The Minor Signs

Near the establishment of the Hour there will be days during which (religious) knowledge will be taken away (vanish) and general ignorance will spread…(Bukhari)

There will come a time for my people when there will remain nothing of the Qur’an except its outward form and nothing of Islam except its name and they will call themselves by this name even though they are the people furthest from it.(Ibn Babuya, Thawab ul-A’mal)

A comparison is made in Surah Jumuah, verse 5: “The metaphor of those who were charged with the Torah but then have not upheld it, is that of a donkey carrying books…” There is no doubt that this verse applies as a warning to Muslims, reminding them that they must be careful not to fall into the same grave error. The Qur’an was sent down as a book of guidance for people to observe.

The Prophet (saw) said that, despite the fact that the Qur’an will be read, the knowledge and wisdom it contains will not be considered. This is another sign of the time of the End Times.

There will come a time upon the Ummat when people will recite the Qur’an, but it will not go further than their throats, (into their hearts).(Bukhari)

Allah’s Messenger (saw) spoke of something and said: “It will happen when knowledge will be no more. ” (Ziyad) said: “Allah’s Messenger, how will knowledge vanish despite the fact that we will be reciting the Qur’an and teaching its recitation to our children and our children will teach its recitation to their children up to the Day of Resurrection?” Thereupon he (the Prophet (saw)) said: “Ziyad, do these Jews and Christians not recite the Torah and the Bible but not act according to what is contained in them?”(Ahmad, Ibn Majah, Tirmidhi)

It is a sign of the End Times that some Muslims will follow the example of heretical Jews and Christians and imitate them blindly.

The Prophet (saw) said, “Surely you will follow the ways, of those nations who were before you, span by span and cubit by cubit (i.e. inch by inch) so much so that even if they entered a hole of a lizard, you too would follow them,” We said, “O Allah’s Messenger! Do you mean the Jews and the Christians?” He replied, “Whom else?”(Bukhari)

Surat al-An’am, verse 26 speaks of those who keep others away from the Qur’an. We can understand from the hadiths that there will be corrupt manners of thought prevalent before the Doomsday comes, and that systems will come into being that are far from truth and justice, that only cause great discord and draw people away from the ways of Allah.

The Apostle of Allah (saas) said:Before the Last Hour there will be commotions like pieces of a dark night. (Abu Dawood)

Before the Last Hour there will be commotions like pieces of a dark night in which a man will be a believer in the morning and an infidel in the evening, or a believer in the evening and infidel in the morning.(Abu Dawood)

It will be a sign of the Last Day that after Allah has completely revealed in the Qur’an what is lawful and what is forbidden, laws and commands will be given that are not essential to religion:

A time will come when a man will not care about how he gets things, whether lawful or unlawful.(Bukhari)

Allah’s Messenger (saw), revealed to us that, in the End Times, some people acknowledged as scholars will actually be two-faced impostors:

Wolves will give readings in the End Times. Let those who come to see those times seek shelter from their evil in Allah. They will be very corrupt people. Hypocrisy will prevail, and nobody will be ashamed of it and its manifestations.(Tirmidhi, Nawadir al-‘usul)

There will appear in latter times a people who will gain this world with the help of religion.(Tirmidhi)

Allah’s Messenger (saw) said, “In the End Times men will come forth who will fraudulently use religion for worldly ends and wear sheepskins in public to display meekness. Their tongues will be sweeter than sugar, but their hearts will be the hearts of wolves.”(Tirmidhi)

Those people are described who show no respect for the laws of Islam and who do not hesitate to use religion as a means for their own profit:

In the End Times of the community of the faithful, people, those who adorn the mosques but leave their own hearts in ruins, who fail to look after their religion as much as they do their clothes, who forsake their religious obligations for the sake of their activities in this world, will increase in number.(Agreed upon)

It is a sign that the Doomsday is approaching when people know that Allah has commanded them to prefer goodness and shun evil, but do not observe it:

The Last Hour will not be established until there will remain those people who will neither be aware of the virtues and never prevent the vices.(Ahmad)

Near the establishment of the Hour, good deeds will decrease.(Bukhari)

In one hadith it is revealed as a sign of the Last Day that faithful Muslims will become weakened under pressure from sinners:

The Hour will come when voices are raised in the mosques.(Tirmidhi)

The Hour will come when leaders are oppressors.(Al-Haythami, Kitab al-Fitan)

The Prophet (saw) says that, in the End Times, there will be very few people who can be called true believers:

There will come a time for my people when… the mosques will be full of people but they will be empty of right guidance.(Ibn Babuya, Thawab ul-A’mal)

One hadith says that sincere Muslims will have to hide their faith and perform their worship in secret:

A time will come when the hypocrites will live secretly among you, and the faithful will try to live their religion in secret among others.(Agreed upon)

In the hadith quoted below, it is revealed as a sign of the End that mosques and Islamic schools will be made into places used only as social gatherings:

A time will come upon people in which they will use the Masjid as a pavilion (a meeting place).(Narrated by Hasan (r.a.))

In the End Times, people will appear who read the Qur’an for profit rather than to gain Allah’s approval:

Let him who reads the Qur’an ask (his reward) from Allah. Because in the final times there will be many people who read the Qur’an and seek their reward from other people.(Tirmidhi)

It is also a sign that the Qur’an will be read only for pleasure, just like a song:

When the Qur’an is read as if singing a song, and when a person is esteemed for reading in that way, even though he is not knowledged …(Al-Tabarani, Al-Kabir)

Some people who will be recognized as Muslims will have a warped understanding of fate, while some will believe that the stars can grant knowledge of the future. This is another indication of the End Times:

‘The Hour will come, when people believe in the stars and reject Al-Qadar (the Divine Decree of destiny)(Al-Haythami, Kitab al-Fitan)

Despite the fact that Allah has forbidden the taking of interest, it is practiced openly. In one hadith, this is revealed as one of the signs:

Undoubtedly, a period will come upon people wherein not a single person will be saved from indulging in interest. If anyone avoids direct indulgence in interest, yet he will not escape from the smoke (effects) thereof.. Its effects will somehow reach him.(Narrated by Abu Hurairah)

Another among the signs of the End Times is that the pilgrimage will be made for the sake of travel, business, ostentation or begging.

Such a time will come when the rich go on pilgrimage for purposes of travel, the comfortably off for business, the wise for boasting and outward show, and the poor to beg.(Narrated by Anas (r.a.))

There will be years of deceit, in which a truthful person will be disbelieved and a liar will be believed(Ibn Kathir)

The time will be years of confusion. People will believe a liar, and disbelieve one who tells the truth. People will distrust one who is trustworthy, and trust one who is treacherous.(Ahmad)

The day of Judgment will not come until the very lowest people are the happiest.(Tirmidhi)

One hadith reveals that there will be few trustworthy people and little money earned according to the rules and laws of our religion:

In the End Times, people will be carrying out their trade but hardly will there be a trustworthy person.(Bukhari and Muslim)

Truthful testimony will be neglected while false testimony and slander will be widespread. This is yet another sign:

Verily in the presence of the Last Hour, there would be … false testimony and concealing evidence.(Ahmad and Hakim)

There will be false accusation of chastity and slander.(Tirmidhi)

The only measure by which people will be judged will be wealth, respect being dependent on how rich a person is:

Before the Hour comes, there will be special greeting for the people of distinction.(Ahmad)

There will be no Judgment until greetings are given not to the people but to particular individuals.(Mukhtasar Tazkirah Qurtubi )

It is said in the hadiths that another sign it the destruction of social relations between people:

Only people one knows will be greeted with the salaam…(Ahmad Diya’al-Din al-Kamushkhanawi, Ramuz al-Ahadith)

When the power or authority comes in the hands of unfit persons, then wait for the Hour (Doomsday.).(Bukhari)

Another characteristic of the period will be the disintegration of relationships among families, between friends and neighbors, and the loss of community and spiritual values:

A man is unfilial towards his mother,and drives his father far off…(Tirmidhi)

There would (first) be turmoil for a person in regard to his family, his property, his own self, his children, his neighbors.(Bukhari and Muslim)

Young people will be rebellious and the love and respect between young people and adults will deteriorate:

When the old have no compassion for the young, when the young show no respect to the old … when children grow angry … Judgment is at hand.(Reported by Umar (r.a.))

The hadiths show that another characteristic of the End Times will be that divorce and the number of children born outside marriage will increase:

Divorces will be a daily occurrence.(‘Allamah Safarini, Ahwal Yaum al-Qiyamah)

There will be an abundance of illegitimate children.(Al-Muttaqi Al-Hindi, Muntakhab Kanzul Ummaal)

Influenced by materialism and their worldview, people will be excessively attached to this world, and will forget about the afterlife. This is another characteristic of the End Times:

Meanness and greed will multiply.(Muslim, Ibn Majah)

At that time, people will sell their religion for a small amount of worldly goods.(Ahmad)

A hadith reveals that people will curse and swear at each other:

In the Last Days, there will be such people, who, when they meet, curse and abuse each other instead of greeting (with salaam).(Allama Jalaluddin Suyuti, Durre-Mansoor)

Another characteristic of the period will be gossip and mockery of other people:

There will be an abundance of critics, tale-carriers, backbiters and taunters in society.(Al-Muttaqi Al-Hindi, Muntakhab Kanzul Ummaal)

Insincere flatterers will be respected:

As Judgment draws near … the most respected people of the age will be lickspittles and sycophants.(Agreed upon)

The Last Hour will not arrive till people come forth who make a living with their tongues as cows eat with their tongues.(Tirmidhi)

Another sign of the End Times to be frequently encountered will be dishonesty in business and bribery:

Deceit and cheating will be common,(‘Allamah Safarini, Ahwal Yaum al-Qiyamah)

Bribes will be called gifts, and will be considered lawful.(Amal al-Din al-Qazwini, Mufid al-‘ulum wa-mubid al-humum)

The Prophet (saw) describes the increase of murder in the End Times in these words:

The Hour (Last Day) will not be established until murder will increase.(Bukhari)