One of the pronouncements given to us by the Prophet (saas) about the End Times is the following:

Great cities will be ruined and it will be as if they had
not existed the day before.

(Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi Alamat
al-Mahdi Akhir al-Zaman)

The ruin of great cities spoken of in this hadith brings to mind the destruction that now arises from war and various natural disasters. Recently developed nuclear weapons, aircraft, bombs, missiles, and other modern weapons, have caused untold destruction. These terrible weapons have brought about a degree of destruction never before seen. Indeed, the great cities targeted are most affected by this destruction. The incomparable destruction of the Second World War is an example of this. With the use of the atom bomb in world’s greatest war, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were completely destroyed. As a result of heavy bombing, European capitals and other important cities suffered a great amount of damage. The Encyclopedia Britannica describes the damage caused to European cities by World War II:

The resulting devastation had turned much of Europe into a moonscape: cities laid waste or consumed by fire storms, the countryside charred and blackened, roads pitted with shell holes or bomb craters, railways out of action, bridges destroyed or truncated, harbors filled with sunken, listing ships. “Berlin,” said General Lucius D. Clay, the deputy military governor in the U.S. zone of postwar Germany, “was like a city of the dead.”6

In short, the unprecedented destruction caused by the Second World War conforms entirely to that described in the hadith of the Prophet (saas).


In the hadiths, it is revealed that, in the End Times, big cities will be destroyed as if they had never existed. In the past century, many cities were destroyed in such a manner. Only two examples here suffice, Hiroshima after the atom bomb (above), and several cities in Chechnya. (right)
Another cause of the destruction of major cities is natural disasters. It is a statistical fact that the age in which we live has seen an increase in both the number and the seriousness of natural disasters. In the last ten years, disasters caused by climactic changes are a novel phenomenon. A dangerous and unwanted by-product of industry is global warming. Industry is gradually disturbing the balance in the world’s atmosphere, giving rise to climactic changes. The year of 1998 was the hottest on earth since records have been kept.7 According to the information of the American National Climate Data Center, the greatest number of weather-related disasters occurred in 1998.8 For example, Hurricane Mitch has been referred to by a number of observers as the world’s worst natural disaster ever to strike Central America.9

In the last few years, hurricanes, storms, typhoons and other such disasters have had a destructive effect on the American continent as well as in several other places in the world. In addition, floods have caused mudslides, which have engulfed certain centers of population. Furthermore, earthquakes, volcanoes and tidal waves have also caused great devastation. Therefore, all this destruction brought on upon the great cities by these calamities is an important sign in each case.


In the last century, a great number of disasters have occurred. In numerous countries, destruction has taken place as a result of which millions have lost their lives. These events are a striking parallel to that mentioned in the hadiths as signs of the End Times. People should now take lessons from these occurrences and adopt the moral teachings of the Qur’an.


6. Britannica Encyclopedia 2000, “The blast of World War II”
7. BBC News Online, "The first horseman: Environmental disaster", December 1999, http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/scie/tech/newsid_563000/563127.stm
8. National Climatic Data Center, "Billion Dollar U.S. Weather Disasters", October 2000, http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/ol/reports/billionz.html
9. Encarta Encyclopedia 2000, "Central America"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Signs of the Last Day in the Hadiths of the Prophet (saas)

Introduction
War and Anarchy
The Destruction of Great Cities: Wars and Disasters
Earthquakes
Poverty
The Collapse of Moral Values
The Rejection of the True Religion and the Moral Values of the Qur’an
Social Deterioration
Science and Technology
The Return of ‘Isa (as) After the Emergence of False Prophets
The Golden Age
After the Golden Age

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