In Islam, the solitary certainty is death. Even the birth is not certain, neither is anything else. Although this concept is unanimously accepted to a great extent globally, the events of the afterlife have always been a subject of debate. Some believe in the Day of Judgement, while others do not. Many are incoherently cynical in believing in life after death. However, Islam teaches us that our life does not simply end in this world, rather, it begins in a new one. After the end of the world, all the souls that ever existed in this world will be judged by Allah, and in accordance with their deeds, be sent to heaven or hell to perpetual and permanent lives.
The end of the world is unquestionably inevitable. Everything on this earth, and outside of it, including the planets that revolve around the sun or the barycentre will one day cease to exist. The whole universe will be destroyed by the will of the One who created it in a matter of days. Allah says in the Quran: “The originator of the heavens and the earth. When Allah decrees a matter, Allah only says to it; ‘Be!’ – and it is.” (2:117, Al-Baqarah, Quran)
Before the end of the world, there are several signs and events that will take place or have previously taken place. These signs are alluded to in the Quran and the Hadith in order to educate the people so that their minds are broadened, their hearts are strengthened, and their faith in Allah surges.
There are many minor and major signs of the last hour. Although the first sign of the end of the world was the birth of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), it is not considered to be a major sign, as the major signs will be those that appear adjacent to the end. The following are 9 major signs of the Day of Judgement as recounted in the Quran and Hadith.
1. The appearance of the Mahdi
In a word of trouble and tragedy, depression and oppression, a great leader, known as Imam Mahdi, will emerge from within the Muslims. His name and his father’s name will be the same as that of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his father, respectively. He will be a descendant of Fatima (may Allah be pleased with her), the daughter of the Prophet (peace be upon him). He will realise his potential and strive for change in the world. During his reign, Muslims will be tremendously successful and be able to spread peace and knowledge through the world. The Mahdi and his people will rule justly and there will be no famine or poverty. No man will be superior to the other nor will one be inferior. It is safe to say that in this peaceful time, justice will profusely prevail.
Although the arrival of the Mahdi will be analogous to the light at the end of the tunnel, it will take much patience to endure the hardship of those times. Many armies, indisputably of evil intent, will stand against the Mahdi as they witness the success he will have along with his people. Envious of the peace he will establish, they will look to create mayhem and cause conspiracy to somehow remove him from power. However, the promise of the Lord, Allah, is ever true.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) gained knowledge revealed to him by the command of Allah, thus he could educate his people and explain the difference between right and wrong. He once said: “The world will not come to an end until a man from among my family, whose name agrees with mine, will rule over the Muslims.” (Tirmidhi) The Hadith in quotation confirms that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was referring to the arrival of the Mahdi.
2. Landslide in the East, West, and the Arabian Peninsula
Three significantly destructive landslides will take place and will cause great devastation. One will take place in the East, one in the West, and one in the Arabian Peninsula. These landslides will cause immense damage and will be a clear sign of the hour.
3. The Smoke
Another sign of the Day of Judgement will be layers of smoke spreading downwards from the sky. The smoke has been mentioned in Arabic in the Quran as ‘Al-Dukh’ or ‘Al-Dukhaan’. It has also been spoken of by the Prophet (peace be upon him) in a Hadith narrated by Masruq that states: “The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: ‘Then watch you for the day that the sky will bring forth a kind of smoke plainly visible… but truly you will return to disbelief!’” (Bukhari)
4. The Dajjal
It is most likely that Dajjal, also known as the Anti-Christ, will be the most challenging trial for the people. Although he will be of short stature, he will be strong, sturdy and will possess the powers to perform miracles. Although Dajjal is chained on an unknown island, he will be released by Allah’s will and upon his arrival, he will enter every city apart from Makkah and Madinah. This creature will cause mass destruction and chaos. Those who reject him will be struck by famine and a great deal of poverty. He will have the abilities of a superhuman and will claim to be the Prophet Esa (Jesus) (peace be upon him).
5. The Arrival of the Prophet Esa (Jesus)
Prophet Esa Ibn Maryam, known as Jesus Christ (peace be upon him), the son of Mary (peace be upon her) in English, is one of the prophets of Allah.
He will re-emerge near the end of times, credibly, after Dajjal. He will arrive in the east of Damascus, with his hands placed on the shoulders of two angels. Jaabir Bin Abdullah said: “I heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) say: ‘A group of my nation will continue to fight for the truth and prevail until the Day of Resurrection. Then, Esa Ibn Maryam (peace be upon him) will come down and their leader will ask Esa (peace be upon him) to lead them in prayer. However, Esa (peace be upon him) will decline and inform them that they are leaders of one another, as an honor to this nation.’”
After this, Esa (Jesus) (peace be upon him) will look to eliminate Dajjal. He will chase him, but Dajjal will continue his run. However, Esa (Jesus) (may Allah be pleased with him) will catch up to him and reprimand him by killing him for the evil he has condoned and the damage he has inflicted upon those innocents who rejected his diabolical practices.
6. Gog and Magog
Gog and Magog, ’Yajuj wa Majuj’ in Arabic, will be one of the most problematic trials for the people of the earth. They will break down the barriers built by Dhul-Qarnayn, the righteous king, to keep them at bay from the people of a neighbouring civilization who claimed to be attacked and plundered by this ruthless nation. They will spread very quickly, as they make their way from their current location, where the barrier is present, to Syria. Here, they will not only consume, but steal from the sea as well until there is no water left. They are going to be countless in number and will cause great harm to the people by way of violence. Esa (Jesus) (may Allah be pleased with him) will pray along with his companions from a mountain, and Allah will hear the prayer, causing Gog and Magog to die of insects eating at their necks.
7. The Beast of the Earth
One of the final signs of the hour will be the coming forth of the beast. This beast will rise from the earth to tell people that the hour is upon them and that their faith and belief are now overdue. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “When three things appear, faith will not benefit him who has not previously believed or has derived no good from his faith; the rising of the sun from its place of setting, the Dajjal and the beast of the earth.” (Muslim)
Although, no physical description of the beast has been mentioned in the Hadith, it has only been mentioned as ‘the beast’ and may best be described as ‘creature’.
8. The Rising of the Sun from the West
Amongst these signs is the rising of the sun from its place of setting. The last day will be distinguishable from the rest as the sun will rise from the place it sets. This will be one of the very last signs and after this has happened, no clemency will be granted, and no excuses will be accepted.
9. The Fire
In a Hadith narrated by Hudhaifa Bin Usaid, the Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) refers to the fire saying: “And a fire that comes out of a place within ‘Adan, driving the people, or gathering the people, camping where they camp, and resting where they rest.” (Tirmidhi)
Although there is not one Hadith that mentions all of these signs collectively, some of them have been mentioned in separate Hadiths, while others have been mentioned concurrently. They have been referred to as the signs of the last hour and can be seen as such. While there is no particular order revealed in which they would take place, they can be approximately organised in order by research and knowledge from the Quran and Hadith.
There are many trials and hardships of the world that the prophets of Allah (peace be upon them) confronted in their lives. May Allah give us the strength to face them with utmost courage and always remain prepared for the end of times.
Allah knows best.
Gog and Magog, mentioned as Yajuj and Majuj in the Holy Quran, were a people who caused mayhem and destruction thousands of years ago. They are evil and vicious humans and have been significantly cited in the Quran. They have also been stated in the Hadith by the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).
Who was Dhul Qarnayn?
Dhul Qarnayn was a righteous king and leader who was a very powerful and successful person. He was a courageous man, with a solid belief in Allah. He led an enormous army and treated each person with respect and gratitude.
Dhul Qarnayn was not his actual name, instead, it was a title given to him. Dhul Qarnayn, from Arabic translates to: The one with two horns.
His official name and the years he governed have not been spoken of. However, historians and researchers have made efforts to recognize him using their knowledge.
Some scholars believe that Dhul Qarnayn may have been Alexander the Great. However, this theory has been rejected as not only was Alexander not a monotheistic believer in God, but the other qualities he assumed also seemed to evidently differ from those of Dhul Qarnayn.
Similarly, others have said that Dhul Qarnayn could be Cyrus the 2nd of Persia. Commonly referred to as Cyrus the Great, he was the founder of the Achaemenid Empire, which was the first Persian Empire. Although many of his qualities aligned with Dhul Qarnayn’s, it is difficult to confirm who he was as none of these theories have been confirmed. They can not be stated as fact, rather as opinions.
Dhul Qarnayn’s journey
Dhul Qarnayn travelled towards the far West, implementing the laws of Allah until he reached the setting of the sun (Western most land). He then travelled towards the far East until he reached the rising of the sun (Eastern most land), wherein he saw a people who had no shelter from the sun. Next, he continued his travel until he reached a place between two mountains.
As he arrived, people from the local tribe came to him seeking help. Though they spoke an uncommon language, they expressed their apprehension towards Gog and Magog. They told the righteous king how Gog and Magog would plunder them, harm them and cause bloodshed. As they perceived the strength that Dhul Qarnayn possessed, they asked him to restrict Gog and Magog in return for compensation. However, Dhul Qarnayn kindly rejected their compensation and articulated that Allah had given him more than he will ever need. Instead, he asked them to call on all the men from their tribe who were not physically challenged to do manual labor and help him with forte. Then, he built between them a wall of molten copper. This barrier then restrained this evil tribe behind the two mountains.
Where are they?
The Location of this wall has not been mentioned. However, researchers have pinpointed two different locations where barriers made of iron between two mountains currently exist. Included in these locations is the Great Wall of China, which is primarily located in the North of China. Although it is a strongly built wall, it was built by a few combatant states and according to many, later conceived by Emperor Qin Shi Huang.
Others claim that this wall could indeed be the wall in central Asia in a place called Derbent. Derbent is a city in Dagestan located on the Caspian Sea. While it is obviously uncertain if Dhul Qarnayn built this wall, it will likely not be confirmed until the end of times.
Their strength in numbers
Gog and Magog are countless in number and each of them has many offspring. Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri reported that The Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “On the day of resurrection, Allah will say: ‘O Adam!’ Adam will respond and then there will be a loud call saying: ‘Allah orders you to take from among your offspring for the hellfire.’ Adam will say: ‘Who are the mission for the hell fire?’ Allah will say: ‘Out of every 1000, take out 999.’ At that time, every female will have a miscarriage, and a child will have grey hair. Mankind will be in a drunken state, yet not drunk, but severe will be the torment of Allah.” When the Prophet (peace be upon him) said this, people became extremely fearful. Whereupon the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “999 will be taken from Gog and Magog and one from you. You, good Muslims, will be like a black hair on the side of a white ox, or a white hair on the side of black ox.” (Bukhari)
The Quran says in Surah Al Anbiyaa: “Until when the dam of Gog and Magog has been opened and they, from every elevation, descend.” (21:96, Al-Anbiyaa, Quran)
Gog and Magog rising
Although Allah has mentioned the complete story of Dhul Qarnayn and Gog and Magog in the 18th Surah of the Quran (Al-Kahf), a verse from the Surah explains that following the completion of the wall, Dhul Qarnayn said: “This is a mercy from my lord. But, when the promise of my Lord comes, He will make it level, and ever true is the promise of my Lord.” (18:98, Al-Kahf, Quran)
There is not a day since that the people of Gog and Magog did not struggle to break through, from the day they were seized to the last hour. However, they fail each day. They will only be able to break through when Allah permits them to do so, destroying the wall as if it were razed to the ground.
Zainab Bint Jahsh said, “The Prophet (peace be upon him) came to me in a state of fear and said: ‘None has the right to be worshipped but Allah. Woe unto the Arabs for a danger has come near. An opening has been made in the wall of Gog and Magog.’” (Bukhari)
Upon the arrival of the Prophet Esa (Jesus) (may Allah be pleased with him), he will first look to eliminate Dajjal. Soon after it is done, Gog and Magog will be set free. They will cause destruction and chaos using their power and strength, thus making survival difficult for other nations. They will cause mass bloodshed. A Hadith mentioned in Muslim states that after they succeed in defeating the people of the Earth, they will then point their arrows towards the sky and say: “We have defeated all those in the Earth, now let us defeat those in the Heavens.”
This will force Prophet Esa (Jesus) to take refuge with his people on a mountain. Assessing the situation, Esa (may Allah be pleased with him) will pray for the destruction of this evil tribe. Allah will acknowledge and accept the prayer, causing the people of Gog and Magog to die of wormlike insects eating at their bodies. Then, Allah will send large birds to carry their bodies and take them away.
Gog and Magog are one of the ten major signs of the last hour. They are undoubtedly one of the biggest trial for the people. The hadith clearly expresses that they are dangerous and ferocious human beings. As with most trials, Allah’s help is the only resolution to this one as well.
The Dajjal, also known as the Anti-Christ, is a well-known parable in the history of various religions. In Islam, he is known as ‘Dajjal’, which translates to ‘deceiver’. Whereas in the religion of Christianity, he is referred to as the Anti-Christ.
Fact versus Fiction
A large number of researchers have written books depicting the biography of the Dajjal. Others have produced films and TV shows in an attempt to demonstrate the traits he assumes.
Likewise, theories have formed regarding this subject, and many adamantly claim that he will not be human. Included in these theories is the fast-changing world of inventions and discoveries, as well as the increase in crime rates and natural disasters around the world. Alas, the spread of contagious diseases that have caused an immense amount of damage to the human race also contend for the title of the Dajjal, according to some. People believe he is a symbol that represents a non-living thing, while others debate that his abilities are metaphorically used to describe something rather ordinary.
Conspiracies are captivating to many people as they have a certain element of surprise to them. They become much more exciting when the result is yet to be determined. Although open-mindedness is a good attribute to have, some theories are no more than a work of fiction. However, they can, at times carry a misinformative approach, leading people to believe un-realistic ideas that may be far from the truth.
Next, many were unhesitant in their communal assertations that the Dajjal is merely a legend, or a myth. While there may be different reasons behind their opinions, the most common reason people believe that the Dajjal is a myth is due to the fact that he has not been explicitly mentioned in the Quran.
However, he has been mentioned in the Hadith. There are numerous Surahs in the Quran that cannot be fully comprehended without the detailed explanation and reasoning behind them. The Hadith not only explains the verses in detail but also helps to understand the purpose behind the verse.
The Dajjal certainly adopts inhuman abilities that enable him to perform apparent miracles. An example of this includes curing people of their sickness. Considering this, new opinions emerged expressing that the Dajjal could indeed be Satan himself.
If the Dajjal did not possess superhuman abilities, he would not be a trial as testing as he would be with superpowers. The Dajjal will be able to summon Jinn and order them to do tasks for him. The evil Jinn will gladly abide by his rules and complete the given tasks. Since the powerful jinn do, indeed, possess these abilities, he will be able to benefit from them for his malevolent cause.
In fact, Satan and the Dajjal are two very different entities. The Dajjal, as mentioned previously, is a human made of clay. Satan, on the other hand, is a jinn made of the smokeless flame of fire. However, it is important to know that both have the same basic goal: to lead people away from the honorable path, with or without their desire. They find satisfaction in indulging people to dive into an oblivion of sin.
Furthermore, the Dajjal is a man without a family. He does not have parents or siblings. He is an individual creation with the purpose of testing the righteous and underlining the hypocrites. He is also sterile, with no offspring.
The Dajjal is a man of short height. He is hunchbacked with a wide forehead and broad upper chest. The measurements of his height or weight are not known, but the information provided to us present us with a rather clear image of this person.
He has a very hairy look. His curly hair is described as the ‘head of a snake’. Between his eyes will be written the word ‘Kaafir’, which translates to ‘disbeliever’. The writing on his forehead does not read Kaafir, instead it is written in letters; ‘K’ ‘F’ ‘R’ (Kaa Faa Raa) and can be read in Arabic.
He is defective in one eye, and the other has a piece of flesh hanging around the edge. His defective eye resembles a floating grape, neither protuberant nor hollow. He has a reddish complexion.
While defining the Dajjal to his companions, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said that this human strongly bears a resemblance to Ibn-Qatan, a man who belonged to the people of Al-Mustaliq and was from the tribe of Al-Khuza’ah.
Ibn-Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “While I slept, I saw myself performing tawaf around the Ka’bah. I saw a man with straight hair falling between his shoulders and water dripped from it. He was of the best as one could see. I asked them who he was. They said he was Esa Ibn Maryam (Jesus, the son of Mary). Then, I saw a man with a ruddy complexion, well-built, with curly hair and his eye resembling a floating grape. I asked them who he was. They said he was Al-Masih Ad-Dajjal.” (Bukhari)
In another Hadith that explains the physical description of the Dajjal, Hudhayfa (may Allah be pleased with him) heard the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) saying: “The Dajjal will be one-eyed, blind or defective in his right eye. He will have thick hair. With him will be a paradise and a hell, but his paradise is a hell, and his hell is a paradise.” (Muslim)
These hadith and the knowledge they assume describe the Dajjal as a strong, well-built man. Ruddy-complexioned, with below average height and a hunched back, but physically strong and powerful. The age of the Dajjal has not been spoken of, but he will be a young man.
The Dajjal is a major sign of the coming of the hour. His trickery and wickedness make him the biggest trial for humanity.
Abu Qatada reported Imran Ibn Hossein saying: “I heard the messenger of Allah say”: “From the creation of Adam until the beginning of the last hour, there will never be a creation greater than the dajjal.” (Muslim)