How will the afflictions before the Day of Judgment appear, and how will we protect ourselves from them?

Prophet Muhammad takes attentions to the young debauched men, narrated Abu Huraira: I heard the truthful and trusted by God (i.e., the Prophet) saying, "The destruction of my followers will be through the hands of (debauched) young men from Quraish." (1) When he was asked as, Shall we be destroyed though there are righteous people among us?" The Prophet said, "Yes, if evil increased." (2) Once the Prophet stood over one of the high buildings of Medina and then said (to the people), "Do you see what I see?" They said, "No." He said, "I see afflictions falling among your houses as rain drops fall." (3) In another hadith, he stated, Time will pass rapidly, good deeds will decrease, miserliness will be thrown (in the hearts of the people) afflictions will appear and there will be much 'Al-Harj." They said, "O God's Apostle! What is "Al-Harj?" He said, "Killing! Killing!" (4)

In a hadith narrated by Abdullah and Abu Musa, the Prophet said, "Near the establishment of the Hour there will be days during which Religious ignorance will spread, knowledge will be taken away (vanish) and there will be much Al-Harj, and Al-Harj means killing." (5)

Anas Bin Malik said to the ones who complained about the governor of Amawi, Al-Hajjaj, Be patient till you meet your Lord, for no time will come upon you but the time following it will be worse than it. I heard that from the Prophet." (6)

Once, Hudaifia Bin Al-Yaman, the confidant of Prophet Muhammad said, The people used to ask God's Apostle about the good but I used to ask him about the evil lest I should be overtaken by them. So I said, "O God's Apostle! We were living in ignorance and in an (extremely) worst atmosphere, then God brought to us this good (i.e., Islam); will there be any evil after this good?" He said, "Yes." I said, 'Will there be any good after that evil?" He replied, "Yes, but it will be tainted (not pure.)'' I asked, "What will be its taint?" He replied, "(There will be) some people who will guide others not according to my tradition? You will approve of some of their deeds and disapprove of some others." I asked, "Will there be any evil after that good?" He replied, "Yes, (there will be) some people calling at the gates of the (Hell) Fire, and whoever will respond to their call, will be thrown by them into the (Hell) Fire." I said, "O Gods Apostle! Will you describe them to us?" He said, "They will be from our own people and will speak our language." I said, "What do you order me to do if such a state should take place in my life?" He said, "Stick to the group of Muslims and their Imam (ruler)." I said, "If there is neither a group of Muslims nor an Imam (ruler)?" He said, "Then turn away from all those sects even if you were to bite (eat) the roots of a tree till death overtakes you while you are in that state." (7)

In the hadith, Apostle of God (pbuh) explained the gradual corruption of the Islamic society, but also explained that, as Islam came after the Pre Islamic era of ignorance, every evil deed is followed by a good deed. There will be some people who will be tainted among Muslims. And there will be communities, and leaders of Muslims; and they will fight against mischief. If things get much worse, and a Muslim wont be able to find a leader, in the absence of community and an Imam (ruler), Apostle of God advises not to be part of the corrupted community.

Narrated Abu Huraira: God's Apostle once by stating, "There will be afflictions (in the near future) during which a sitting person will be better than a standing one, and the standing one will be better than a walking one, and the walking one will be better than a running one, and whoever will expose himself to these afflictions, they will destroy him. So whoever can find a place of protection or refuge from them, should take shelter in it" touched the same point. (8)

One-day God's Apostle woke up one night in a state of terror and drew attentions to the obscenity in the Pre Islamic era of ignorance, "Subhan Allah, How many treasures God has sent down! And how many afflictions have been sent down! Who will go and wake the lady dwellers (wives of the Prophet) up of these rooms (for prayers)?" He meant his wives, so that they might pray. He added, "A well-dressed (soul) in this world may be naked in the Hereafter." Apostle of God (pbuh) explained that those women who wears thin or tight, shows their body parts will be punished, because even though they seem like they are dressed up, they are not when Hereafter is taken into consideration. (9)

In a hadith narrated by Ibn 'Umar: I heard the Prophet saying, "Do not revert to disbelief after me by striking (cutting) the necks of one another." (10) With this hadith, Prophet Muhammad warned his community about reverting to disbelief as he already warned them about the age of ignorance traditions such as alcohol, gambling, moneylendering, idolatry, evil doing, and committing big sins. He also pointed out that there will be people reverted to disbelief in Islamic community.

Prophet Muhammad once announced to Hudaifia that there is a closed door for afflictions, which will move like the waves of the sea when it will be broken. He also heard from Prophet Muhammad that that door will be broken after Hazrath Omars death, because that door stands for Hazrath Omar. (11)

Prophet Muhammad while facing East also announced that, afflictions are there, it will move like the waves of the sea and rule the world besides, announced that by the changing of the time some will worship to the idols, which they have used to do it in the Pre Islamic era of ignorance. He also added, Gog, Magog (two nations will appear on Earth near the day of Resurrection), and Al-Dajjal (The deceiver, the imposter, evil figure who will appear before the day of Resurrection, Judgment) will come; and the number of evil persons will increase, pious will depart one after another, only the Husala-i Nas (the wicked, evil) will remain. Husala is used for the worst of everything. For instance while it is used to refer the sediments of barley and dates, it is also used to refer wicked people.

In a hadith in Sahih Bukhari, Mirdas Al-Aslami narrated as: The Prophet (PBUH) said, "The pious men will depart one after another, the dregs of people, like the sediment of barley or dates will remain; God will not raise them in value and esteem.'' (12) The Hadith shows that the demise of the pious people is one of the signs of the nearness of the Day of Resurrection. It also shows that during the last days near the Day of Resurrection, pious persons will not remain and only the wicked people will inhabit the earth and the Day of Judgment will dawn on such bad people.

In another hadith, it is announced that there will be afflictions before the Day of Judgment in which people will disaffiliate from their brothers and fathers.

There will be great afflictions in the future, family ties will cut. Those afflictions will spread in the hearts of men until the Day of Judgment. Believing and following the commands of God will be shamed as adultery. (13)

According to this announcement of Apostle of Gods (pbuh), a person will be so different in the way of his thinking and considering life; he will even be different in his religious choices under the influences of afflictions which will appear until the Day of Judgment. Siblings, father and son will not share same values. Because afflictions of those days will be so widespread, people, instead of their parents, will be influenced by other sources. Wrongful opinions, which will arisen in far places will spread through the hearts, minds, words, letters, and many other ways. Afflictions will fly like birds from heart to heart, and nest in minds. It is indeed so hard to live, to embrace Islam in those critical and dangerous days, but it is meritorious too.

Sources:
1. Sahih Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 88, Number 180
2. Sahih Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 88, Number 181
3. Sahih Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 88, Number 182
4. Sahih Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 88, Number 183
5. Sahih Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 88, Number 184
6. Sahih Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 88, Number 188
7. Sahih Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 88, Number 206
8. Sahih Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 88, Number 203
9. Sahihul-Buhari VIII, 90; Sunenu İbn-i Mace II, 1326 (Tabahtur ve kadınların süslenmesi).
10.Sahih Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 88, Number 198
11. Sahih Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 88, Number 216
12. Riyazus-Salihin s. 171 (370. bab. 1825. hadith. from Bukhari); Sunanu İbn-i MaJa II, 1307 (no: 3957, 1340)
13. Gümüşhanevi, Ahmed Ziyaüddin, Ramûzul-Ehadis, terc. Naim Erdoğan, İstanbul ty. s. 298-3715 hadith (Nuaym fiten, Tabarani Evsattan)

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