The Prophet Muhammad (saas), as we all know, lived fourteen centuries ago. Historical records show that, when the Qur’an was revealed, Arab society did not have the technology to enable it to conduct investigations of the world or the universe. Therefore, there is a significant difference between the level of science and technology at the time, when the Prophet (saas) lived, and our own. Actually, the difference has persisted into the beginnings of the twentieth and the twentyfirst centuries. A clear proof of this is that a few technological innovations whose names were unpronounceable just a few decades ago have become indispensable elements of our lives today.

Despite these enormous differences, in the seventh century, the Prophet (saas) revealed a number of truths about the future. In the following pages, we will examine the hadiths describing the degree of scientific and technological knowledge of the End Times. We will see that what the Prophet (saas) predicted fourteen centuries ago is coming true in our time.


Medical Technology:

For ages, living a long life has been one of humanity’s chief goals, one which it has spent much effort to achieve. In this regard, Muhammad (saas) revealed to us a development in the End Times:

At that time ... life spans will grow longer.
(Ibn Hajar Haythami, Al Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi 'alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar



1400 years ago the Prophet (saas) predicted the scientific developments mentioned in these headlines.

Fourteen centuries have passed since the Prophet (saas) said these words. Records kept over the past few years have clearly shown that the average life expectancy in our time is greater than that in every preceding age. Even, there was already a great difference between the beginning and the end of the twentieth century. For example, a person born in 1995 can expect to live more than 35 years longer than a person born in 1900.22 Another striking example of this is that, in the past, people rarely lived to a 100 years; today many people survive to that age.

According to the United Nations Department of National Population, over the past few years, the world’s population has continued on its remarkable transition from a high rate of birth and death to one of low birth and death rates. The substance of this transition has been the growth in the number and proportion of older persons. Such a rapid, large and pervasive increase has never been seen in the history of civilization.23

This increase in life expectancy must have a cause. The development of health services due to the advance of medical technology have made such a situation possible. In addition, developments in genetics and the rapidly advancing Human Genome Project are about to incept a totally new era in the field of health. These advances are of a proportion that people living in earlier times could never even have imagined. Based on all these developments, we can say that people living in our time have reached the long and healthy life described in the above hadith.


Education:

A significant difference that distinguishes the twentieth and twentyfirst centuries from previous ages is the advance in literacy. In earlier times, the ability to read and write belonged to a particular group of people who were privileged in status, whereas, towards the end of the twentieth century, UNESCO and other government and private organizations, have organized campaigns throughout the world to counter this trend. This mobilization of educational resources, with its attendant technological innovations and humanitarian services, has born fruit in our time. According to a report by UNESCO, the average literacy rate in 1997 was 77.4%.24 This figure is certainly the highest it has been in 14 centuries. At the same time, the Prophet (saas) described society of the End Times in his hadiths:

Literacy will increase—as Judgment draws nigh.
(Ahmad Diya’al-Din al-Kamushkhanawi, Ramuz al-Ahadith)



By means of projects made possible by new technology, the literacy rate today
has reached the range of 80%.


Construction Technology:

A sign of the advanced technology of the age in which we live and which The Prophet (saas) has mentioned is the construction of tall buildings.

There will be no Judgment—until very tall buildings are constructed.

(Reported by Abu Hurairah)

The Hour will not be established—till the people compete with one another in constructing high buildings.

(Bukhari)



The time in which we live, with its tall buildings, and competition in the advancement of building technology, was described in the hadiths 14 centuries ago.

If we look at the history of architecture and engineering, we see that multi-storied buildings began to be constructed only towards the end of the nineteenth century. Technological developments, the growing use of steel and the use of elevators accelerated the construction of structures called skyscrapers. Skyscrapers have become an important part of the architecture of the twentieth and twentyfirst centuries, and have today become a symbol of prestige. What the hadith says has come true: people do compete in the construction of tall buildings, and nations compete with one another in building the tallest skyscrapers.


Transportation Technology:

Throughout history there has been a direct correlation between a people’s wealth and power and its transportation technology. Societies that were able to establish effective transportation systems enhanced their advancement.

In the twentieth and twentyfirst centuries, technology has truly reached a high level. Especially in transportation technology, architecture and various fields of engineering, wonderful developments have been achieved.

Speaking about the characteristics of the End Times, the Prophet (saas) said of the development of transportation:

The Last Day will not be established until …time will pass quickly.

(Bukhari)

Great distances will be traversed in short spans of time.

(Ahmad, Musnad)

The message at the above hadith is quite clear. During the End Times, great distances will be traveled in a short time by means of new vehicles. In our time, supersonic aircraft, trains and other advanced vehicles can, in a few hours, travel the distance it used to take months to, and do it more easily, comfortably and safely. In this sense, the sign related in the hadith has come true.

A high-speed automobile produced by the latest technology.

The Qur’an mentions vehicles that are the product of modern advanced technology:

And horses, mules and donkeys both to ride and for adornment. And He creates other things you do not know. (Surat an-Nahl: 8)

Here we may consider the meaning of the expression “time will pass quickly” in the first hadith, in the light of what we have related. Clearly, as the Prophet (saas) said, during the End Times, tasks would be completed in a much shorter time compared to other periods. Indeed, the advancements in science have allowed the possibility for most things to be finished in a much shorter time and with much better results. A similar hadith confirms this view:

The Last Hour will not come before time contracts, a year being like a month, a month like a week, a week like a day, a day like an hour, and an hour like the kindling of a fire.

(Tirmidhi)

For example, ages ago, international communication, that would span a period of weeks, can now be completed in a matter of seconds by the Internet and other modern communications technology. In the past, goods that reached their destinations after trips that took months by caravan can today be transported instantly. Today, millions of books can be published in the time it took to write merely a single book a few centuries ago. Daily things we now take for granted, such as hygiene, methods of food preparation, and child-care, no longer require as much time with the help of modern technological wonders.
We could easily provide numerous such examples. However, what we must stop to consider here is that the signs revealed by the Prophet (saas) in the seventh century are now coming true.

Another sign of the End Times revealed in the hadiths is the spreading of commerce (Reported by Ibn Masud (r.a.)) which has paralleled the advancements in transportation technology. Modern transportation has enabled every country in the world to establish close trade relations with others.


Some technical devices which allow various tasks to be completed in a much shorter time.


Communications Technology:

Some of the most interesting information the Prophet (saas) revealed is found in his hadiths that describe modern communications technology. One of the things he said is quite striking:

The Last Hour will not come before the end of a man's whip speak to him.

(Tirmidhi)

When we look at this hadith closely, we can see the truth it contains. As we know, in ancient times, the whip was widely used to ride saddle beasts, especially camels and horses. When we examine the hadith we see that the Prophet (saas) is making a comparison.

Let us ask the people today this question: “What speaking object can we compare to the shape of a whip?”

The most likely answer to this question would be a cell phone or some other such communication devices.


Technology, which can transport sound and images thousands of kilometers at the touch of a key, exhibits a striking parallel to the point mentioned in the Hadiths.

If we recall that wireless communication devices, such as cell phones or satellite telephones, are very recent developments, we will understand how prescient the Prophet (saas)’s description was 1400 years ago.

So, this is one more revelation of the time before Judgment Day in which we are living.

In another of the Prophet’s accounts, he highlights the development of communications technology:

There will be no Judgment ... until a person’s own voice speaks to him.

(Mukhtasar Tazkirah Qurtubi)

The message in this hadith is quite clear: it states that a person’s hearing his own voice is a characteristic of the End Times. Surely, for a person to hear his own voice, first it has to be recorded and then listened to. Voice recording and reproduction technology are products of the twentieth century. This development was a turning point in the advancement of science, one that has allowed the birth of the communications and media industries. Voice recording has now reached its apogee, with the latest developments in computer and laser technology.

In short, today’s electronic devices, like microphones and speakers, have made it possible to record and listen to a person’s voice, showing that what the above hadith has told us has come true.


1400 years ago, sound recording was described in the Hadiths as “a person’s own voice speaks to him”, while the technology that makes it possible to listen to sound recordings was predicted. Above, we see a music system which is the product of modern technology.

What is said in the hadiths that describe the End Times about communication technology is not limited to the above quoted hadith alone. There are other very interesting signs related in other hadiths:

The sign of that day: A hand will be extended from the sky, and people will look and see it.
(Ibn Hajar Haythami, Al Qawl a-Mukhtasar
fi 'alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar)

The sign of that day is a hand extended in the sky and people stopping to look at it.
(Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan
fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir al-Zaman)


It is clear that the word “hand” in the above hadith is intended figuratively. In earlier times, “a hand’s being extended from the sky and people’s looking and seeing it” as stated in the hadith might not have meant much for them. But when today’s technology is considered, this statement may be interpreted in a number of ways. For instance, television, which has become an indispensable part of the world today, and it, together with cameras and computers, may explain very well what the hadith described. The “hand” mentioned in the hadith might have been used in the sense of power. It may be referring to the images coming from the sky in the form of waves, that is, television.

All the communication devices discovered in the last few years allow us to confirm that we are likely living in the End Times.

Some other relevant instances are very interesting:

A voice will call him by name … and even people in the east and west will hear it.
(Ibn Hajar Haythami, Al Qawl al-Mukhtasar
fi 'alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar)

This voice will spread over the entire world, and every tribe will hear it in their own language.
(Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan
fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir al-Zaman)


A voice from the sky that everyone will hear in his own language.
(Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan
fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir al-Zaman)


By means of satellites, every kind of broadcast can be sent to its destination in an instant. The fact that the Prophet (saas) predicted this extraordinary capability 1400 years ago is another sign.

This hadith mentions a voice that will be heard throughout the whole world and in everyone’s own language. Evidently, this refers to radio, television and other such methods of communication. It is a miracle that, 1400 years ago, the Prophet (saas) referred to a development that was unimaginable even just a hundred years ago.
When Bediuzzaman Said Nursi interpreted these hadiths, he explained that they miraculously foretold the advent of radio, television and other such communication devices.25

22. M. Encarta Encyclopedia 2000, "Aging"
23. United Nations Population Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, The Ageing of the World’s Population, 2000, http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/ageing/ agewpop.htm
24. UNESCO Statistical Yearbook, 1997-ek-le- http://www.education.nic.in/htmlweb/ arhrne.htm
25. Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Risale-i Nur Collection the Rays, The Second Station of the Fifth Ray, Seventeenth Matter
(http://www.sozler.com.tr/risnur/rays/white/r5c.htm)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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