Signs of the Last Day - Harun Yahya

Signs of the Last Day

The Signs of the Last Day in the Hadiths of the Prophet (saas)

Fourteen hundred years ago, the Prophet Muhammad (saas) related a number of secrets concerning the Doomsday, and of his thoughts about it, to his Muslim companions. These valuable words have been passed down from generation to generation to the present day in the form of books of hadiths and works of Islamic scholars. The hadiths used in the coming sections of this book contain such information given by the Prophet (saas) in this regard.

At this point, there may arise some doubt in the reader in regards to the truth and authenticity of these hadiths about the end. It is a recognized fact that, in the past, there had been a number of fabricated hadiths falsely attributed to the Prophet (saas), but the hadiths that form the subject of our inquiry will be easily recognized as issuing from the Prophet (saas). There is a method to distinguish those that are true from those that are false. As we know, hadiths about the Doomsday relate to events that are to take place in the future. For this reason, when a hadith comes true in the course of time, all doubt as to the source of the words is removed.

Several Islamic scholars who conducted research on the subject of the End Times and of the signs of the Last Day have used this criterion. An expert on the subject, Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, said that the fact that the hadiths concerning the End Times correspond to events observed in our day shows the truth of the hadiths.4

Some of the signs related in the hadiths were observable in some part of the world in any period during the 1400 year history of Islam, but that would not have proven that that period was the End Times. For a certain period to be called the End Times, all the signs of the Last Day must be observed to be occurrence in that same period. This is expressed in a hadith:

Signs following one another like the pieces of a necklace falling one after the other when its string is cut.(Tirmidhi)

When we examine the End Times in the light of the information related above, we come up with a surprising conclusion. The signs that the Prophet (saas) described in detail are occurring one after the other in every corner of the world, just in the way they were described in the age in which we live. It is so that the hadiths paint a perfect portrait of our time. This is indeed a miracle, and demands careful consideration. Every sign that occurs is to remind people once again that the Doomsday is very near, a day when they will give account of themselves in the presence of Allah, and therefore, that they should immediately apply the moral values of the Qur'an to their lives.

War and Anarchy

In a hadith, the Prophet (saas) described the End Times in this way:

Allah's Messenger (saas) said: "The Harj (will increase)." They asked, "What is the Harj?" He replied, "(It is) killing (murdering), (it is) murdering (killing)."(Bukhari)

The meaning of harj mentioned in the above hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (saas) is "utter confusion" and "disorder," which is not to be limited to one particular area, but will be widespread throughout the world.

Again, on this topic, the following words of the Prophet (saas) have come down to us:

The Hour will come when violence, bloodshed, and anarchy become common.(Al-Muttaqi Al-Hindi, Muntakhab Kanzul Ummaal)

The world will not come to an end until a day would come to the people on which there will be general massacre and bloodshed.(Muslim)

When we examine the above hadiths, we are led to an important conclusion. The Prophet (saas) described conflicts, chaos, murder, war to involve the whole earth, and outbreaks of terror, and revealed that these events are signs of the Last Day.

If we look at the last fourteen centuries, we see that wars were regional before the twentieth century. However, wars that affected everyone in the world, political systems, entire economies and social structures, have happened only comparatively recently, in the two world wars. In World War I, more than 20 million died; in World War II, the toll was more than 50 million. At the same time, World War II is acknowledged to have been the bloodiest, the greatest and the most destructive war in history.

Modern military technology, including nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, have increased the effects of war to an extent never before seen in history. Because of the weapons of mass destruction that have been developed, it is commonly accepted that the world will not enter into a third world war.

The conflicts that occurred after World War II—the Cold War, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the Gulf War—are among the most critical events of our time. Likewise, regional wars, conflicts and civil wars, have caused destruction in many parts of the world. In places such as Bosnia, Palestine, Chechnya, Afghanistan, Kashmir and many others, problems continue to afflict humanity.

Another instance of a type of "chaos" that concerns human beings as much as war is organized international terror. As authorities on the subject also agree, acts of terror have multiplied in the latter half of the twentieth century.5 Indeed, it is even possible to say that terror is a phenomenon particular to the twentieth century. Organizations devoted to racism, communism and similar ideologies, or with nationalistic aims, have engaged in acts of brutality with the help of the developing technology.

Within the world's recent history, acts of terror have, time and again, fomented chaos. Much blood has been shed and countless innocent people have been maimed or killed. But still, humanity has not learned its lesson from these tragic events.

In the hadiths, the Prophet (saas) described the wars and terror that now engulf the world, and related that these things are signs of the Last Day. Today, in every part of the world, conflicts, regional as well as civil wars are pervasive.

Many countries of the world struggle with acts of terror perpetrated by their own citizens. In places like Chechnya, mass graves (right) can be found, and elderly persons, children and babies are made to suffer. This terror and conflict concerns all of us and must be considered as among the signs of the Last Day. These events that have been predicted in the hadiths are an occasion for everyone to consider and from which to learn a lesson.

In many places in the world, terror continues to be the roots of acts of murderous anarchy.

There are a number of verses of the Qur'an relevant to this subject. In Surat ar-Rum, it is stated that confusion has come upon the earth because of what human beings have wrought:

Corruption has appeared in both land and sea because of what people's own hands have brought about so that they may taste something of what they have done so that hopefully they will turn back. (Surat ar-Rum: 41)

We must add that this verse is to remind us of a very important truth. The pain and misery that arises from the mistakes human beings make are a kind of opportunity to assist them in turning away from these errors.

In short, we are now living in that age of confusion and disorder in which yet another sign of the End Times is manifested. This sign is a stern warning that people should begin immediately to live their lives according to the moral teachings of the Qur'an.

The fact that the signs related in the hadiths of the Messenger of Allah (as) are coming true, and the fact that our world is full of scenes like these is a warning for humanity to return to the moral teaching of the Qur'an.

In the Qur'an, Allah reveals that human beings have brought evil upon themselves. The problems in the world today is a proof of this...

The condition in which people find themselves in the world today is an important opportunity for them to consider the chaos in which they live, and to learn a lesson from it and turn away from their error.


The Destruction of Great Cities:
Wars and Disasters

One of the pronouncements given to us by the Prophet (saas) about the End Times is the following:

Great cities will be ruined and it will be as if they had not existed the day before.(Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir al-Zaman)

In the hadiths, it is revealed that, in the End Times, big cities will be destroyed as if they had never existed. In the past century, many cities were destroyed in such a manner. Only two examples here suffice, Hiroshima after the atom bomb (above), and several cities in Chechnya. (right)

Experts maintain that the worst natural disaster the world has known was Hurricane Mitch in Central America in 1998.
The ruin of great cities spoken of in this hadith brings to mind the destruction that now arises from war and various natural disasters. Recently developed nuclear weapons, aircraft, bombs, missiles, and other modern weapons, have caused untold destruction. These terrible weapons have brought about a degree of destruction never before seen. Indeed, the great cities targeted are most affected by this destruction. The incomparable destruction of the Second World War is an example of this. With the use of the atom bomb in world's greatest war, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were completely destroyed. As a result of heavy bombing, European capitals and other important cities suffered a great amount of damage. The Encyclopedia Britannica describes the damage caused to European cities by World War II:

The resulting devastation had turned much of Europe into a moonscape: cities laid waste or consumed by fire storms, the countryside charred and blackened, roads pitted with shell holes or bomb craters, railways out of action, bridges destroyed or truncated, harbors filled with sunken, listing ships. "Berlin," said General Lucius D. Clay, the deputy military governor in the U.S. zone of postwar Germany, "was like a city of the dead."6

In short, the unprecedented destruction caused by the Second World War conforms entirely to that described in the hadith of the Prophet (saas).

Another cause of the destruction of major cities is natural disasters. It is a statistical fact that the age in which we live has seen an increase in both the number and the seriousness of natural disasters. In the last ten years, disasters caused by climactic changes are a novel phenomenon. A dangerous and unwanted by-product of industry is global warming. Industry is gradually disturbing the balance in the world's atmosphere, giving rise to climactic changes. The year of 1998 was the hottest on earth since records have been kept.7 According to the information of the American National Climate Data Center, the greatest number of weather-related disasters occurred in 19988 For example, Hurricane Mitch has been referred to by a number of observers as the world's worst natural disaster ever to strike Central America.9

In the last few years, hurricanes, storms, typhoons and other such disasters have had a destructive effect on the American continent as well as in several other places in the world. In addition, floods have caused mudslides, which have engulfed certain centers of population. Furthermore, earthquakes, volcanoes and tidal waves have also caused great devastation. Therefore, all this destruction brought on upon the great cities by these calamities is an important sign in each case.

In the last century, a great number of disasters have occurred. In numerous countries, destruction has taken place as a result of which millions have lost their lives. These events are a striking parallel to that mentioned in the hadiths as signs of the End Times. People should now take lessons from these occurrences and adopt the moral teachings of the Qur'an.

The twentieth century is most frequently characterized as the century of disasters. Many deaths were caused by natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes and floods; while many others were caused by civil war, conflicts and by great accidents on the sea and in the air. And this situation has remained unchanged in the first years of the twentyfirst century. The destruction of cities and the annihilation of its peoples appears in the hadiths as signs of the Last Day.


11 persons of the same family died in a fire. In a fire in California, at least 2320 hectares of land was destroyed and thousands of people left their homes.

The coldest weather ever seen grasped Denmark, northern Germany, Norway and Sweden, many traffic accidents occurred, public transportation came to a halt.

9 people died in a cafeteria fire.

28 people froze to death.

Ukrainian ship sank in the Black Sea, 20 people died.

150 people froze to death.

A clash between leftists and rightists, and conflicts caused 116 deaths.

A train collided with a van on the tracks. 11 people died. ETA's terrorism continues.

6 people die in a fire.

4 people die in a plane crash.

16 people die in a bus accident.

56 people die in sea accidents, 21 die in two plane accidents and 37 are killed in a methane explosion.

23 persons died over New Year's.

59 die in five assaults, and 8 die in skirmishes.

4 people died while celebrating the New Year, more than 800 were injured by fireworks.

The temperature falls to 52 degrees below zero, 4 people die.

Violent skirmishes between Israel and Palestine.

50 die in bloody skirmishes.

A Pakistani vessel sank, 35 people die.

In 10 days, more than 700 Afghans died of hypothermia.

10 die in a snow storm

2000 die in an earthquake.

A tanker run aground off the Galapagos Islands released hundreds of tons of oil into the sea. It was an environmental disaster that shocked the whole world.

Hundreds of people are injured in a fight that broke out in a square in Sao Paolo where 1 million people were celebrating the New Year.

22 persons die in a minibus accident.

24 persons were killed, most of them with firearms.

In a month and a half 33 people were murdered, or died as the result of traffic accidents, electrocution, and drowning.

50 dead in a train accident.

A ship sank claiming 16 lives.

70 die of cholera, 14 die after being struck by lightening.

24 passengers died in an airplane accident.

18 die in a snow storm.

30 villagers die in an attack by cattle thieves.

24 die in a bus accident, 15 in a train accident.

7 fall victim to religious clashes.

8000 people homeless after violent rain storms.

More than 30 thousand die in an earthquake that measured 7.9 on the Richter Scale, 125 die of hypothermia and 4 die in a helicopter accident.

31 persons die of hypothermia and 250 perish in traffic accidents.

No day passes without an earthquake.

108 people die in clashes.

Violent rain storms paralyze the economy.


Natural disasters, which have not been preventable despite advances in modern technology, have shown just how helpless humanity can be. Earthquakes, mudslides, volcano eruptions, floods, and especially the destruction of large cities, are all important signs.



4. Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Risale-i Nur Collection, the Rays, Fourteenth Ray
5. M. Encarta Encyclopedia 2000, "Terrorism"
6. Britannica Encyclopedia 2000, "The blast of World War II"
7. BBC News Online, "The first horseman: Environmental disaster", December 1999, http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/scie/tech/newsid_563000/563127.stm
8. National Climatic Data Center, "Billion Dollar U.S. Weather Disasters", October 2000, http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/ol/reports/billionz.html
9. Encarta Encyclopedia 2000, "Central America"