The hadiths of our Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) contain a great deal of detailed information and signs about the End Times that will take place close to the Day of Judgment. According to the information imparted by our Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace), a great many significant events will take place one after the other at that time. In the first stage of the End Times there will be great corruption and disorder on earth, and in the second stage peace and security will prevail as people begin living by true religious moral values.
In the first stage of the End Times there will be terrible degeneration among people because of various philosophical systems that inculcate atheism and irreligion by their refusal to accept the existence of Almighty Allah. Humanity will turn away from the purpose behind its Creation, leading to enormous spiritual emptiness and moral degeneration. There will be terrible disasters, wars and famines, and all people will seek the answer to the question, ‘How can we be saved?’ in order to bring these troubles to an end. The majority of these developments related as portents of the End Times in the hadiths of our Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) have taken place in our time, just as reported. The recent growing rise in war and conflict, terror, violence, anarchy and disorder, slaughter and torture are a sign that the first stage of the End Times is now taking place.
According to the information in the hadiths of our Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace), Allah will rescue people from the corruption of the End Times after this period of darkness and bestow a great salvation upon them. Allah will make Hazrat Mahdi (as), in other words a servant with superior moral values and who bears the title of he who leads to the truth, lead people who have turned their backs on proper moral values and societies that have suffered degeneration to the true path. In the hadiths of our Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) and expositions by Islamic scholars, Hazrat Mahdi (as) is reported as assuming three great responsibilities in this regard. First and foremost, Hazrat Mahdi (as) will ensure the intellectual defeat of those philosophical systems that refuse to accept the existence of Almighty Allah and that support atheism. On the other hand, he will restore Islam to the essence revealed in the Qur’an and the Sunnah of our Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace). In this first stage of the End Times he will produce a solution to the disorder, social problems and societal difficulties facing humanity and will be a means whereby peace, happiness and virtue prevail over the entire world.
The Prophet Jesus (pbuh), on the other hand, who will return to earth during the same period in which Hazrat Mahdi (as) lives, will address the Christian and Jewish worlds in particular, rid them of the superstitions into which they have fallen, and call on them to live by Qur’anic moral values. As Christians comply with the Prophet Jesus (pbuh), Islam and Christianity will unite in a single faith and a period of great peace, security, happiness and well-being, known as The Golden Age will commence.
This holy age, awaited with great longing for hundreds of years, will last more than half a century according to the indications in the hadiths, and will resemble The Age of Happiness that took place during the time of our Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace). Life will be so delightful during the Golden Age that all people will wish to have lived in that time. They will fail to notice the passage of time, and will beseech Allah to extend their lives so that they can take greater enjoyment from these delights. This longing felt for the Golden Age is revealed as followed in the hadiths of our Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace):
the younger ones wish they were grown-ups, while the adults wish they were younger.1
Naim b. Hammad related from Ibn Abbas:
The Mahdi is a young one from our Ahl al-Bayt. Our elderly will not reach him whereas the young ones will hope for him.2
His time will be so just that even the dead in the tombs will envy the alive...3
In the hadiths, our Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) has revealed that people will join with Hazrat Mahdi (as), a most worthy individual who will be a means whereby they attain salvation in this world and in the Hereafter, and has indicated the good things that will take place in his time:
In the work Fiten, Ibn Abu Shayba and Naim b. Hammad, and Ibn Majah and Abu Naim related from Ibni Mas’ud. He said:
A man from my family appears to fill earth with justice, just as it has been filled with corruption. So whoever reaches that [time] ought to come to them, even if crawling on the ice/snow, since among them is the caliph of Allah al-Mahdi.4
People will experience all these delights revealed to His servants by Allah in the Qur’an during this period. In one verse of the Qur’an Allah reveals that He will bestow a pleasant life in this world on His faithful believers:
Anyone who acts rightly, male or female, being a believer, We will give them a good life and We will recompense them according to the best of what they did. (Surat an-Nahl: 97)
1. (Al-Burhan fi `Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, The Book of Portents of the Awaited Mahdi, p. 17.))
2. Portents of the Mahdi of the End Times, Jallalladdin Suyuti, p. 23
3. (Al-Qhavlu’l Mukhtasar Fi Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntadhar, (The Book of Portents of the Awaited Mahdi), p. 22)
4. Portents of the Mahdi of the End Times, Jallalladdin Suyuti, p. 14