There is no doubt that there have been no other natural events in history
that have affected people to the extent that earthquakes have. They can
happen anywhere and at any moment. Throughout the centuries, they have
caused many deaths and great material loss. For this reason, they have
been greatly feared. Even the technology of the twentieth and twentyfirst
centuries has been able to prevent earthquake damage only to a certain
The hadiths of the Prophet (saas) mention that
most of the earthquakes will increase in the End Times. The frequent
occurrence of earthquakes over the last few years is among the foremost
concerns of people throughout the world.
The 1995 earthquake in Kobe serves as an example to those who like to
think that technology will make it possible to harness nature. It will
be remembered that this earthquake came unexpectedly upon Japan's largest
industrial and transportation center. In spite of the fact that it only
lasted 20 seconds, as Time magazine reported, it caused about 100 billion
dollars in damage.10
In the last few years, major earthquakes have occurred
repeatedly and are among the foremost fears of people around the world.
If we look at the data collected by the American National Earthquake Information
Center for 1999, we find that 20,832 earthquakes happened somewhere in
the world. As a result, an estimated 22,711 persons lost their lives.11
All such cases bring to mind what the Prophet (saas) said 1400 years
The Hour (Last Day) will not be established until ... earthquakes
will be very frequent. (Bukhari)
There are two great hadiths before the day of Judgment ... and then
years of earthquakes. (Narrated by Umm Salama (r.a.))
Earthquakes, as predicted in the hadiths, are
among the most important signs of the Last Day.
In the Qur'an, there are certain verses that point out the relation between
earthquakes and the End Times. The 99th Surah is called Surat az-Zalzala;
zalzala means great shaking, or earthquake. This Surah, composed of eight
verses, describes the violent shaking of the earth and states that, following
it, the Judgment Day will arrive, people will be raised from the dead,
will give account of themselves to Allah, and receive their just rewards,
even for the slightest thing that they have done:
When the earth is convulsed with its quaking
and the earth then disgorges its charges
and man asks, "What is wrong with it?",on that Day it will impart all
because your Lord has inspired it.
That Day people will emerge segregated to see the results of their actions.
Whoever does an atom's weight of good will see it.
Whoever does an atom's weight of evil will see it. (Surat az-Zalzala:
Disasters affect the whole world. We must learn
a lesson from them and turn to Allah.
It is well known that poverty is the lack of food, shelter, clothing,
health services, and the other basic needs, due to a low level of income.
Despite the possibilities afforded by advanced technology, poverty is
today one of the most serious problems the world faces. In Africa, Asia,
South America and Eastern Europe, many people live with hunger every day.
Imperialism and unrestrained capitalism has prevented the distribution
of income throughout the world and the advancement of under-developed
and developing countries. While there is a happy minority that has more
than it needs, there are a considerable number of people struggling with
the problems of poverty and destitution.
Despite the possibilities afforded by advances in technology,
poverty continues to be one of the major problems in the world
today. According to the report of the United Nations Food and
Agriculture Organization, for the year 2000, 826 million people
In the world today,
poverty has reached grave proportions. The last report by UNICEF stated
that one in four people of the world's population lives in "unimaginable
suffering and want."12 1.3 billion
of the world's people survive on less than $1 a day. 3 billion people
in the world today struggle to survive on $2 a day.13
Approximately 1.3 billion people lack safe water. 2.6 billion people are
without access to adequate sanitation.14
The basic reason for social injustice and its
consequent gap between the rich and the poor is that the moral teaching
of the Qur'an is not followed.
According to the report by the United Nations Food
and Agriculture Organization (FAO), for the year 2000, 826 million people
around the world do not get enough to eat. In other words, one in six
people are hungry.15
Over the last ten years, the injustice
of income distribution has increased more than one can imagine. United
Nations reports show that, in 1960, the 20% of the people of the world
who live in the richest countries had 30 times the income of the poorest
20; by 1995 it was 82 times.16 As an example of the
collapse of social justice, the wealth of the world's 225 richest individuals
is equal to the annual income of the poorest 47%.17
The current statistical data point to what the Prophet (saas) said about
the increase of poverty. In the hadiths, it is revealed that poverty and
hunger will be among the signs of the first period of the End Times.
The poor will grow in number. (Amal Al-Din Al-Qazwini, Mufid
Al-'ulum Wa-mubid Al-humum)
Gains will be shared out only among the rich, with no benefit to
Obviously, that period indicated by the Prophet (saas) describes conditions
in our day. If we look at past centuries, we see that the difficulties
and anxiety brought about by drought, war and other calamities were temporary
and limited to a particular region. However, today, the poverty and difficulty
of earning a living are permanent and endemic.
Certainly, our Lord has endless compassion and mercy; He does not wrong
people. But, because of the ungratefulness of humanity, and the evil it
has committed, poverty and anxiety have been institutionalized. Indeed,
this sorry state of affairs shows clearly that the world is stratified
on a basis of selfishness and greed rather than on religion, moral values
of you possessing affluence and ample wealth should not make oaths
that they will not give to their relatives and the very poor and
those who are refugees in the way of Allah. They should rather pardon
and overlook. Would you not love Allah to forgive you? Allah is
Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
(Surat an-Nur: 22)
The Collapse of Moral Values
In our day, there is a great danger that threatens the world's social fabric.
In the same way as a virus kills the human body, this danger brings about
subtle social collapse. This danger is the degradation of those moral values
that help to maintain a healthy society. Homosexuality, prostitution, pre-marital
and extra-marital sex, sexual misdemeanors, pornography, sexual harassment
and the increase of sex-related illnesses, are a number of important indications
of the collapse of moral values.
22 million dead in 20 years
These remain continual matters of public concern. A great number of people
are not aware of the danger that is increasing around them, and mistakenly
consider it as normal. But, statistics show that, with every passing day,
the extent of the danger is growing unperceived.
of sex-related illnesses is an important criterion to help indicate the
extent of the problems facing humanity. According to the records of the
World Health Organization (WHO), sex-related diseases forms one of the
largest segments of illnesses. These reports show that of an estimated
333 million new cases of sexually transmitted diseases occur in the world
every year.18 In addition, AIDS continues
to be the most serious problem. Statistics of WHO indicate that the total
number of AIDS deaths since the beginning of the epidemic have been 18.8
million persons.19 The report of the World Health Organization
for the year 2000 sums up the situation succinctly: "AIDS is unique
in its devastating impact on the social, economic and demographic underpinnings
Among the most frightening developments is the spread of homosexuality.
In some countries, homosexuals can be legally married, enjoy the social
benefits of marriage, and form associations and organizations. Around
the world their activities show their opposition to religious faith and
their antagonism to religious values. This is a characteristic of our
age; such things have never happened before since the time of the Prophet
The audacity of today's homosexuals makes one think of the end of the
people of Lut who were noted for their homosexuality. As it says in the
Qur'an, when they flamboyantly rejected Lut (as)'s invitation to the right
path, Allah destroyed the city and its people by a great disaster. As
a reminder, the remains of this perverse society still lie beneath the
water of Lut's Lake (the Dead Sea).
It is clear that the hadiths describing the End Times and its moral degeneration
are coming true today.
One hadith indicates that the absence of the shame of prostitution is
a sign of the Last Day.
There will be prevalence of open illegal sexual intercourse. (Bukhari)
The Prophet (saas) says that the spread of extra-marital sexual relationships
in society is a sign:
The Hour will come when adultery becomes widespread. (Al-Haythami,
The growing prevalence of homosexuality over
the past few years is a frightening development. This phenomenon
was mentioned in the hadiths of our Prophet (saas) fourteen centuries
The weakening of moral values and a sense of shame is described in these
The Last Hour will not be established until they (wicked people) commit
adultery on the roads (public ways). (Ibn Hibban and Bazzar)
It is interesting to note that, recently, scenes of prostitution captured
by hidden cameras have been broadcast on television channels. Prostitutes
have sexual intercourse with their customers in open view in the middle
of the street. This is another sign of the Last Day revealed in a hadith;
millions of people have witnessed this sign. These hadiths show that tolerating
homosexuality as a normal way of life is an important sign of the period
before the Last Day.
Every day newspaper pages contain reports that
point to the collapse of social morality, while many regard these
developments as merely normal.
Men will imitate women; and Women will imitate men. (Allama Jalaluddin
People will indulge in homosexuality and lesbianism. (Al-Muttaqi Al-Hindi,
Muntakhab Kanzul Ummaal)