (r.a.) said: “And is this happen, O Messenger of Allah?”
The Holy Prophet (S) said: “Yes, by (Allah) in whose hand is my soul.
“O Salman, at that time, males will use golden ornaments (In many marriages, bridegroom wears golden ring. I wonder why it is thought necessary to start the married life by defying the command of Allah. Will such wilful affront to religion bring the blessings of Allah and 14 Masumeen (A) upon the newly-weds?); and they (the males) will wear silk and (people) will use cheetah-skins.”
Salman (R. A.) said: “And is this to happen, O Messenger of Allah?”
The Holy Prophet (S) said: “Yes, by (Allah) in whose hand is my soul.
“O Salman, and at that time 'interest' will appear (everywhere), and people will deal with (the help of) backbiting and bribe; and the Religion will be suppressed, and the world (worldly affairs) will be raised (in importance).”
Salman (r.a.) said: “And is this to happen, O Messenger of Allah?
The Holy Prophet (S) said: “Yes, by (Allah) in whose hand is my soul.
“O Salman, at that time, divorce will increase. And the 'Huduef (punishments of various crimes and sins prescribed in Islam) of Allah will not be established (i.e., the penal code given by Allah will not be followed, as is the case nowadays.) But it will not do any harm to Allah (It will harm them only; they will suffer.)
Salman (r.a.) said: “And is this to happen, O Messenger of Allah?
The Holy Prophet (S. AW.) said: “Yes, by (Allah) in whose hand is my soul.
“O Salman, and at that time will appear female singers and musical instruments ('will appear' means will be openly used'), and will rule upon them most evil of my Ummat (worst people will rule upon the Muslims).”
Salman (R. A) said: “And is this to happen, O Messenger of Allah?
The Holy Prophet said: “Yes, by (Allah) in whose hand is my soul.
“O Salman, and at that time the rich of my Ummat will go to pilgrimage for recreation, and the middle class for trade (What about foreign exchange, gold, watches and radios?), and the poor to show off. Thus, at that time, there will be people who will learn the Qur'an for other than Allah (i.e., for earning worldly benefits) and will treat the Qur'an as musical instrument (as is happening today in 'Islamic' countries where the Qur'an is recited on the radios, not to make people follow the religious commands, but just to entertain the listeners).
“And there will be people who will study religion for other than Allah (i.e., for earning prestige or wealth, as is happening today when the main purpose of religious studies in many circles is to become a good orator, so that higher and higher fees may be demanded from the audience) and the number of illegitimate children will increase; and people will sing the Qur'an, and will fall upon one another in greed of the worldly (riches).”
Salman (r.a.) said: “And is this to happen, O Messenger of Allah?
The Holy Prophet (S) said: “Yes, by (Allah) in whose hand is my soul.
“O Salman, this will happen when honours will be defiled, and sins will be committed, and the evil people will have authority upon good people, and lie will be prevalent, and disputes will appear (talks will be full of obstinacy), and poverty will be wide-spread and people will be proud of their clothes (fine clothes will be the criterion of greatness), and there will be rains at wrong times; and they will like chess and gambling apparatus and musical instruments; and will dislike enjoining the good and forbidding the evil; so much so that the (true) believer will,
at that time, have less respect than a slave-girl; and the reciters (of the Qur'an) and those who spend their time in worshipping God, will blame each other (mudslinging amongst apparently religious people is not an uncommon sight nowadays.) Those are the people who will be called unclean and filthy in the kingdom of heavens.”
Salman (r.a.) said: “And is this to happen, O Messenger of Allah?
The Holy Prophet (S) said: “Yes, by (Allah) in whose hand is my soul.
“O Salman, at that time the rich will not be afraid (of anything) except the poor so much so that a beggar will continue begging between two Fridays and will not find anyone putting anything in his hands.
Salman (r.a.) said: “And is this to happen, O Messenger of Allah?
The Holy Prophet (S) said: “Yes, by (Allah) in whose hand is my soul.
“O Salman (r.a.), at that time will talk 'Ruwaibidhah'”
Salman asked: “And what is 'Ruwaibidhah'? O Messenger of Allah, my father and mother be sacrificed for you!”
The Holy Prophet (S) said: “Such persons will talk about public affairs who had not talked in such matters before. Then in a short time chaos will appear upon earth, and every nation will think that chaos was only in their land (but it will cover the whole world).
“They will remain in that condition so long as Allah would wish them to remain; then the earth will throw out the pieces of its heart - gold, silver and other minerals - (Then the Holy Prophet (S A W.) pointed towards the pillars, and said) like these (in size), but on that day neither gold nor silver will be of any benefit to any one. And this is the meaning of the words of Allah 'So surely did come its (i.e., Qiyamat's)' signs.” 1
This is the most comprehensive of all such traditions. In other traditions may be found one or two items which are not mentioned in this one; but the main theme is the same. In short, 'Kufr'and hypocrisy will be prevalent before the coming of the Day of Judgement.
Still, two sentences from two different traditions must be quoted here:-
In one of his sermons on this subject Ameerul-Mumeneen Ali bin Abi Talib (A) has said: “And child will be sorrow”2 What does this sentence mean? It may mean that children by their disobedience will become a source of sorrow and grief to their parents. Also, it may be an allusion to the practice of 'birth control. Birth of a child will be a sorry event!
In another Hadith, it is said that: “People will become Kafir because of poverty and need.”
In Bangaladesh, thousands of Muslims have already been converted to Christianity, because Christian missions helped them when they were facing disaster, soon after the surrender of Pakistani forces. No Muslim country or Organization came to their rescue; now the Christians are reaping the harvest of their generosity.
Also, atheism, in the shape of communism, is making inroads into the poor nations of the world.
The Holy Prophet and Imams have warned us of these dangers. Let us be on guard and save ourselves from these undesirable trends.

(27) Specific Signs

When the world will be submerged in chaos, then Imam Mahdi Shebuz-Zaman (A) will re-appear; Hazrat Isa bin Maryam (A) will come down to help him in spreading the true faith; and Imam Sahebuz-zaman (A) will rule upon the world.
Then some more specific signs will appear and Qiyamat will come.
It is not proposed to give here the full details of re-appearance of Imam Mahdi (A); it is being mentioned just to give the reader an idea of the sequence of events.
The following tradition of the Holy Prophet (S) describes the other 'Specific Signs' of Qiyamat:-
Hudhaifah bin Usaid al-Ghifari (RA) said that once the Holy Prophet (S) came to us and we were talking. He asked us what we were talking about. They said, “We were talking about Qiyamat.” The Holy, Prophet (SAW.) said:
“Verily it will not stand (it will not come) until you see ten signs before it.”
Then he described (1) The smoke; (2) and Dajjal; (3) and Dabbatul-Ardh; (4) and Rising of the sun from its setting place; (5) and coming down of Isa, son of Maryam;(6) and Gog and Magog; (7) and three land-slides, one in the East; (8) and another in the West; (9) and one in Arabian peninsula; (10) and the last of these Signs will be a Fire which will appear from Yemen and will turn the people towards their Mahshar (the gathering place in the Qiyamat).”3
A short description of all these will be given in the following chapters.

(28) Re-appearance of Imam Mahdi (A)

Two extracts from two Sunni scholars are given here:-
Shaykh 'Abdul-Wahhab Sharani writes in Al-Yawaqit wa 'l-jawafur:-
“Chapter sixty- fifth: To show that all the conditions of Qiyamat (foretold by the Holy Prophet SAW.) are true and all of them must appear before coming of the Qiyamat.
“And those signs are like appearance of Mahdi, then of Dajjal, then coming down of Isa, appearance of Dabbah, and rising of the sun from its setting place, and the Qur'an being taken up and opening of the barrier of Gog and Magog. Even if there were only one day remaining from the (life of the) world, all of these Signs would appear surely … At that time the appearance of Mahdi should be expected; and he is from children of Imam Hasan al-'Askari; his birth (peace be on him) was on the eve of 15th Shaaban in the year 255; and he is alive till he meets Isa son of Maryam (peace be on him). Thus his (Imam Mahdi's) age at this time of writing (which is the 958 of Hijrah) is 706 years.”4
And Shaykh Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi Al-Undulusi writes in Al-Futu-utul-Makkiyah (Chapter 366):
“Know that Mahdi (Allah be pleased with him ) must appear. But he will not appear till the world becomes full of tyranny and injustice, then he will fill it with justice and equity; and if there were not more than one day remaining from the (life of the) world, Allah would make that day long enough to enable this Khalifa to rule. And he (Imam Mahdi) is from the Progeny of the Messenger of Allah (Blessings and peace from Allah upon him), from the children of Fatimah (Allah be pleased with her); his forefather is Husain, son of'Ali bin Abi Talib; his father is Hasan Al- 'Askari, son of Imam 'Ali An-Naqi, son of Imam Muhammad At-Taqi, son of Imam 'Ali ar-Ridha, son of Imam Musa Al-Kazim, son of Imam Ja'far As-Sadiq, son of Imam Muhammad Al-Baqir, son of Imam Zainul-Abedin 'Ali, son of Imam Husain, son of Imam Ali bin Abi Talib. His name is the name of the Messenger of Allah (i.e., Muhammad). The Muslims will do his Bai-'at (will declare their allegiance to him) between Rukn and Maquam (i.e., between Rukh-e-Yamani and Maquam-e-Ibrahim in Ka'bah); he will be like the Messenger of Allah (Blessings and peace be from Allah upon him) in appearance, and below him in character (because nobody can be like the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be from Allah upon him) as Allah has said: “Verily thou art on great character)(Qur’an 68:4).

He will distribute wealth equally and will do justice to the public… More people will refrain from sins because of his fear rather than because of the Quf'an. (Because of his blessings) a man who would be ignorant, coward and miser in the evening will become learned, brave and generous in the morning. Help (from Allah) will precede him; he will follow the foot-steps of the Messenger of Allah, and he will commit no mistake, there will be an angel supporting him though he will not see him; he will raise up the weary, help the weak;… his actions will be according to his words, and his words according to his deeds … he will destroy injustice and the unjust; and will raise the religion and will put life back into Islam; Allah, through him, will strengthen Islam after its dishonour, and will make it alive after its death. He will revoke ' Jizyah' (Personal -tax, payable by the non- Muslims in an Islamic state) and will call towards Allah by sword…

He will manifest the religion in its true form, so that if the Messenger of Allah (Blessings and peace from Allah be upon him) were alive he would have confirmed it. Thus, in his time there will not remain but the (true) religion purified from the (people's) views…. Isa, son of Mariyam (AS) will come down to him, near the white minaret in the eastern part of Damascus …

“And Mahdi will die clean and pure…. And Mahdi (A) appeared (i.e., was born) in the 4th period (i.e., after Tabi-een)…. then he went into seclusion till comes the known (or appointed) time.”5

(29) The Smoke

The Holy Prophet (S) in his Hadith had first mentioned the 'Smoke'.
It has been said in the Qur'an:
“So wait the day when the sky shall give out a smoke, clearly visible, enveloping the people. This will be painful chastisement.
”(They will say) 'O Our Lord, remove from us the torment; verily (now) we are believers.' “How shall they be warned, when there already came to them a Messenger making (the truth) manifest; and yet they turned their backs unto him and said: '(He is) tutored (by other humans), a mad man.
“Verily, We shall remove the torment a little; (but) verily you shall return (unto evil).
”(Then shall come) the Day. We shall seize (them) with a great seizure; verily, We shall retribute.” (Qur’an, 44:10-16)
According to many traditions, these Ayats refer to the smoke which will appear near the Day of Judgement. It will penetrate into ears (and eyes), and people's heads will look like they have been roasted. But it will not trouble the believers very much; they will feel irritation just like in common cold. And the whole earth will be just like a house in which fire has been lighted and the house has no window or ventilation. This condition will remain for forty days.6
This Sign will be a warning; and as appears from the Ayat, people will be given a chance to come onto right path, and mend their ways. The words “We shall remove the torment a little” show that the Smoke will be removed, but the next words “Verily, you shall return (unto evil)” show that after its removal, not many people will heed to the voice of reason. Perhaps they will invent some physical or geographical reason for that calamity, and will forget their pledges to Allah that “Verily, (now) we are believers.”
It is not difficult to accept all the aspects mentioned above:
Fog and smog blanket whole regions even today. Allah may create a smoke which will cover the whole earth.
He may give the believers immunity from the harsh effects of that smoke. Even today, not all people are affected when an epidemic attacks a region.
And there are countless examples of unbelievers repenting when a chastisement came, and forgetting all their pleas and prayers as soon as the trouble was removed.

(30) The Dajjal

“Dajjal” means “The Deceiver”. It appears from various traditions that some one will falsely claim that he is the Messiah who is awaited by the Jews. Seventy thousand Jews from Isfihan alone will follow him. He will be one-eyed (one of his eyes will be blind; not that he will have only one eye in the middle of the fore-head!). Gradually, his followers will increase, and so will his claim. Finally, he will claim to be god. He will have food and water; and many people will accept his claims just to get some food and water.
It is this frightening aspect of this episode which had our Beloved Prophet (S) worried, lest his Ummat be tempted to go astray at that time. Our Holy Prophet (S) has warned us repeatedly to be on guard against the 'Fitna' of Dajjal.
There is a Hadith in 'Sahih -e-Muslim' from 'Imran bin Husain'; that the Messenger of Allah (S) said: “There is not, between the creation of Adam upto the appearance of Qiyamat, any matter more difficult than that of Dajjal.”7 

(31) Hadhrat Isa Bin Maryam (A)

According to the accepted traditions, at that time, Nabii Isa (A) will come down, Dajjal will be killed, and his army annihilated. Also Hadhrat Isa (A) will break the Cross and destroy the pig.
The significance of these three items will be explained later. Before that, a few traditions are quoted here to give the full picture.
The Holy Prophet said: “I swear by Allah, in whose hand is my soul, surely will come down to you the son of Maryam, as a just ruler; then he will break the cross and kill the swine, and will finish the war (or according to another narration, will revoke the Jizyah); and there will be so much wealth that nobody will accept any charity; and for the people, one Sajdah of Allah will be better than the whole world and its contents.” 8
In another tradition (narrated by Nuwwas bin Samaan) the mischief of Dajjal is described by the Holy Prophet (S); then the Hadith continues as follows:—
“At that time (when Dajjal will be doing all this), Allah will send Masih, son of Maryam and he will come down on the eastern side of Damascus, near the white minaret, wearing two robes of yellow colour, keeping his hand on the arms of two angels; when he will bow down his head, it will seem as if drops are coming down like pearls. Whenever his breath reaches an unbeliever (and it will reach to the furthest limit of his eye -sight) that un -believer will die at once. Then the son of Maryam will chase Dajjal and will catch him at the gate of Ludd 9 (present days' 'Lod' near Tel Aviv. There is an Israeli Air Force base there nowadays.)…..”
Another Hadith:
Abu Amamah Bahili narrates (in a long Hadith about Dajjal):
“While their (i.e., Muslims') Imam (i.e., Imam Mahdi A) would have come forward to lead the morning prayer, Isa, son of Maryam, will come down among them and the Imam will retreat and welcome Isa forward; but Isa will put his hands between his shoulders, and will say: No, you should lead the prayer because it has been established for you. So he will lead the prayer. After finishing the prayer, Hadhrat Isa (A) will say, 'Open the door'. The door will be opened. On the outside, Dajjal with seventy thousand well-armed Jews will be present to fight. When Hadhrat Isa (A) will look at him, he will start melting as salt melts in water; and he (Dajjal) will flee. Hadhrat Isa (A) will say: “I have for thee an attack which thou canst escape.” Then he will catch him at the eastern gate of Ludd (i.e., Lod). Allah will defeat the Jews; the face of earth will be full of Muslims, as a water-pot is filled with water. The whole world will recite the Kalimah, and none will be worshipped but Allah.”10
From these and other traditions, it appears that Dajjal will be from the Jews, and he will present himself as the awaited Messiah of the Jews. It is necessary to mention that after the death of Hadhrat Sulayman, Bani Israel's history passes from one fiasco to another. At last, after the captivity in Babylon and Syria, they were dispersed everywhere, and their prophets gave them good tidings that a Messiah was to come from God who was to rescue them from disgrace and dishonour. So they awaited a Messiah who, according to their thinking, was to be a king. Then Hadrat Isa (S.A.) came but against their expectations he was not a king. So they did not accept him as the awaited Messiah; instead, they tried to kill him.

Thenceforth, all the Jews in the world are awaiting the Messiah, hoping that he would be a martial and political leader who would establish a Jewish kingdom from the Nile to the Euphrates, and will gather the Jews in the land which they believe is theirs by inheritance.

It does not require great intelligence to realize that the stage is being set for the appearance of Dajjal in Middle East, claiming to be the promised Messiah of the Jews. If such a leader comes forward, then Allah will send the real Messiah to fight against him. It was Isa bin Maryam, who two thousand years ago, was rejected by the Jews, whom they, according to their thinking, had crucified and destroyed. The place of the fighting will be Syria where the imposter will have entered with an army 70,000 strong. When Hadhrat Isa (A) comes down, leading Muslims to fight against him, he will flee, and will be killed near the entrance of the present day Lod. The Jews will be killed, and Judaism will perish at the hands of the true Messiah.
So much about the relationship of Hadhrat Isa (A) with the Jews. Now we come to the present day's Christianity. In traditions, it has been said that Hadhrat Isa (A) will break the Cross and kill the swine. What is its significance?
As we know, the whole structure of Christianity is based upon the belief that God caused the death - a cursed death - for His only son who became a Kaffarh (Atonement) for the hereditory sin of mankind. Also, the peculiarity of this religion is that it puts the whole emphasis on faith, and has abrogated the Law, so much so that they started eating even pork, which was strictly forbidden in Torah.
When Hadhrat Isa (A) comes down and announces that he was neither a son of God, nor was he crucified on any cross, nor was he made an atonement for any one's sin, the whole structure of present day Christianity will crumble. Likewise, when he would explain that he did not allow his followers to abrogate the Law, eat pork or treat the Sheriat as cancelled, the second peculiarity of Christianity will come to an end.
Thus, the words “will break the Cross and will kill the swine” denote the fact that Christianity as a religion will be abolished.
Likewise, the words concerning both Imam Mahdi and Hadhrat Isa (peace on them all) that “he will revoke Jizyah” mean that the difference of religions will come to an end; every one will come within the fold of Islam. There will be no need for any war to defend Islam, as the whole world will have accepted it. So, none will be liable to pay Jizyah.
These facts, incidentally, show the reason why Allah has kept Hadhrat Isa (A) alive. Naturally, these tasks can be performed in the best possible way only by that person whose name has been used all through these centuries to misguide the people. And poetic justice demands that the imposter Messiah be killed by the hands of the true Messiah; and Judaism be annihilated at the hands of that prophet whom they had, in their own thinking, destroyed centuries ago.
Also, these traditions show that Hadhrat Isa (A) will come as a follower of Imam Mahdi (A) to help him in these tasks. He will not establish any separate community; but will live as one of the Muslims.

(32) Rising of Sun from  its Setting Place

Allah says in the Qur'an, referring to unbelievers:-“Do they wait but that come unto them the angels (of death; or those who would bring the doom of the unbelievers) or comes (the final order of) thy Lord, or come some of the signs of thy Lord? On the day when come some of the signs of thy Lord, its faith shall profit not a soul -Which believed not before, or earned not good through its faith. Say, wait you: verily we too are waiting” (Qu’ran, 6:158) 

In this Ayat, coming of the final order of Allah refers to the Day of Judgement; and coming of some of the signs of Allah means rising of the fron from its setting place, Dajjal and Dabbatul-Ardh.
A Hadith says:
“There are three signs: when they appear its faith shall profit not a soul which believed not before or derived not any good through its faith. Rising of the sun from its setting place, and Dabbatul-Ardh, and Dajjal 11
Another Hadith from the Sunni sources says:
“Qiyamat will not come till…..there appear imposters (Dajjals) nearly thirty in number, every one of them pretending to be a messenger of God …. and till the sun rises from its setting place. Thus, when people see it all of them will accept the true faith. But that will be the time when will not benefit any soul its faith which had not believed from before that time, or which had not derived any good in its belief.”
Shia traditions also confirm these interpretations. 
As about rising of the sun from its setting place, it may be taken literally, or be interpreted metaphorically. And I believe that both meanings may be correct, and that we may combine both.
The literal meaning is not so far-fetched as it appears at the first glance. The earth has been put in its orbit in such a way that its axis is very slowly changing its alignment with other constellations. The scientists call it “precession of the equinoxes” and it means:
“Effect of a slow change in the direction of the Earth's axis of rotation, due mainly to the attraction of the Sun and Moon on the equatorial bulge of the Earth. As a result, the celestial poles describe circles among stars; each circle is 47 degree in diameter, and one cycle takes 25,800 years. In ancient times the north pole star was Thuban in the constellation of Draco (the Dragon): at present the polar point lies near Polaris.”
What it means, in simple language, is that the North Pole of the Earth changes its position and alignment with other stars. What we call today in common language North Pole Star was not always so. Instead, another star in another constellation was in alignment with our north pole. Now our earth's axis of rotation has changed and has come in alignment with the present day North Pole Star, i.e., Polaris. And this slow change completes its circle in 25,800 years.
And that change takes it 47 degrees away. And it is happening when there is no Qiyamat, and no imminent destruction of world is in sight.
Now, the Creator (who created this system of the precession of the equinoxes in the first place) may easily increase it or change its direction, so that our North Pole becomes South Pole and vice-versa. If that happened, then the East would become West, and the sun will rise from where it previously set.

Of course, it will mean a catastrophe of the first magnitude. But the Ayats of the Qur'an clearly show that there WILL be a catastrophe on and concerning earth at Qiyamat.

I do not mean that the precession (as it is presently) can change the north into south and so on. What I mean is that the Creator does have the power to change the directions so diametrically, and so dramatically; just as He makes the poles change their alignments with other stars nowadays so imperceptibly.
Now coming to its metaphorical meaning: In one tradition of Ameerul-mumeneen (A) it is said:
“Verily, he behind whom Isa bin Maryam will pray, is the twelfth from the Progeny (of the Holy Prophet) ninth from the children of Husain bin Ali, and he is the Sun that will rise from its setting place (will reappear from his place of seclusion); he will appear near Rukn and Maquam, and will bear the scale of justice, so no one will do injustice to any one.”
As I have mentioned above, both these meanings may be correct. Therefore, the safest way is to believe that what we have been told is true; and then leave its actual interpretation in the hands of future.

(33) Dabbat’ul - Ardh

Dabbat'ul-Ardh means a “walker of the earth”. Allah says in the Qur'an:
“And when the word shall come to pass on them, We shall bring forth unto them a Walking one from the earth who shall speak unto them that people believed not in our signs.
And on the day when We will collect from every people a party from those who believed our signs; then will they be formed into groups.” (Qur’an, 27:82-83)
This gathering of a group from every people will happen in Raj'at (Return) and will precede Qiyamat (because in Qiyamat all people will be gathered, not just a group from them.) And at that time a “Walker of the Earth” will be brought forth to speak to the people.
In Sunni traditions also, Dabbat'ul-Ardh is reported to be “slapping the Satan” and “branding the people on their noses.”
According to the traditions of Ahlul-Bait, that branding will be to differentiate between believers and unbelievers. Hadhrat Ali bin Abi Tab'b (A. S) has said (in a lengthy Hadith, a part of which has been quoted in the previous chapter, concerning the metaphorical meaning of the rising of sun from west):-
(Describing the events concerning Dajjal, he said) “Allah will kill him in Syria…. by the hands of the man behind whom Isa son of Maryam will pray.” (In Shia traditions, it is said that Dajjal will be killed by Imam Mahdi, while in Sunni traditions some of which have been quoted earlier, it is said that he will be killed by Hadhrat Isa bin Maryam (AS), hi fact this is not a big difference. As Hadhrat Isa will be working under Imam Mahdi (A), his victory over Dajjal may easiry be ascribed to Imam Mahdi (A). Also it may be that both of them will join in killing Dajjal). Then Ameerul-Mumeneen said:
“Beware, verily, after that will be the great calamity.”
People asked Hadhrat Ali (A) what that great calamity would be. He said:
“Appearance of Dabbat'ul-Ardh, from near (the Hill) Safa (near Kaaba); with it will be the ring of Sulayman, and the walking stick (staff) of Musa. It will put the ring (seal) on the face of every believer, and it will be printed (branded) there, 'He is truly a believer'; and will put it on the face of every unbeliever, and it will write thereon “He is truly a non-believer.” Then the believer will say, “Woe unto thee, O non-believer!” and verily the non-believer will say: “Tuba for thee, O Believer, I would have liked to be like thee today, so that I also could succeed.”
“Then that Dabbat'ul-Ardh will raise its head, and all between east and west will see it by the permission of Allah, after the rising of the sun from its setting place. At that time 'Tauba' (Repentance) will be revoked. So from that time no repentance will be accepted, nor any (good) deed will be credited (i.e. from that time, the accounts of the deeds will be closed); and will not benefit any soul its faith which had not believed before or had not earned good (deeds) in its faith.”12
The only thing to be said is that, according to many traditions of Shia books, that “Walker of the earth” is Hadhrat Ali bin Abi Talib (A), who will return to this world after the reappearance of imam Mahdi (A). The Ayat quoted at the beginning of this chapter shows that even before Qiyamat some people will be resurrected by the command of Allah. It is called “Raj-at” in Shia terminology.

(34) Gog and Magog

Allah says in the Qur'an:
“Then he (i.e., Dhul-Quamain) followed another route. Until when he reached between two mountains he found on the hither side of the two (mountains) a people who could scarcely understand a word. Said they: O Dhul-Quanain! Verily Gog and Magog cause mischief in the land. Should we collect for thee the resources, so that thou shalt raise between us and them a barrier? He said: The power in which my Lord has established me is better (than your proposed resources). So you help me only with the strength (i.e, man-power); I will make between you and them a barrier. Bring you unto me blocks of iron; until when it filled the space between the mountain sides, said he: “Ply your bellows”; until he made it red-hot (like) fire, and said: “Bring unto me molten brass which I may pour over it.”
“So they (Gog and Magog) could not scale it nor could they make a hole in it.
“Said he: “This is a mercy from my Lord. But when the promise of my Lord (i.e., Resurrection) comes to pass, He will level it with the ground; and the promise of my Lord is true.” And We will let them that day to dash into one another. And the trumpet will be blown; then We will gather them all together.” (Qu’ran, 18:92-99)
“Until are let loose the Gog and Magog; and they shall hasten forth from every elavation.” (Qu’ran 21:96)
Muslim scholars have done research about Gog (Yajuj, in Arabic) and Magog (Majuj, in Arabic) Here their findings are given without going into detailed discussion.
Gog and Magog are two big tribes from the children of Japheth, son of Prophet Noah (A) . In Old Testament, Magog is described as the Chief of Mashech and Tubal. Now, Moscow is the river on which stands the city, Moscow, the capital of Russian Federtion; Tobol is the river in Russia upon which stands Tobolsk.
The region of South European and Asiatic Russia, between the Carpathians and the Don, was inhabited in ancient times by a savage nomadic people (Scythes) who overran West Asia from the 7th century B.C. till the beginning of the Christian Era, when their raids were abruptly ended by the construction of the barrier by Dhul-Quarnain.
Also, it is said that the word 'Mangol' is the corruption of the Chinese word 'Mongog' or 'Manchog'. If this finding is correct, then the place of Gog and Magog extends from the Moscow river to the Chinese Turkestan and Mangolia.
The description of the 'barrier' in the Qur'an shows that it must have been built in a pass to prevent those savege tribes from raiding their neighbours.
Maulana Abul -Kalam Azad, in one of his articles (quoted in Jannatul-Ma 'arif) has said that such a barrier is extant in Turkey.
Late Agha Pooya (in his foot-note of the translation of the Qur'an by Mir Ahmad Ali) quotes others as saying that it is between the mountains of Armenia and Azarbaijan.
There is a difference of opinion concerning the identity of Dhul-Qarnain. Abdullah Yusuf Ali thinks that this name refers to Alexander the Great; while others think that it refers to the Persian King, Darius. 13
It is immaterial for the purpose of thiis book to go deep into this controversy. But it should be kept in mind that, according to the Qur'an, Dhul-Quarnain was a man of God; therefore, no pagan or polytheist can be identified as Dhul-Qarnain.

Anyhow, according to the Qur'an, when the Day of Judgement would come near, these tribes will break the barrier, i.e., will expand beyond their previous boundaries. That expansion may be ideological; in which case it will mean that their ideology (Communism and atheism) will be exported beyond their national boundaries. Or it may be of colonial type, in which case it will refer to their domination of eastern Europe, Southern Asia and other places. Or it may mean both.
It is written in Tafseer Majma-ul-Bayan that after dominating the earth, they will aspire to conquer the skies. “So they will shoot their arrows towards heaven, and it will return to them with something like blood-stain on it. So they will say; 'We conquered the inhabitants of the earth and we dominated over the inhabitants of the heaven.”
Obviously, the 'arrows' refers to the rockets and space-ships. The words 'it will return to them with something like blood-stain upon it” mean that the space-crafts will reach their targets and men will return to the earth. 
According to the said Tafseer, “when they will become too proud because of the 'conquest of heaven', Allah will create a 'worm' which will enter their ears, and will kill them” 14 It means that finally they will be destroyed by some insignificant adversary, or by some epidemic caused by a germ.

(35) Other Signs

It is not known which of the specific signs will appear first. In describing these signs, I have followed, as much as possible, the sequence of the tradition given in Chapter 27. I have taken the liberty of describing Dajjal and coming down of Hadhrat Isa (A) one after another, as it is known mat Hadhrat Isa will come down after the appearance of Dajjal.
So far six of those ten signs have been explained. Now remain the three land-slides and the last sign, i.e., a fire which will appear from Yemen, and will turn the people towards Mahshar.
There is nothing to be explained about these signs. But one thing may be mentioned here. When Imam Mahdi (A) will re-appear, one Sufyani will appear in Syria; he will collect an army, and after conquering Iraq, will march towards Hejaz; reaching Madina, he will ransack it. And his army will proceed towards Mecca. When the army of the Sufyani will camp in a desert between Madina and Mecca, a voice will be heard: “O Earth, destroy this tyrant's group.” At once, the earth will open up, and the whole army will perish. Only three persons will escape to bring the news to Imam Mahdi (A) 15 The Sufyani himself will not be in that army, and will be killed afterwards near Damascus.
May be one of the land-slides will be the above-mentioned destruction of the army of the Sufyani. But we can not be sure of this interpretation.
Also, it is mentioned in another Hadith that a place in Syria, Al-Jabiyah by name, will sink into the earth after a fierce war.16 Is it the second depression (or land-slide)? We cannot say. A tantalizing explanation may be that there will be atomic war in Middle East, and Israel (or its mentor, U.S.A.) will use nuclear weapons to subjugate Syria; and that area (i.e., Al-Jabiyah) will be the target of atomic bombs. But we should not jump to this interpretation. Only time will show what is the actual meaning of these traditions.
Anyhow, after the re-appearance of Imam Mahdi (A) and the establishment of his rule on the whole earth, based on justice and mercy, a certain time will pass in complete peace and tranquillity. Satan also will be killed. Only Islam and followers of Islam will remain on earth.
Then Alldh will give death to Imam Mahdi (A), and at the same time Qur'an will be withdrawn (i.e., will be removed) from the earth. The Ahlul-Bait and the Qur'an will always be together; when the last Imam will die, the Qur'an also will be removed, so much so that the pages will become blank and those who had memorized the Qur'an will completely forget it
And that will be the beginning of the Day of Judgement.

  • 1. Biharu 'l-anwar, vol.6. pp. 305-309. The verse at the end is, Qur'an, 47:18
  • 2. Ibid, p.309  
  • 3. Ibid. pp 203 ff. Sahih Muslim, vol.8, p.173, Sunan Abi Dawud (Kitabu 'l-mlahim, Bab Imarat as- sa'ah)
  • 4. Shaykh 'Abdul Wahhab ash-Sha'rani, Al-Yawaqit wa 'l-Jawahir, Eqypt, 1307, vol.2, p.410; ch.65. The age given as “706 years” should be “703 years”
  • 5. Quoted in Al-Yawaqit wa ‘l-Jawahir, Vol.2, p.411
  • 6. Biharu 'l-anwar, vol.6. pp. 301-302.
  • 7. Sahih Muslim (Dhikr ad-Dajjal)
  • 8. Sahih al-Bukhari (Bab-Nuzul ‘Isa ibn Maryam)
  • 9. Sahih Muslim (Dhikr ad-Dajjal)
  • 10. Sunna Ibn Majah, (Kitabu ‘l-fiatn, Bab fitnah ad-Dajjal)
  • 11. Tafsir Al-'Ayyashi, Tehran, 1380; vol.1, pp.413-414, Mishkatu 'l-masabih, p.464
  • 12. Tafsir As-Safi, part I of vol.2; p.246-247
  • 13. Mir Ahmed Ali’s Translation of the Holy Qu’ran, Foot-notes nos. 1294, 1296 & 1298: Abdullah Yusuf Ali, Tr. Of The Holy Qur’an, Appendix 6, pp.738-742
  • 14. Tafsir Majma 'u 'l-bayan, Beirut, 1961. vol.16, p.209
  • 15. Biharu 'l-anwar, vol.52. pp. 237-238
  • 16. Ibid; also p.212

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