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.
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:
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
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.
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:
By means of projects made possible by new technology,
the literacy rate today
has reached the range of 80%.
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.
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.
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 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.
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:
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
Some technical devices which allow various tasks to be
completed in a much shorter time.
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:
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:
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
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:
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,
|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:
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,
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/
25. Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Risale-i Nur Collection the Rays,
The Second Station of the Fifth Ray, Seventeenth Matter