Signs of the Age of Fitnah

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The Signs of the Age of Fitnah (Trials)

Extract from "ISLAHI KHUTBAAT" Discourses on Islamic Way of Life by Justice Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani english translation by Iqbal Hussain Ansari   Published by Darul Isha'at Karachi Pakistan.  Based on two hours of urdu audio  lectures 

The Signs of the Age of Fitnah (Trials):

All praise is for Allah. We praise Him and seek His help and seek His forgiveness and believe in Him and rely on Him. We seek refuge with Him from the evils of our souls and from the vices of our deeds. There is none to misguide him whom He guides and there is none to guide him whom He lets go astray. We bear witness that there is no god but Allah the One Who has no partner. We also bear witness that our sire, and our authority and our Prophet and our Master, Muhammad  (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) is His servant and His Messenger. May Almighty Allah have mercy on him, his household and bless and salute them all in great abundance.

The Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) was commissioned as a Prophet for all peoples of the world till the Day of Judgment. To day I want to say something briefly about such a theme of the teachings of the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) as is very necessary today but is generally overlooked.  Almighty Allah sent the Holy Prophet  (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) to this world as the last of the Prophets  (Alaihe Salatu Wassallam), thus finalizing with him (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)   the chain of Prophet hood. Another distinction which Allah bestowed upon him (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)  over other Prophets, is that the latter Prophets (Alaihe Salatu Wassallam) were sent to some particular people residing in a particular land in a particular age. Their teachings and preaching were-confined to territory. For example, Sayyidn'a Moosa (Moses)  (Alaihe Salatu Wassallam) sent to the Children of Israel, living in Egypt, his  prophet hood was limited only to this community  and this  territory  As against this, the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) was sent to the entire world and entire humanity  and for  all times till the Day of Judgment. The Holy  Qu’ran bears witness to this fact:

 And We have not sent you (O Muhammad) but as  a bringer of good tidings and as a Warner to all mankind..(34:28 )

 The words of  all mankind' imply all human wherever and in  whatever age they are living. This clearly  that his prophet hood was not confined only to Arabian Peninsulas nor to any particular age. His prophethood  encompassed all periods and ages till  Day of Judgment.

His teachings and injunctions shall  remain valid, effective and in force till Judgment. As already pointed out his
(Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) teaching are not  confined to any particular age and  apply to every walk  of life.  These teachings consist of two aspects:

  1. prescribes the rules of the Shari 'ah concerning  lawful, unlawful, desirable, permissible, and  other  aspect.

  2. predicts the events which will confront the Ummah in the times to come, and how the Ummah should tackle these events.

Prediction about future events:

This second aspect is also a very important part of  the teachings of the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) in which, peeping into the future through the light of his Prophethood, he  (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) has informed his Ummah (all human being including his followers) of many future events and the ways how the members of his Ummah should tackle these events, so as to remain on the right path of Deen.  Today I want to say something on this second aspect of the Prophet's teachings.

Anxiety for the salvation of the Ummah:   

The Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)  always remained concerned about the good of his Ummah. It occurs in a narrative:

The Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)  always remained drowned deep in some worry, grief.

What was the cause of this anxiety and grief?  it was indeed not about collecting worldly resources, nor about improving his own honor and status among his community.  The grief under which he was pining was about how to save from Hell-Fire the people to whom he had been sent; how to divert them from the path of error and to guide them to the straight path of right guidance.   Finding His Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) drowned in such grief Allah has frequently revealed verses to advise the Prophet  (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) to give up such pining and fretting. Thus, Allah has said:

 It may be that you will torment your soul that they do not become believers. (18:6)

This verse indicates how concerned the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)  was about the right guidance of his Ummah on to the path of Eeman (Faith). He (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)  is reported to have said in a Hadith  (his saying or action) :

My example is like that man who kindles fires and seeing the fire, the moths begin to fall on the flames. The man tries to keep the moths away from the flames to save them from being burnt in the flames.   In the same way I am (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)  trying to save you from Hell-Fire by holding you back by your waists, but you are rushing into the Fire.

So concerned did the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)  feel about the right guidance of his Ummah, including also those who were yet to come to the world!

What Trials and Tribulations are expected to break out in the future?:

The Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)  has, therefore, informed the future generations of the events that shall occur in their times.  Accordingly all books of Ahadith contain permanent chapters on Trials.  In the Chapters all such Ahadith have been collated in which the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)  has informed of, and warned the people against, the tribulations expected to occur in the future. The Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)  has said in a Hadith:

In the future trials will fall down into your houses like the falling down of the drops of rain water.

These trials have been compared to the drops of rain water because the trials will fall down on your houses in an unbroken succession one after another.

The Holy Prophet  (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) has said in another Hadith:

 Very soon trials and tribulations will appear which will be like dark nights.

In other words, just as a man is not able to find his way in dark nights in the same way during these blinding trials people will not know what to do and where to go Those trials will encompass the entire society, leaving no place of shelter for the people. The Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) also taught the people a supplication to find refuge with Allah from these trials:

O Allah, we seek refuge with You from these apparent or hidden trials. This supplication was included in the Prophet's  daily routine.

What is a Trial?:

We should now try to understand the meaning of  (Trial). we should also try to find out the teachings of the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)  for all of us to obey in order to remain safe from the harms of these trials.  We are not aware of the real implications of this term, although we use it from morning till evening.  This word has also been used in the Holy Qur'an many times. It has been mentioned in the Holy Qur'an at one place meaning that:

 "... The creation of a trial is more grievous  sin than murder...."

The meaning of Trial:  

The word  (fitna or fitnah ) is an Arabic word the dictionary meaning of which is to find out the purity or impurity of precious metals like gold or silver by melting it on fire. Melting the metal on fire discloses the reality.  For the same reason, it is also used to mean testing and examining something. Thus, a second meaning of this word is "trial". When hardships and misfortunes descend on a man his real worth and character are tested by his conduct and behavior under these trying situations. It is observed whether he bears these trying hours, days with patience makes a fuss and raises hues and cries. this testing is also called  (Trial).

The word (Trial) as used in the Ahadith:

The word (Trial) has been used in the Ahadith to express a situation at any time. When the truth is obscure and it becomes very difficult to distinguish between good and bad, right and wrong and truth and falsehood.  When such a situation arises, it is said that it is a time of trial.  It is also a time of trial when sins, crimes and disobedience become rampant.  In the same way to regard falsehood as truth and truth as falsehood and to put forward something as a proof which is not proof; these are forms of  (Trial).  For example, if you tell a person that such an act is unlawful and strictly prohibited, the person shall reply that the entire society, the whole world including Saudi Arabia is doing this act.  In our times it has become a common practice that when an objection is raised to any act, the doer at once replies that he has seen the same act being done in the Saudi Arabia.  This is also a  (trial) to put forward some act or practice as a proof which is not at all a proof.   In the same way we find that many groups and parties have sprung up in the city, each with its slogan and tenet and it is difficult to decide which is on the right path and which is on the wrong path.   Truth and falsehood have thus become mixed up.  All these fall within the definition of  (Trial).  

A quarrel between two parties is a  (Trial):

It is also a case of trial when two Muslims or two Muslim groups fall out with each other so violently that they are ready to shed blood and commit murder and it is not known which of the two is right and which is wrong.

 The Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)  is reported to have said in a Hadith

When two Muslims begin to fight With each other with their swords, the murderer as well as the murdered will both enter Hell-Fire.

One of the Companions (RA) said to the Holy Prophet O Messenger of Allah  (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) It is understandable that the murderer shall go to Hell for murdering a Muslim, but why shall the murdered shall enter Hell?  The Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)  replied, saying: The murdered will enter Hell because he too had come out to fight with the intention of murdering his opponent but he did not succeed in his intention but his opponent succeeded in his intention.   None of the two was fighting in the cause of Allah, but worldly benefit in the form of money or some political benefit. Both will, therefore, enter Hell.

Killing and robbing are Trial:   

The Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)  said in another Hadith:

A time will come upon the people when there will be a great deal of a  (confusion/disturbance). on being asked about he (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)  answered:  It is killing and robbing, i.e., in those days these crimes will increase by leaps and bounds and human life will become meaner than that of mosquitoes and flies.

 The Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)  has said in another Hadith:

A time will come upon the people in which the killer will not know why he killed the victim nor will the victim killed know why he was killed.

 Look at the conditions obtaining today in the society which fully confirms the truth of the Holy Prophet's (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)  prediction. This is as if the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)  was seeing these conditions with his own eyes.

In the olden days it was not known who was the killer, but it could be known why the victim was killed, i.e., he was killed by robbers for robbing the victim of his money? or by enemies.  Anyway, the cause of the murder became known. What is happening now-a-days?  A man is sitting or standing in front of his door, he has no enemies, he is not involved in politics  yet some hooligan shoots at him and kills him without any apparent cause. The Holy Prophet  (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) has predicted all these events in clear words:

A Hadith about the Holy City of Makkah:

It is narrated by Sayyidn'a Abdullah bin Umar  (RA)  that the Holy Propeht (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) said: 

Until recently the people were not able to understand the real meaning of this Hadith, but now the meaning has become quite clear to them. The hadith may be translated as under:

When the belly of Makkah will be cleft open and through it will be dug out river-like passage (i.e. tunnels) and the buildings of the Holy City of Makkah will rise higher than its mountains when you observe these signs, then understand that the time of ? (Trial) is near at hand.

The cleaving asunder of the belly of the Holy City of Makkah:  

This Hadith has continued on records of the last fourteen centuries. The commentators of the Hadith felt baffled, while explaining this Hadith as they could not understand how belly of' the Holy City of Makkah could be cleft asunder nor could they understand the meaning of digging out river like passages.  It was really very difficult to imagine the sense of all these predictions.  But by seeing today's Makkah one feels that the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)  made these predictions, as if he e was actually seeing with his own eyes today's Makkahtul-Mukarramah.  Previously the commentators (Muhaddithin)  interpreted this Hadith by saying that in their times Makkah was a dry and mountainous city, but in some future age Allah may cause rivers and canals to flow in that city.  However today one feels by seeing these (underground) tunnels how the belly of Makkah has been cleft asunder:

Rising of building higher than mountains:  

The other sentence which the Holy Prophet spoke out in this Hadith is that the buildings of the Holy City of Makkah will rise higher than its mountains. A few years ago none could imagine that buildings would be built in Makkah which would rise higher than its mountains, as the city was surrounded by mountains on all sides. But go to Makkah and see for yourself how (high-rise) buildings higher than mountains have been built there.

It appears from this Hadith, as if fourteen centuries ago the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)  had seen these changes and conditions with his own eyes. All these things had been shown to him clearly through revelations and light of Prophetic knowledge which Allah had granted him The Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)  has clearly mentioned one by one what trials and tribulations the Muslims will have to face in the times to come. He  has also mentioned simultaneously what the Muslims should do at such a time.

The present era in the light of the Ahadith:  

Every Muslim should keep in view those Ahadith in which the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) a has predicted the future events.  Maulana Muhammad Yusuf Ludhyanawi Sahib (RA) has compiled a book titled "The Present Era in the Light of the Ahadith"  He has tried to gather together in this book all the ahadith about the Trials.  He has included in this book a Hadith in which the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)  has mentioned seventy-two events which will occur during the Era of the Trials. I advise you to read them one by one and see how these events exactly agree to those taking place in our times and in our environments.

Seventy-two (72) signs of Trials and Tribulations:

Sayyidn'a Huzaifah  (RA) has narrated that the holy Prophet  (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) predicted that seventy-two events shall occur in the period close to the Day of Judgment. These are:

 (1) People will begin to miss their prayers and pay no attention to them.

If this is said in our times, there will be nothing surprising in it because the majority of the Muslim does not offer their prayers. The Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)  made this prediction at a time when Prayers were considered as a line of demarcation between unbelief  and belief.  Even the most sinful and vicious person living in that age did not miss his prayers.  In his (RA)  time i.e. fourteen centuries ago, the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)  predicted about the present times that the people will miss their prayers.

 (2) They shall begin to betray their trusts.

That is, they will misappropriate the trusts entrusted to them for safe custody.

 (3) They will begin to eat usurious income.

 (4) They will begin to consider lying to be lawful. Telling lies will become an art.

 (5) They will begin to commit murders on ordinary grounds.

 (6) They shall construct high-rise buildings.

 (7) They shall sell their Deen (Faith)

 (8) They shall violate the bonds of relationships

 (9) Justice will become a virtue almost hard to find anywhere.

 ( 10) Falsehood will become truth (and vice versa).

 ( 11 ) Silk garments will be worn by men.

 ( 12) Oppression and wrongdoing will become rampant.

 ( 13) Divorces will become a common practice.

 ( 14) Sudden deaths will become a common occurrence.

 (15) One who betrays his trust will be regarded as trustworthy.

 ( 16) The trustworthy will be regarded as untrustworthy.

 ( 17) The liar will be regarded as truthful.

 (18) The truthful will be regarded as liar.

 (19) Calumny (slandering) will become a common feature, i.e., people will put false blames on one another.

 (20) The weather shall be hot despite rains.  ( possible indication of  global warming)

 (21 ) Instead of desiring children people will hate them. They will pray to Allah not to favor them with children.

 This is actually happening as a result of the Family Planning Department of Governments are raising the slogan, "Only Two Issues" guarantee Prosperity.

 (22) The meaner classes will be happy and prosperous.

 (23) The respectable classes will be in trouble and cast out of the society.

 (24) The Rulers and the Ministers will become used to lying-engrossed in lies from morning till evening.

(25) The trustworthy will begin to betray their trusts.

 (26) The leaders of the people will become wrongdoers.

 (27) The scholars of Deen and the reciters of the Qur'an will become lewd and sinners.

(28) The people shall put on skin-garments.

 (29) The hearts of the wearers of skin-garments will be more foul-smelling than dead animals; and

 (30) They will be more bitter than the aloe plant (with bitter leaves).

 (31) Gold will become widely used.

 (32) Silver will be in great demand.

 (33) Sins will be on the increase.

 (34) Peace and security will deteriorate (as we see this at the moment).

 (35) The pages and covers of the Holy Qur'an will be lavishly decorated.

 (36) The Mosques will be decorated with beautiful writings and designs.

 (37) Lofty minarets will rise from the mosques.

 (38) Even so, the hearts will remain desolate and empty.

 (39) Wine will be drunk freely.

 (40) Punishments of the Shari 'ah will be suspended.

 (41) The slave girl shall bear her master. 

In other words, the daughter shall rule over her mother and behave with her as a master behaves with his slave girls.

 (42) The bare-footed, the naked and the uncultured shall become Kings and Rulers. 

The mean, the untouchable classes and the depressed ones will become Heads of State - (this is what has happened in India).

(43) Woman and man shall be partners in trade, as women are trying to take part in every walk of life side by side with men.

 (44) Men will imitate women; and

 (45) Women will imitate men. 

In other words, men and women shall adopt each other's guise and appearance. See what has actually happened today under the frenzy of fashion, so it is difficult to distinguish between men and women from a distance.

 (46) The people will swear by names other than Allah's name. 

It is lawful to swear only by Allah or some attribute of Allah or by the Holy Qur'an. In the later ages people will swear by objects as 'by your head', etc. This is unlawful and strictly forbidden.

 (47) In the times to come even the Muslims will bear false witnesses. 

The use of the word 'even' indicates that the non-Muslims do bear false witnesses freely but a Muslim who is not expected to do so, will also commit this sin.

 (48) Salam (salute) will be bidden only to those who are known and not to strangers.

          This is against the injunction of the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)  who has said in a Hadith:

Salam should be bidden to everyone whether you know or do not knock the the person.

If you are on a way you must bid Salam to every passer-by, except that if the number of the passers-by is very large, you may ignore this formality. However, a time will come when people will avoid bidding Salam even when there are only a few men passing on the road, and the custom of Salam will come to an end.

 (49) Religious knowledge will be acquired not for the sake of religion but for the sake of earning worldly resources and worldly honor and status.

 (50) Work relating to the Hereafter will be done to earls worldly gains.

 (51 (War-spoils) will be taken as personal estate has been used here to imply public property which will be enjoyed as personal property.

 (52) A trust shall be taken and misappropriated as plundered property.

 (53) Zakat (the obligatory Islamic tax) will be paid reluctantly, as if it were a penalty.

 (54) The meanest man shall become the leader of the community by their consent or votes.

 (55) Men will disobey their parents.

 (56) Men will misbehave with their mothers.

 (57) A man will not hesitate in causing harm to his friends.

 (58) A man will obey his wife.

 (59) The voices of the wrongdoers will rise in the mosques.

 (60) Women engaged in the singing profession (Film Actresses) will be held in great esteem and accorded high status.

 (61 ) Musical instruments will be kept and preserved with care.

 (62) Wine will be drunk by road-sides.

 (63) Wrongdoing and tyranny will be looked upon as acts of pride.

 (64) Justice will be sold (with bribery) in the Courts of Justice.

 (65) The number of the Police will increase

 (66) The Holy Qur'an will be recited in a musical style, so as to enjoy the singing tone and its musical cadence. The Qur'an will not be recited for the sake of its Da'wah (preaching) for understanding it and for reaping the reward for its recitation

 (67) Beast skins will be used.

 (68) The later people of the Ummah will taunt and curse the former people, i.e. the latter will pass derogatory remarks at the former. As a result of this trend a large section of the people is deriding insolently the Noble Companions  and are behaving in the same way with the leaders of Deen who conveyed to us the message of Deen. These elder Doctors of Deen are being blamed as being ignorant of the Ahadith and the Holy Qur'an whereas the later generations claim to have understood those sources of Islam better than the former The Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) . also said that when these signs appear then:

 (69) Red wind-storm may come from Allah, or

(70) Earthquakes may upheave the earth; or

(71 ) The people's faces may be distorted; or

 (72) Stones may rain down from the sky or some other torment may descend from Allah - God forbid. All these signs are proving true of our society one by one. The punishment that has come over us is really due to these misdeeds. (Durre-Mansoor vol 4, P-52)

A mountain of misfortune shall fall down:  

It has been narrated by Sayyidn'a Ali (RA)  that the  Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) said: When fifteen misdeeds become common among my Ummah a mountain of misfortunes will fall down on them.

When the Noble Companions (RA) asked: O Messenger of Allah if  what these fifteen misdeeds are, he  replied saying:

Who are the thieves of the Public Funds?:

(1)   When public money is regarded as looted property. See how the public funds are being misappropriated today. This loot is not confined only to the rulers, but influential men from among the public also plunder these funds as and when they are able to do so. We do many things without thinking that these are also acts of stealing public funds. For example, illegal electric connection, long foreign or local calls without paying the due charges with the unauthorized assistance of some Telephone Exchange employees, ticket less journeys or traveling in a higher class than that for which the tickets were purchased for the purpose.

Serious  Theft
The theft of public money is more serious than ordinary cases of theft. If a man commits theft in the house of anyone, it is possible to return the amount stolen, the thief ever feels inclined to repent of his act of theft, or to get the amount stolen waved by its owner. The thief's crime will thus be washed off, but this is not possible in the case of theft of public money, because it belongs not to one man but to innumerable men of the public in such a case repentance becomes impossible. May Allah protect us from this theft.

 (2) When people begin to misappropriate trusts, treating these as plundered booty.

 (3) When the  people regard payment of Zakat (obligatory tax) as the payment of a penalty.

 (4) When a man obeys his wife and disobeys his mother.  For example, his wife wants him to do something which is unlawful and his mother tries to stop him from this unlawful act but the man obeys his wife and disobeys his mother.

 (5) When a man behaves well with his friends and misbehaves with his parents.

 (6) Raising voices in the mosques voices will be raised in the mosques.
The mosques have been built for remembering Allah and offering Salat and no disturbance should be caused in such devotional acts. However, people disturb these acts of worship and devotion by raising their voices in the mosques. The Nikah (matrimonial tie) is performed in the mosques and this is a desirable practice but on such occasion the parties do not maintain the sanctity of the mosques and raise hues and cries which is a sin with no compensatory benefit. whatsoever. This is condemnable.

 (7) The leader of the community is the meanest person of it.

 (8) A man is held in esteem for fear of his mischief as when he is not esteemed he may involve his opponents in some trouble.

 (9) Wine will be drunk openly.

 ( 10) Silk garments will be worn by men.

 (11 ) Singing women in Houses Singing girls and maids will be lodged in the houses and musical instruments will be kept with great care.  The Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)  has predicted these things at a time when none could imagine them.  In his prediction the Holy Prophet  (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)  has said: They shall lodge in their houses singing girls. It is, however, a fact that every man has not the capacity to lodge and maintain in his house singing girls.  What does then the Hadith mean? The invention of the Radios, tape-recorders video cassettes and TVs has corroborated the truth of the words spoken by the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam).    In the presence of these appliances anyone can enjoy music dancing and see singing girls at his choice and pleasure.  For the same reason it is not necessary for anyone now-a-days to purchase musical instruments and keep them in one's house.  The appliances enumerated above provide all sorts of audios- videos enjoyments.

 (12) The later generations of this Ummah will curse the people of the former generations

 The Holy Prophet(Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)  said that when these vices spread in his Ummah, torments and misfortunes shall fall on them God forbid. All the vices which the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)  has enumerated in this Hadith are clearly visible in our society today.

Wine will be drunk under the name of a harmless drink:

The Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)  has said in another Hadith that: The people of his Ummah will make wine lawful by giving it the name of a (soft drink) beverage.

We see that today books have been written on this topic claiming that the wine presently in use is not prohibited and no where in the Holy Qur'an has the word unlawful been used for wine.  As regards to beer -  this is nothing more than barley-water.  This is also a beverage like all other beverages. In this way proofs are being invented and offered to declare wine lawful.  This is exactly what the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)  declared fourteen centuries ago.

Usurious transactions will be given the name of business:

A time will come when the people of my Ummah will make usury lawful by declaring it to be a business transaction, as is being done now-a-days. They say that bank interest is the form of a business transaction.  If this is declared unlawful, the business activities will be greatly handicapped.

Bribery will be given the name of a Gift:

There will come a time when the people of "my Ummah will make bribery lawful by giving it the name of a gift" The giver of bribery will give and the taker of bribe will take bribe under the name of a gift, even though the offer is nothing other than bribery.  All these sins, crimes and vices are present today in the society.

These four predictions of the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)  fully apply today to our Society. (Kanzul-Amal. Hadith No: 38497):

To come to mosques, sitting on cushions:

The Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) a has said in a hadith that:

During the later ages (of trials and tribulations) the people will arrive (to the gates of) at the mosques on    Mayasir (an Arabic word, meaning very costly and fine silk cloth which the rich men used in those days to cover the saddles of their horses).  In the olden days it was difficult to imagine what going to the mosques on Mayasir  meant.  Now it has become  very clear that the indication in the Hadith point to the comfortable spring-based car seats on which the richer class of the society go to the mosques for Salat.

Women will be naked notwithstanding that they will be clad in garments:

 The Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) next said:

 Their women will be naked notwithstanding that they will be clad in garments.

It was difficult to understand the meaning of the pardah, (Veil) but today we are seeing own our own eyes the truth of this Hadith. Either the women wear finely thin garments reflecting the hidden contours of their bodies or the garments will be of close-fitting and short that parts of their bodies will remain naked. It is seen that the heads of the womenfolk remain naked in 80% cases and according to the injunctions of the Shari 'ah bare-headed women come under the definition of naked ones. (Sahih Muslim)

Women's Hair:

Thereafter, the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)  said:

 The hair on these women will be bulging upwards like camel-humps. 

This is also one of those Ahadith whose meaning was not clear to the Ulama of olden days.  But today the meaning has become quite clear to us, because the women make their hair bulging upwards by adding artificial wigs to their natural hair.

 The Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) next said:  “These women are cursed ones.”

Allah has created womenfolk to remain confined within their prescribed injunction.  When these women go out of their houses unveiled, then according to Hadith Satan begins to gaze and peep at them.  When a woman goes out to the market having applied perfume to her body and Clothes, Allah and His Angels both curse her.

The real purpose of garments:

The real purpose of wearing garments is to cover i.e. o those parts of the body that are 'shame' which must be covered. Almighty Allah has said about it in the Holy Qur'an:

O children of Adam v we have sent down to you raiment to conceal your shame and for adornment. (7:26)

So the garment which does not conceal the part of the body that form "shame" defeats the purpose for which it is worn.  If the real purpose of the garment is thus defeated, it means that the person wearing that garment is naked. Therefore, for God's sake, we should wear proper dresses -  Even God-fearing people who are righteous and regular Namazis (observed salat) do not pay attention to this aspect as they do not mind at all whether the dress they are putting on fulfils the purpose of covering their bodies properly.  The woeful conditions we are facing these days are the results of these lapses on our part.   It is our duty to make sure that at least the members of our own households and relatives, etc. put on dresses which conform to the injunctions of the Shari 'ah in this behalf.

Other nations will eat up the Muslims:

Sayyidn'a Sauban (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)  has narrated that the Holy Prophet  (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) said in a Hadith:

There will come upon you a time when the other nations of the world will invite one another to eat you up as people sitting round a dining cloth invite others to partake of the food served on that cloth. In the same way a time will come when the stronger nations of the world will invite other nations to eat up the Muslims. (Abu Dawood)

Those who are acquainted with the last century's history, i.e. from the first world war till now know quite well how tyrannically the non-Muslim communities have behaved with the Muslims and how they have been dividing the Muslim countries among themselves, saying: Egypt is yours and Syria is mine, Algeria is yours and Morocco is mine, India is mine and Burma is yours, and so on so forth.

The Muslims will become like Straws:

When the Holy Prophet  (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) thus predicted the condition of the Muslims to the Noble Companions (RA) some Companions, asked:  O Messenger of Allah! s.a.w. Will the number of the Muslims become so small at that time that that non-Muslims will begin to eat up, and will invite others also to feast upon, the Muslims? The Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)  replied, saying: No, "at that time your number will be very large (i.e one billion, . about one-third of the total world population), but your example will be like countless straws floating on the surface of flood water."   In other words, the Muslims will have no say in any matter; they will go on drifting in the direction in which the world powers want to take them.

The Muslims will become cowards:

 The Holy Prophet
(Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)  next said:

Almighty Allah shall take away your awe from the hearts of your enemies and weakness and cowardice will find access to your hearts. A Companion (RA) asked: O Messenger of Allah! (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) What are weakness and cowardice?  The Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)  replied saying: "it is weakness that love of the world shall creep into the hearts and the people will begin to hate death"   and this means that they will dislike meeting Almighty Allah.  All their thoughts will be concentrated on earning the worldly resources together with fame and respect whether by lawful or unlawful means.

 The courage of the Noble Companions (RA): 

It is narrated that a Companion (RA) remained all alone in a battle and  three or four infidel, stout fighters came in front of that lonely Companion , When the Companion  as a, advanced to fight the infidel fighters some other Companions,  tried to dissuade the former Companion  from confronting those strong and experienced infidel fighters and advised him to wait for the Muslim forces to arrive there.  The Companion (RA)  did not agree to their advice and asked them on oath and without any hesitation not to try to intervene between him and Paradise, as those wrestler fighters were like a path leading to Paradise.  This being the condition of the Noble Companions they were not able to understand the meaning of cowardice and weakness.  The fact remains that by virtue of the company of the Holy Prophet  (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)  Allah had removed from their hearts the love for the world.  They had always in view the Hereafter as well as scenes from Paradise and Hell.  That is why they were not afraid of deathand  rather desired to find access to the Divine Court of Almighty Allah.

The burning desire of a Companion for Martyrdom:

A Companion  (RA) entered a battlefield and found that in front of him a well equipped and armed force of the infidels was ready to encounter him.  Seeing this enemy force, the Companions spontaneously recited this Arabic poetical couplet:

Tomorrow we shall meet friends, i.e. Muhammad (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)  and his Noble Companions

Once a Companion (RA) was hit by an arrow and blood began to gush forth from his wound.  At this critical moment he spontaneously uttered these words:

 By the Lord of the Ka'bah I have been successful.

They were people who possessed belief and firm conviction. They had full trust in Allah and there was no trace in their hearts of the love of the world.

 The first command concerning the period of Trials: 

What should a Muslim do during such a period? The first injunction which the Holy Prophet
(Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)  has issued about this is as under:

 (At such a time) the major party of the Muslims and their Imam (leader) should be followed.

A Companion , put this question: O Messenger of Allah! (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) What should the Muslims do when they have neither an organized association of the Muslims nor have they a popular and acceptable Imam ? The Holy Prophet(Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)  replied to this question, saying:   

In such a situation lead a secluded life away from every group and party and stick to your houses like the mats and rugs spread on the floor of your houses and remain confined to the boundary of your houses as far as possible and do not join the disorganized groups

Now what injunction can be more evident and clear than this?

The second command concerning the period of Trials: 

The Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) has said in another Hadith:

While you are leading a secluded life away from the people and if the Muslims begin to fight among themselves killing one another, do not look at them, because the onlooker of such scenes may be caught in the trial and disturbance  (the scene may catch him too who looks at the scene of quarrel). In such a critical time keep to the bounds of the house.

The third command concerning the period of Trials: 

The Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)  has said in another Hadith:

The trial will be such that  one who remains standing during that period will be better than the one who is walking and one who is sitting will be better than the one who is standing.

In other words, during that time of trials, you should take no part in its activities and movements. You should instead, try to ameliorate your own personal life, sitting quietly at home. Do not involve yourself in the collective trials and tribulations.

The best property of a man during the period of Trials: 

The Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)  has said in another Hadith:

A time will come when the best property of a man will be his goats with which he can go up to the mountain peaks, leaving the hustle and bustle of town life. For his sustenance he should depend on his goats. He will be much safer in the mountains than in the towns where visible and invisible trials are ready to pick him up.

 An important injunction to follow during the period of Trials: 

The Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)  wants to advise by means of these Ahadith that time will not be suitable for collective and social activities, because all the parties and associations will be unreliable and untrustworthy.  It will not be possible to distinguish between right and wrong.  So, during such an uncertain period one should engage himself in obeying Allah and safeguarding his Eeman  (Faith), so as to die as a believer.   This is the only way of safety from these trials.  The verse I have recited in the beginning lays emphasis on the same point, viz., 

“O those who believe, take care  of yourselves.  The one who has gone astray cannot harm you, if you are on the right path........ (5-105)

When this verse was revealed, the Noble Companions , put this question to the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)  They said:

This verse seems to tell that man should mind his own business without worrying about others. if someone is going astray let him go and do not advise him to do good and refrain from doing wrong. This is one side of the problem. On the other side there are clear injunctions to enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong. How to reconcile these two conflicting injunctions:

 Four signs of the period of Trials: 

While replying to this question the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) said:

The verses which enjoin doing good and forbidding doing wrong are also quite right in their places as they advise the preaching of Deen.  A time will, however, come when man will be responsible to take care of, and reform his own self. this will be the time in which the following four signs will appear:

 (1) Firstly, it will be the time when a man will be hankering after wealth and will become miserly.  From morning till evening he will be engrossed in his lust to increase his balance by hook or by crook All that he will do will be in the interest and love of worldly gains.

 (2) Secondly, people will be drowned at all times in satisfying their desires and lusts. A man will follow the direction towards which his desires push him, without caring what is lawful and what is unlawful and whether the path he is following leads to Paradise, to the pleasure of Allah or to His displeasure. Forgetting all these considerations, he will be running after his desires..

 (3) Thirdly, preference will be accorded to the worldly gains over the gains of the Hereafter. The people will be warned against the approach of the Hereafter; arrival of death about which there is no doubt; burial in the grave; attendance before Almighty Allah. The only reply to all these warnings will be:  I cannot help, this is the trend of the times.  After all one should follow the affairs of the world also in which one has to pass his life with others. Thus ignoring all these admonitions man will become totally absorbed in earning the worldly resources.

 (4) Fourthly, every man will be self-willed, not prepared to heed better advice. He will think that he alone is right and the others are wrong. This is a common observation. Everyone has formed his own opinion about what is lawful and what is unlawful even though he has not spent a single day in trying to study and understand the Holy Qur'an and the sacred Ahadith. When some problem of the Shari 'ah is mentioned before him, he raises objections and begins to project his own misleading notions. Everyone will feel proud of his own opinion.

 Anyway, try to seek your own safety when these four signs become apparent, viz:

 I) Love of worldly resources;

 2) Hankering after one's own desires;

 3) Preferring the world to the Hereafter.

 4) Taking pride in being self-willed.

As already stated, at such a critical time people should mind their own salvation and safety forgetting what the others are doing. They should keep themselves aloof from the common men and try to reform their own selves.  Keeping within the bounds of their houses at all costs. This is the injunction of the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)  to his Ummah to follow during the period of trials and tribulations.

 The conduct of the Noble Companions on difference of opinions: 

After the sad demise of the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)  the responsibility of guiding the Ummah passed to the Noble Companions  (RA)  During this period serious differences cropped up between Sayyidn'a Ali (RA) and Sayyidn'a Mu'awiyah (RA_  which ultimately ended in armed confrontation between their armies. differences also arose between Sayyidn'a Ali  (RA) and Sayyidah Ayeshah (RA)   This also resulted in an armed conflict between the supporters of the two sides through these differences during the time of the Noble Companions and their conduct during the difference Almighty Allah has taught how the future generations should tackle situations arising out of such differences and conflicts. As a result, those Companions and their immediate followers (Ta-bi-'een), who believed in Sayyidn'a Ali's(RA) right conduct acted on that Hadith in which the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)  said:

 (At such a time) the major party of the Muslims and their Imam (leader) should be followed.

Acting upon this Hadith, they sided with Sayyidn'a Ali (RA)  whom they regarded as the Imam of the major  group. Some Noble Companions, and the Ta-bi- een believed that Sayyidn'a Amir Muiawiyah (RA) was on the right path and was their Imam.  So, they sided with him.  There was a third group who was not able to find out who was on the right and who was on the wrong path. In pursuance of a Hadith of the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) they decided to dissociate themselves from either party They, therefore, remained neutral in the conflict between the two parties and remained with the bounds of their houses.

 The conduct of Sayyidn'a Abdullah bin Umar (RA):

Sayyidn'a Abdullah bin Umar (RA) the son of Sayyidn'a Umar (RA) was a Companion and jurist of a very high order.   He confined himself to his house when a man called upon him and asked him: Why was he sitting quietly when a battle between right and wrong was raging outside his house between Sayyidn'a Ali (RA) and Sayyidn'a Amir Mu'awiyah (RA) ? He should side with Sayyidn'a Ali (RA) whom the man considered to be on the right path.  Sayyidn'a Abdullah bin Umar (RA) , replied, saying: that he had heard this ahadith from the Holy Prophet  (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) that when the Muslims fall out with one another and it becomes obscure what was right and what was wrong, then one should confine himself to the four walls of his house and put aside his weapons.  As Sayyidn'a Abdullah bin Umar (RA)  could not distinguish between the right and the wrong in that conflict he remained neutral and did not become a party to any of the opponents.

 The man took objections to Sayyidn'a Abdullah bin Umar's (RA) stand and invited his attention to the following verse of the Holy Qur'an:

 And fight them until persecution is no more. (2:l93)

 Sayyidn'a Abdullah bin Umar (RA)  gave a very apt reply to this; saying:

When we fought against the enemy along with the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)   Almighty Allah put an end to the persecution. On the other hand, when you took part in the fight ( i.e taken a side) the persecution did not stop but it increased and became more violent.  That is why, acting upon the advice of the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) I confined myself to the bounds of my house.

 How to conduct ourselves during conditions of peace and disturbance:

I was extremely overjoyed when I came across a statement of a Muhadith which runs thus:

Follow Sayyidn'a Umar (RA) as a, during conditions of peace and tranquility and follow his son (RA) during conditions of trials and disturbances. The meaning of this statement is self-explanatory

 Amicable mutual relations in spite of differences: 

Almighty Allah showed us all these scenes and situations during the era of Noble Companions ,. Those Companions who believed that Sayyidn'a Ali (RA)  was right sided with him, and those who believed that Sayyidn'a Amir Muiawiyah  (RA) was right supported him. The world witnessed a unique scene, never seen before, that despite hostilities when someone, in the army of Sayyidn'a Ali,  died the army men of Sayyidn'a Amir Muiawiyah (RA) joined the funeral prayer of the deceased belonging to the opposite camp and vice versa The reason for this was that this battle was not fought for the sake of some selfish worldly gain, honour and position. The cause of the armed conflict was obedience to a Command of Allah as interpreted by each party.  In other words, each side was busy acting upon Allah's Command sincerely as it had interpreted the command.

The conduct of Sayyidn'a Abu Hurairah (RA):

 My late, respected father used to tell us that Sayyidn'a Abu Hurairah (RA)  was a literate Companion and a religious scholar, busy at all times in studies. During the battle between the two warring Companions  he used to visit both without taking anyone's side. When there was prayer time he would go to Sayyidn'a Ali's (RA) army to pray behind him. When it was meal time he would go to Sayyidn'a Amir Muiawiyah's (RA)  army and take meal with the latter. Someone asked Sayyidn'a Abu Hurairah  (RA) about this strange conduct of him, he replied:

The prayer behind Sayyidn'a Ali (RA) was better so he prayed there, but he took meal in Sayyidn'a Mu'awiyah's (RA) camp because the food was of a better quality there. Thus the Noble Companions have taught us how to behave during times of mutual differences and conflicts.

 The reply of Sayyidn'a Musawiyah (RA)  to Caesar of Rome:

Just when these two armies stood face to face ready to grapple with each other, a message from the Caesar of Rome came to Sayyidn'a Amir Mu'awiyah (RA)  to the effect:

 I have heard that your brother Sayyidn'a Ali (RA) has done a great wrong to you. He is not taking revenge from the killers of Sayyidn'a Usman (RA)  If you desire, I can send you a huge army to help you, so that you may confront him.Sayyidn'a Amir Muiawiyah  (RA) In at, at once replied to Caesar in the following words:

 "O Christian Ruler! you plan to attack Sayyidn'a  Ali (RA)  on account of our mutual differences. Beware! If you have the audacity  to cast an evil eye at Sayyidn'a Ali  (RA) the first man emerging from Sayyidn'a Ali's (RA) army to behead you shall be Mu'awiyah (RA) 

All the Noble Companions are honourable and dignified in our eyes: 

It is very sad that now-a-days people utter unworthy words for the Noble Companions although they are too respectable and dignified. It is impossible for us to understand their status and religious fervour. We begin today to compare their mutual quarrels and differences to our own, but this is not right. We must understand that Almighty Allah, in His mercy, provided through the quarrels among the Noble Companions , a model and code of conduct for the Ummah to follow during mutual differences and disputes arising among them in the times to come. Each of them, whether he is Sayyidn'a Ali,(RA)  Sayyidn'a Amir Mu'awiyah (RA)  or Sayyidn'a Abdullah bin Umar (RA)  has left behind for us a beautiful model to emulate when caught in similar situations. We must therefore beware of those who speak ill of one or another Companion because of their mutual disputes and differences. None can even dream of approaching such high status and station they occupy in the sight of Allah.

 The sincerity and Godliness of  Sayyidn'a Amir Mu'awiyah (RA): 

The people say many undesirable things about Sayyidn'a Amir Mu'awiyah (RA)  because he nominated his son Yazeed his heir-apparent. In one Friday during the Friday sermon he made foe following supplication from the pulpit:

O Allah! I assert on oath that in nominating my son my heir-apparent I had nothing in my mind except the good and interest of the Ummah of Muhammad (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)  If I had in my mind anything other than this, then I pray to You to let him die before the implementation of this decision of mine.

 Just consider coolly that no father can pray in this way against his son as Sayyidn'a Amir Mu'awiyah (RA) did  This shows beyond any shadow of doubt that his action in nominating his son heir-apparent was based on sincerity. All men, except Prophets are liable to err. The decision taken by Sayyidn'a Amir Mu'awiyah (RA)  at a, might have been erroneous but it was based on sincerity and it was for the sake of Allah alone.

 Retire into seclusion:

By acting upon all the Ahadith about trials and tribulations the Noble Companions have left behind for us examples to follow during such disturbed conditions. When such time comes that the distinction between right and wrong becomes difficult and obscure, there is no alternative but to take to seclusion and retirement as did Sayyidn'a Abdullah bin Umar (RA) 

 It is a fact that Allah had decided upon a unique plan from the point of His creative scheme. Allah accomplished great jobs and performances through such Companions Is as had gone into seclusion. If they had taken part in the battle many of them would have to fallen martyrs, depriving the future generations of their valuable services in the path of Deen (Faith).

 Those who dissociated themselves from the world and went into seclusion began to collect and compile the Ahadith. Thus, they left behind a great treasure for the future generations in the form of books of Ahadith and other literature on Islam.

Take Care of your own reform and well-being: 

Thus the command about the period of Trials and tribulation is that one should confine himself to the four walls of his house, devote his time to the rehearsal of Allah's name and keep himself aloof from all sins and wrongs and try to reform the members of his household also. If everyone follows this path and reforms himself this will lead to the reform of the entire society slowly and gradually. This is how one lamp is lighted from another lamp and the darkness of disturbance and chaos is dispelled

Look into your own weaknesses:

The time we are passing through today is a period of severe trials and tribulations. To steer clear of this hectic situation the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) has advised us not to join any party, but confine ourselves to our houses, try to reform ourselves and search for our own weaknesses and short-comings. Consider seriously if the prevailing trials and disturbances may be due to the ill-omen of our own sins. Everyone of the society should adopt this trend of thinking. Take an example. During a severe famine in Egypt the people called upon Sayyidn'a Zun-noon  of Egypt to complain of this calamity. He told the people that this might be due to his own sins. Ho should, therefore leave the place, so that his absence might perhaps dispel the calamity and attract Allah's mercy. As for ourselves! we are used to find fault with and attribute all misfortunes to others. In these days we hardly find persons who try to look into their own faults and defects. It is, therefore, imperative that everyone should try to reform himself instead of finding fault with others.

Refrain from sins:

While thinking to reform yourself, the least you should do is to give up one by one the sins that you commit from morning till evening. You should also turn to Allah every day in repentance and seek His forgiveness. You should also pray to Allah to keep you and your household away from the ill-omen and woes of the period of trials. The words of prayer may be:

 O Allah! I seek refuge with You from all apparent and hidden trials.

 You should in addition save yourself as far as possible from the following sins:

1 - Backbiting

2- Sins due to casting evil eyes

3- Lewdness and nakedness

4- Hurting others

5- Sins of accepting bribe

6- Dealings in Usurious transactions, etc.

If you spent your life in negligence, thoughtlessness and recklessness, then this may - God forbid - result in a bad end and loss of Eeman (Faith). May Allah help us to act upon these injunctions. Aameen !

Article taken (with Thanks) from As-sidq


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This page was last updated on June 14, 2003 .