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The Signs of the Last Day

The Hour is Near

Most people know at least something about the Last Day. Almost everyone has heard one thing or another about the horror of the Hour. Nevertheless, most tend to have the same reaction to it as they do to other matters of vital importance, that is, they do not want to speak or even think about it. They try very hard not trying to think about the terror they will experience on the Last Day. They cannot bear the reminders of the Last Day found in a news report of a terrible accident or a film report about some disaster. They avoid thinking about the fact that that day will certainly come. They do not want to listen to others who talk about that great day, or to read authors'works about it. These are some of the ways that people have developed in order to escape the dread of thinking about the Last Day.

Many do not seriously believe that the Hour is coming. We are presented with an example of this in a verse of Surat al-Kahf, about the wealthy owner of a rich vineyard:

I do not think the Hour will ever come. But if I should be sent back to my Lord, I will definitely get something better in return. (Surat al-Kahf: 36)

The above verse reveals the true mentality of someone who professes to believe in Allah but avoids thinking about the reality of the Last Day and puts forward claims contradicting some verses of the Qur'an. Another verse relates the doubt and uncertainty that engulfs disbelievers in regards to the time of the end.

When you were told, "Allah's promise is true and so is the Hour, of which there is no doubt," you said, "We have no idea what the Hour is. We have only been conjecturing. We are by no means certain." (Surat al-Jathiya: 32)

Some people entirely deny that the Last Day is coming. Those who have this opinion are mentioned in the Qur'an as follows:

But instead, they deny the Hour; and We have prepared a Searing Blaze for those who deny the Hour. (Surat al-Furqan: 11)

The source that can guide us on the way and show us the truth is the Qur'an. When we look at what it says, we learn an obvious fact. Those who deceive themselves about the Last Day commit a grave error, because Allah reveals in the Qur'an that there can be no doubt that the Last Day is near.

And the Hour is coming without any doubt ... (Surat al-Hajj: 7)
We did not create the heavens and earth and everything between them, except with truth. The Hour is certainly coming. (Surat al-Hijr: 85)
The Hour is coming-there is no doubt about it …(Surat al-Mu'min: 59)

There may be some who think that the message of the Qur'an concerning the Last Day was revealed more that 1400 years ago and that this is a long time compared to the length of a human life. But here, it is a question of the end of the world, the sun and the stars, in short, of the universe. When we consider that the universe is billions of years old, fourteen centuries is a very short period of time.

A great Islamic scholar of recent times, Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, responded to a similar question in this way:

The Qur'an says, "The Hour has drawn nigh." (Surat al-Qamar: 1) That is, Doomsday is near. It still not having come after a thousand or this many years does not injure its closeness. Because, Doomsday is the appointed hour of the world, and in relation to the life of the world one or two thousand years are like one or two minutes in relation to a year. The Hour of Doomsday is not only the appointed hour of mankind that it should be related to it and seen as distant.1


The Proclaiming of the Moral Teaching of the Qur'an to the Whole World

In the Qur'an, we repeatedly find the phrase "Allah's sunnah (pattern, practice)." This is an expression that means Allah's way, or Allah's laws. According to the Qur'an, these laws are valid forever. A verse states,

This is Allah's pattern with those who passed away before. You will not find any alteration in Allah's pattern. (Surat al-Ahzab: 62)

One such unchanging divine law is that, before their annihilation, societies are warned by a reminder. This fact is revealed by these words:

We have never destroyed a city without giving it prior warning as a reminder... (Surat ash-Shu'ara': 208-209)

Throughout history, Allah has sent a reminder to every society that has become corrupted, inviting it to follow the true path. Yet, those who persisted in their wickedness perished after having fulfilled the time allotted to them, and became an example for succeeding generations. When we consider this law of Allah, a number of important mysteries are revealed to us.

The Last Day is the final calamity to fall upon the world. The Qur'an is the last divine book sent to advise humanity, whose guide it will remain until the end of the world. In one of its verses, it says, "… It is simply a reminder to all beings." (Surat al-An'am: 90) Those who think that the Qur'an speaks only to one particular time or place are seriously mistaken, because the Qur'an is a general invitation to all "worlds."

Since the time of the Prophet (saas), the truth of the Qur'an has been communicated to the entire world. Because of the incomparable technological developments in our present age, the commands of the Qur'an can be proclaimed to the whole of humanity. Today, science, education, communication and transportation are about to reach the final point of their development. Thanks to computer and Internet technology in particular, people in distant parts of the world can instantly share information and establish communications. The revolution in science and technology has united all the nations of the world; expressions like "globalization" and "world citizenship" have been added to our stock of vocabulary. In short, all the obstacles preventing the unity of people throughout the whole world are being quickly removed.

In the light of these facts, it can be easily said that in our "information age," Allah has put all kinds of technological developments at our disposal. It is the responsibility of Muslims to make the best use of these possibilities that Allah has offered, and to invite people from all walks of life to accept the moral teaching of the Qur'an.



We have mentioned the unchanging laws that have been established by Allah since the foundation of the world. One such divine law is that Allah will not punish a society for which He has not sent a messenger. This promise is expressed in the following verses:

Your Lord would never destroy any cities without first sending to the chief of them a messenger to recite Our Signs to them. We would never destroy any cities unless their inhabitants were wrongdoers. (Surat al-Qasas: 59)
… We never punish until We have sent a messenger. (Surat al-Isra: 15)
We have never destroyed a city without giving it prior warning as a reminder. We were never unjust. (Surat ash-Shu'ara: 208-209)

These verses show that Allah sends messengers to major cities to warn the people. These messengers announce Allah's commands, but the disbelievers from the societies of every age have mocked them, accused them of being liars, frauds or madmen, and subjected them to every kind of slander. Allah destroys societies that continue to live in wickedness and immorality through some great disaster, at a time when they least expect it. The destruction of the people of Nuh, Lut, Ad, Thamud and others mentioned in the Qur'an are examples of this form of annihilation.

In the Qur'an, Allah reveals why He has sent prophets: to announce the good news to societies, to provide an important opportunity for their people to abandon their false beliefs, and live their lives according to Allah's religion and high morality, and to warn people so that they will have no excuse to offer on the Last Day for not having heeded the warnings made to them. In a verse, these goals are stated as such:

Messengers bringing good news and giving warning, so that people will have no argument against Allah after the coming of the messengers. (Surat an-Nisa': 165)

As it says in verse 40 of Surat al-Azhab, the Prophet Muhammad (saas) is the last Prophet. Muhammad (saas) is "…the Messenger of Allah and the Final Seal of the Prophets…" (Surat al-Azhab: 40) In other words, through the mediation of the Prophet Muhammad (saas), the series of Allah's revelations to humanity have been completed. In spite of this, the responsibility for communicating and reminding people of the Qur'an delivered by the Prophet (saas) lies with every Muslim until the end of the world.


The Supremacy of the Morality of Islam in the World

One of the constant themes of the Qur'an is that of the people that Allah has destroyed, because of their wickedness and rebellion, and the example to be taken from them. Certainly, there is a great similarity between those societies of the past and our present time. In our day, there are people whose attitude and way of life surpasses even the sexual perversion of the people of Lut, the deceitfulness of the people of Madyan, the arrogance and mocking of the people of Nuh, the rebelliousness and wickedness of the people of Thamud, the ungratefulness of the people of Iram, as with the comportment of various other societies that have been destroyed. The evident reason for all this moral degeneration is that people have forgotten Allah and the purpose of their creation.

The murder, social injustice, treachery, deceit and moral degeneration in the age we live in has even driven some people to despair. But, it must not be forgotten that the Qur'an commands us not to despair of the help of Allah. Despair and despondency are not acceptable modes of thought for believers. Allah announces that those who serve him purely, without associating any of His creatures as divinities besides Him, and do good works to win his favor, will be endowed with power and authority.

Allah has promised those of you who believe and do right actions that He will make them successors in the land as He made those before them successors, and will firmly establish for them their religion with which He is pleased and give them, in place of their fear, security. "They worship Me, not associating anything with Me." Any who are disbelievers after that, such people are deviators. (Surat an-Nur: 55)

In a number of verses, it also says that it is a divine law that those servants who are faithful and live the true religion in their hearts will be made the inheritors of the world:

We wrote down in the Psalms, after the Reminder came: "It is My righteous servants who will inherit the earth." (Surat al-Anbiya': 105)

We will leave you the land to live in after them. That is the reward of those who fear My station and fear My threat. (Surah Ibrahim: 14)

We destroyed generations before you when they did wrong. Their messengers brought them the Clear Signs, but they were never going to believe. That is how We repay evildoers. Then We made you their successors on the earth so We might observe how you would act. (Surah Yunus: 13-14)

Musa said to his people, "Seek help in Allah and be steadfast. The earth belongs to Allah. He bequeathes it to any of His servants He wills. The successful outcome is for those who do their duty." They said, "We suffered harm before you came to us and after you came to us." He said, "It may well be that your Lord is going to destroy your enemy and make you the successors in the land so that He can see how you behave." (Surat al-A'raf: 128-129)

Allah has written, "I will be victorious, I and My messengers." Allah is Most Strong, Almighty. (Surat al-Mujadala: 21)

Together with the good news announced in the verses above, Allah has made a very important promise to believers. He reveals in the Qur'an that the religion of Islam was sent to humanity to be superior to all religions.

They desire to extinguish Allah's Light with their mouths. But Allah refuses to do other than perfect His Light, even though the disbelievers detest it. It is He Who sent His Messenger with guidance and the True Religion to exalt it over every other religion, even though the idolators detest it. (Surat at-Tawba: 32-33)

They desire to extinguish Allah's Light with their mouths but Allah will perfect His Light, though the disbelievers hate it. It is He Who sent His Messenger with guidance and the True Religion to exalt it over every other religion, though the idolaters hate it. (Surat as-Saff: 8-9)

There is no doubt that Allah will keep His promises. The high morality that will conquer perverse philosophies, distorted ideologies and false religious understanding is Islamic morality. The verses quoted above stress that the disbelievers and pagans cannot prevent this from happening.

This period, in which Islamic morality will be established, will be in every way a time of love, self-sacrifice, generosity, honesty, social justice, security and personal well-being. This period has been called the Golden Age because of its similarity to depictions of Paradise, but, so far, such an age has never yet existed. This blessed age will precede the Last Day; and is now awaiting that time in which Allah has determined it will come.

1. Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Risale-i Nur Collection, Words, Twenty-Fourth Word, Third Branch, Eighth Principle