Major Signs of the Hour

We follow up last weeks reminder on the minor signs with a reminder on the major signs before the final hour. The imam mentioned a few hadiths in relation to this. The first is translated to say:

Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) came to us all of a sudden as we were (busy in a discussion). He said: What do you discuss about? They (the Companions) said. We are discussing about the Last Hour. Thereupon he said: It will not come until you see ten signs before and (in this connection) he made a mention of the smoke, Dajjal, the beast, the rising of the sun from the west, the descent of Jesus son of Mary (Allah be pleased with him), the Gog and Magog, and land-slides in three places, one in the east, one in the west and one in Arabia at the end of which fire would burn forth from the Yemen, and would drive people to the place of their assembly.

It is worth noting here dear brothers, that the order of these major signs is one that is differed upon amongst the scholars. However, these are widely considered to be amongst the major signs. Alongside this hadith, the imam also mentioned the following which is translated to say:

Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “The hour will not be established till the sun rises from the West; and when it rises (from the West) and the people see it, they all will believe. And that is (the time) when no good will it do to a soul to believe then.” 

And specifically, about the arrival of Gog and Magog, the prophet SAWS advised us in this hadith which is translated to say:

And then Allah will send Ya’juj and Ma’juj (Gog and Magog people) and they will sworn down from every slope. The first of them will pass the Lake Tabariyah (near the Dead Sea in Palestine) and drink all its water. And when the last of them will pass, he will say: `There was once water there.’

Dear brothers, just listening to these accounts of the times leading up to the final hour should make us want to plead to Allah SWT that we are not present at these times. These times will be amongst the most challenging, difficult and painful times for mankind to bear and so we should pray that we are spared this test.

And so, what is the lesson that we should take from this reminder today? The main lesson is one that can be found in the ayat that the imam mentioned. In ayat 96 & 97 of Sura Al-Anbya, Allah SWT speaks of one of the signs but alongside that provides us with todays lesson. They are translated to say:

until ˹after˺ Gog and Magog have broken loose ˹from the barrier˺,1 swarming down from every hill, ushering in the True Promise.1 Then—behold!—the disbelievers will stare ˹in horror, crying,˺ “Oh, woe to us! We have truly been heedless of this. In fact, we have been wrongdoers.”

Dear brothers, we have been taught to look for the major signs, not to sensationalise them but to act upon this knowledge today. The 158th ayat of Sura Al-Anam illustrates this point further, its translated to say:

Are they awaiting the coming of the angels, or your Lord ˹Himself˺, or some of your Lord’s ˹major˺ signs? On the Day your Lord’s signs arrive, belief will not benefit those who did not believe earlier or those who did no good through their faith.1 Say, “Keep waiting! We too are waiting.”

Dear brothers, Allah SWT is explicitly teaching us that we shouldn’t wait for a calamity to strike before we step it up in our worship and our good deeds. We shouldn’t be of the mindset where we are mediocre in our worship and our deeds because things are getting serious on the global scale. Just as this past 12 months has taught us, we cannot take anything for granted and most importantly, none of us know when our personal final hour is going to be.

Death is around the corner for us all and so we take that realisation and step up our manners, our deeds, our worship now, to the best that we can be. This is the lesson that we apply from todays reminder and it is probably the most important lesson of all.

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Minor Signs of the Hour

Allah SWT has instructed mankind that the demise of all life on Earth will come one day. And once that has happened, we will all be resurrected and the Day of Judgement will commence.

However, before this event occurs, there are indications that the final hour is approaching. These indications have been taught to us through various hadith of the Prophet SAWS and they can be split into two areas.

The first signs are the major signs. These are truly tremendous events that will indicate the final hour. Amongst these we will witness the return of Prophet Esa, aka Jesus Christ, peace be upon him.

However, before the handful of major signs are a larger number of smaller events that will occur as an indication to mankind that the final hour is approaching. These are referred to as the minor signs.

The imam reminded us of ayat from the Quran that remind us of this topic. Firstly, it’s the first ayat of Sura Al-Anbya which is translated to say:

˹The time of˺ people’s judgment has drawn near, yet they are heedlessly turning away.

And 18th ayat of Sura Muhammad which is translated to say:

Are they only waiting for the Hour to take them by surprise? Yet ˹some of˺ its signs have already come. Once it actually befalls them, will it not be too late to be mindful?

And so dear brothers, what are these minor signs? Todays reminder will outline a few of them to help illustrate where we are in the timeline towards the final hour.

The Prophet SAWS said: “When honesty is lost, then wait for the Hour.” It was asked, “How will honesty be lost, O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)?” He said, “When authority is given to those who do not deserve it, then wait for the Hour.”

Other minor signs are earthquakes increasing in number, bloodshed increasing, alcohol drunk in great quantities, time will feel to pass more quickly, authority will be given to people who do not deserve it.

Dear brothers, when we study these minor signs, it is easy to feel fearful of where we are at. Some scholars state that almost all of the minor signs have been achieved and that there is only the major signs left. However, the point isn’t about where we are at, the point is about what we do with this knowledge.

Allah SWT knows us better than we know ourselves. We were placed in this time and place by Him and His wisdom. It was always our destiny to be born and present in these times and so we use that awareness to remain calm and act accordingly.

And so this reminder concludes with 3 tips of what we should do regarding the information on the minor signs.

  1. Do not be in despair. This is the trick of the Shaitaan. We use these reminders to turn back to the protection of Allah SWT as He is the ultimate source of our peace and protection, regardless of where we are at in the timeline.
  2. Protect yourself from the events that have unfolded and are yet to unfold. For example, reciting the first ten ayat of Sura Kahf.
  3. Use this as a reminder that ultimately our return is to Allah SWT. Our role in this life is to worship Him through the permissible acts He has instructed us to do and to warn and guide others around us to do the same.

Nobody knows exactly where we are at in the timeline until the Hour. However, we can use whatever knowledge we do have to fulfil our role in the events and that is by being the best that we can be and support others to do the same.

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When is the Hour?

Dear brothers, we are living in a time where the challenges have been something we have not seen before. Never before has a calamity affected the globe and at the speed that the current pandemic has affected us all. Whether that is physically or mentally, nobody is spared in the impact that this event has had.

Alongside this there is continuing discussion that this is the end of times and that this test is a signal that we are ever close to the time when life as we know it will end and the day of judgment will begin.

The imam mentioned a few ayats in todays reminder in reference to this. Firstly, Sura Al-Araf, ayat 187 is translated to say:

They ask you ˹O Prophet˺ regarding the Hour, “When will it be?” Say, “That knowledge is only with my Lord. He alone will reveal it when the time comes. It is too tremendous for the heavens and the earth and will only take you by surprise.” They ask you as if you had full knowledge of it. Say, “That knowledge is only with Allah, but most people do not know.”

And also ayat 63 from Sura Al-Ahzab which says:

People ask you ˹O Prophet˺ about the Hour. Say, “That knowledge is only with Allah. You never know, perhaps the Hour is near.”

Dear brothers, if we spend a moment to ponder over these ayats, there are a number of lessons to learn. First of all, the knowledge of the end is only with Allah SWT. It makes no sense to guess when this is as it only serves to sensationalise or scare some people. We are instructed that the knowledge lies with Allah SWT alone and that is where we should leave it.

Secondly, our role is not to guess it’s precise time but actually to warn of its inevitable arrival. As the imam mentioned, in ayat 45 of Sura An-naziat, the duty that lies with us is to warn whoever is in awe of the hour. And so from this we can learn that there is an instruction for us all.

Dear brothers, whether it is the final hour or not, our final hour is when we depart this earth. For us, that is the end as our account is closed and we will lie in our graves waiting for the final hour. We need to be mindful that the focus should be on our own personal final hour and to focus our attention on doing all that we can before death approaches us.

In regards to warning others, we don’t need to go as far as predicting the final hour, we should remind one another that our individual final hour could come at any time, i.e. death, and so we should conduct our affairs in this life accordingly.

Nobody knows when either our own final hour, or the final hour of todays reminder will come, except for Allah SWT. However, we don’t need to know it, we should instead be mindful of it so that it can mould our behaviour and our actions in this life, however much we have left of it.

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