Friday, January 15, 2010
THE GOOD LIFE IN THE AGE OF THE MAHDI: THE GOLDEN AGE
The Golden Age represents glad tidings imparted by our Prophet (saas) of Paradise on Earth, a blessing from Allah (God) on believers. This period which, with its abundance, fertility, the comforts of all kinds it will bestow on humanity and its climate full of peace, is one that all Muslims will wish to attain is a most superior reward for all the faithful in the life of this world.
The hadiths of our Prophet (saas) contain very detailed information and signs regarding the End Times that will take place close to Doomsday. According to the information imparted by our Prophet (saas), a succession of significant events will take place in this period. In the first stage of the End Times terrible corruption and chaos will prevail on Earth, but in the second phase peace and security will prevail as people live by true religious moral values.
In the first phase of the End Times, because of various philosophical systems that inculcate atheism by refusing to accept the existence of Allah, there will be terrible degeneration among people. People will turn away from the purpose behind their creation, as a result of which there will be great spiritual emptiness and moral degeneracy. Terrible disasters, wars and famine will take place, and everyone will ask How can we be saved? in order for these troubles to come to an end.
The majority of these developments, revealed as portents of the End Times in the hadiths of our Prophet (saas) are taking place in the present day just as described. The increasing war and conflict, terror, violence, anarchy and chaos, slaughter and torture in recent times are again an indication that the first stage of the End Times is now taking place.
According to the information in the hadiths of our Prophet (saas), Allah will rescue people from the chaos of the End Times after this period of darkness and bestow a great salvation upon them. Allah will make the Mahdi, in other words a servant with superior moral values and who bears the title of he who leads to the truth, in order to 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 (saas) and expositions by Islamic scholars, the Mahdi is reported as assuming three great responsibilities in this regard. First and foremost, the Mahdi 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 (saas). In this first stage of the End Times he will produce a solution to the chaos, social problems and societal difficulties facing humanity and will be a means whereby peace, happiness and virtue prevail over the entire world.
The Prophet ‘Isa (as), on the other hand, who will return to Earth during the same period in which the Mahdi 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 ‘Isa (as), 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 (saas). 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 (saas): 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 (saas) has revealed that people will join with the Mahdi, 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)
The World Will Overflow with Justice in the Golden Age
In the verse, “You who believe! Show integrity for the sake of Allah, bearing witness with justice. Do not let hatred for a people incite you into not being just. Be just. That is closer to heedfulness. Have fear of Allah. Allah is aware of what you do.” (Surat al-Ma’ida, 8), Allah tells believers to behave in a just manner. Pure justice, making no distinctions between people and defending right and truth alone is a requirement of the moral values of the Qur’an. However, as we are told in the hadiths of our Prophet (saas), people will turn their backs on these virtues in the End Times, and injustice will prevail across the globe. Indeed, the conflicts going on all over the world in our own day, the wars, the refugees who are killed, crippled, exiled from hearth and home, and forced to walk hundreds of kilometers in their search for shelter, the orphaned children living on the streets, and the elderly, needy and requiring care and abandoned by all, are a clear sign that justice is not being dispensed as it should.
With the appearance of the Mahdi, however, this state of affairs will come to an end, and a justice the like of which has never been seen before will prevail over the whole world. This climate of justice that will be experienced in the time of the Mahdi is described as follows in the hadiths of our Prophet (saas):
…The Mahdi of that ummah is from the descent of Hasan and Hussain. When anarchy reigns in the world, fitnah appears, roads are obstructed, people attack others, the elderly do not feel compassion for the young and fail to treat one another with dignity; Meanwhile Allah will eradicate enmity from them and conquer the fortresses of guidance and, just as how I did in the past, He will send someone who will uphold the religion in the End times and fill the Earth which was formerly full of cruelty. 5
Abu Dawud reported a Hadith from Abd Allah ibn Masud: The Prophet said, If there were only one day left for the world, that day would be lengthened until a man from among my descendants or from among the people of my household, was sent; . . . He will fill the earth with justice and fairness, just as it will have been filled with injustice and oppression. 6
His justice will permeate everywhere and he [the Mahdi] will treat people with our Prophet’s Sunnah. 7
The Wars, Terror, Conflict and Anarchy Prevailing over Much of the World Will Come to and End in the Time of the Mahdi
The 20th century, from which we recently emerged, has gone down in history as The Century of Wars. Wars and acts of terrorism have again begun in the 21st century in which we are now living, and are continuing across the world. No country is presently safe from terrorist attacks. In addition to terrorist bombings, acts of sabotage, aircraft hijackings, the seizing of hostages, internal conflicts and terror attacks aimed at innocent civilians, individual acts of violence encountered in day-to-day life are also continuing at a great pace. Terrorism is ruining lives and causing huge material losses from the USA to African countries such as Angola, Uganda and Nigeria; from European countries such as England, Spain, France to Asian countries such as Sri Lanka, Thailand and Japan and from the Middle East to Latin America. People can encounter terrorism at the most unexpected times, sitting at home, watching a film in the cinema, walking around a shopping centre, traveling on a bus or working in their offices. The way that terrorism comes right into people’s homes naturally gives rise to great unease, fear and concern. People hesitate to enter crowded places or to use public transport, and daily life becomes impossible. In short, terrorism brings with it terrible destruction and has the most negative impact on people’s lives. This climate that will arise during the End Times is described in these terms in the hadiths of our Prophet (saas):
…Finally afflictions, fitnah and many other happenings you would not like [to happen] will befall. Such successive fitnah occur that the latter render the former more insignificant and lighter. 8
However, again according to the tidings imparted by our Prophet (saas), in the wake of this dark period of fear and violence Allah will bestow salvation on all humanity by means of the Mahdi. All the strife, wars, slaughter, terror, acts of violence and anarchy in the world will come to an end, and be replaced by a period filled with light, peace and security. This is how it is revealed in the hadiths that the Mahdi will prevent corruption:
Days and nights will not end before someone from my Ahl al-Bayt, who will not find it difficult to prevent fitnah and who will not be dread by death comes... 9
A dusty, hazy dark fitnah will appear, and others will follow …until a personage from my Ahl al-Bayt, who is called the Mahdi appears. If you reach him, be subject to him and be one of those who are guided. 10
Practices Based on Oppression and Torture Will Come to an End
All the envoys dispatched throughout the course of history have brought peace and justice to the societies in which they lived, and the coming of the prophets has been a means whereby the oppression and cruelty to which communities of the faithful have been subjected have been lifted. This feature of the envoys is described thus in the Qur’an:
Every nation has a Messenger and when their Messenger comes everything is decided between them justly. They are not wronged. (Surah Yunus, 47)
The Mahdi will also possess this feature when he comes to Earth and, by the will of Allah, will also be a means whereby all the cruelty, torture and oppressive practices in the world come to an end. Our Prophet (saas) has imparted the glad tidings of this state of affairs that will come about in the Golden Age in these terms:
Earth will be filled with equity and justice, just as it was previously filled with oppression and tyranny. 11
Earth will be filled with justice instead of cruelty and torture. 12
In another hadith, we are told that the Mahdi will eradicate all practices based on slavery and that all slaves will attain their freedom:
... paying their costs, he will purchase all slaves, and liberate them.. 13
He Will Implement Social Justice in the Finest Manner
Social injustice is the result of moral degeneration such as selfishness and thinking only of one’s own interests and the disappearance of feelings such as mutual aid and solidarity. While some people struggle against poverty, others use the privileges bestowed on them by their wealth. This means that the wealthy enjoy greater justice, regard keeping the poor down as their right and seek to direct the mechanisms of the justice system in their own direction. The moral values displayed by such people are revealed as follows in the Qur’an:
No indeed! You do not honor orphans, nor do you urge the feeding of the poor; you devour inheritance with voracious appetites and you have an insatiable love of wealth. (Surat al-Fajr, 17-20)
In Qur’anic moral values, however, Allah commands people to exercise justice without differentiating between rich and poor, as in the verse: …Be upholders of justice, bearing witness for Allah alone, even against yourselves or your parents and relatives. Whether they are rich or poor, Allah is well able to look after them. Do not follow your own desires and deviate from the truth…(Surat an-Nisa’, 135)
In addition, features such as language, race and ethnic origins are of great importance in some societies and can affect the decisions of those responsible for implementing justice. However, one purpose behind the existence of different races and nations is cultural wealth, not war and conflict. This variety is one of the beauties in Allah’s creation. According to Qur’anic moral values, people can only be superior to one another in the sight of Allah in terms of the depth of their faith and fear of Him. Therefore, the dominion of Qur’anic moral values over the world is the best and only way of eradicating social injustices linked to this deficient understanding. The Islamic virtues described in the Qur’an require justice, affection, compassion and help for the needy, making no distinction between rich and poor. True justice, according to the Qur’an, is that resulting from observing only the approval of Allah and fearing only Him. When such justice is the aim, neither personal interests, nor friendship, nor enmity, nor an individual’s world view, nor language, race or the color of one’s skin will have any influence over decisions, which will be made solely on the basis of what is right. By Allah’s leave, such justice will prevail over the entire world in the End Times, and the Earth will be a place of true justice, true peace and true security. This state of affairs which will apply in the Golden Age is revealed as follows in the hadiths of our Prophet (saas):
People will be quite auspicious, their life will be very comfortable.
In that time my ummah will attain such welfare that until then such was not attained.... 15
According to the indications in the hadiths, injustices such as only a very small section of society living in plenty while the needy are ignored will come to an end in the Golden Age. Nobody will go to be on a full stomach while his neighbor is hungry, and unilateral wealth will become a source of shame. Since egoism and selfishness will disappear, everyone will invite everyone else to dine and will share all the spiritual and material means at their disposal. Mutual compassion will rise to the fullest possible extent, and everyone will seek to make everyone else wealthy. The strong will not be in the right; rather, people in the right will be strong. In this period when Qur’anic moral values prevail there will be great equality among people from all sections of society, and there will be a climate of peace and security. As a consequence of this, people will strongly avoid fraud, wickedness and sinful actions.
There Will Be a Climate of Peace and Security among People
In addition to all the delights that will be experienced during the Golden Age, social life will be exceedingly peaceful. Allah will bestow hitherto unseen delightful lives on believers and those who turn to the faith. In the Qur’an, Allah imparts the glad tidings that He will bless those of His servants who abide by Qur’anic moral values:
Allah calls to the Abode of Peace and He guides whom He wills to a straight path. Those who do good will have the best and more! Neither dust nor debasement will darken their faces. They are the Companions of the Garden, remaining in it timelessly, for ever. (Surah Yunus, 25-26)
The promise of a peaceful abode made to those who do good will be fully experienced in the Golden Age. Living by Qur’anic moral values will mean that people avoid all forms of behavior leading to confusion, unease or troubles, as a requirement of the verse: “…Eat and drink of Allah's provision and do not go about the earth corrupting it.” (Surat al-Baqara, 60). Societies will behave peacefully, moderately and tolerantly, seek rational solutions to problems, and be conciliatory rather than accentuating events, in such a way as to always comply with Qur’anic moral values.
All Enmity Will Come to an End
As a result of Qur’anic moral values prevailing over all the world, emotions such as hatred, rancor and enmity among people will come to an end, and peace and security will reign. Our Prophet (saas) tells us of this important feature of the Golden Age in hadiths:
Like the cup fills with water, so will Earth fill with peace. There will be no enmity left between any people. All hostility, fighting, and envy will disappear. 16
After the Earth is filled with cruelty and enmity, someone from my Ahl al-Bayt absolutely appears. And just like how it was formerly filled with cruelty and enmity, he fills the Earth with justice. 17
In the Golden Age there will be great fraternity among peoples who were previously hostile to one another, and all problems will be resolved in a spirit of love and virtue.
The Whole World Will Be Safe and Secure
According to the indications in the hadiths, life in the Golden Age will be filled with peace and well-being. As a result of the complete eradication of anarchy, terror, chaos, enmity and violence, people will enjoy an environment resembling Paradise. There will be no social problems such as theft, fraud or cheating because a just system will have been established and people will have learned fear of Allah. Murder, assault, slander and insulting actions, as well as all behavior that might disrupt the peace and exploitation will disappear. Conflict, raised voices and argument, as well as the threat of attack from drug addicts or the unbalanced will come to an end, and people will be freed of all concerns and fears stemming from such actions. All parts of the world will turn into secure areas in which people can live in great comfort, peace and security. Everyone will be able to take his family wherever he pleases, at whatever time he pleases, and people will be able to send their children to school without worrying about them.
People will demonstrate their trust in and respect for the state by not placing any obstacles in the way of its institutions. Nobody will act out of anger, or behave improperly or cause any trouble. On the contrary, with their helpful and tolerant attitudes people who abide by Qur’anic moral values will behave in such a way as to facilitate the work of the representatives of the state.
The public will be encouraged to investigate and learn the truth, and to act accordingly, and there will naturally be no question of sudden rage and mass actions. Whatever their problems may be, people will live in the peace and security of knowing that these can be easily resolved in a climate of love, respect and harmony. Striking metaphors describing this secure environment are given in hadiths, such as “the wolf and the lamb will graze together” and “children will play with snakes and scorpions, but will come to no harm.” Some of the hadiths that describe this climate read as follows:
...Everywhere becomes a secure place.... 18
... Security will permeate all over Earth and even a few ladies will be able to fulfill their hajj without the company of men. 19
…that snakes will graze with camels, leopards with cows, and wolves with sheep. Children will play with snakes, and the snakes will not harm them. 20
Virtue Will Prevail in All Societies
One of the most important features of the Golden Age, in which everyone will enjoy enormous peace, security and comfort, is that it will be a time when Qur’anic moral values are abided by to the fullest extent. Since people will fear Allah and be aware that they will be held to account in the Hereafter for all their actions they will scrupulously avoid vices such as selfishness, hatred, anger, hostility and revenge, as well as corruption, making unfair gains, lying and hurting others, and bribery. These will be replaced by virtues such as honesty, helpfulness, altruism, considering the good, health, ease and security of others, respect, love, compassion, loyalty, faithfulness and brotherhood.
The existence of people who fear Allah, who are moderate, modest, look at everything in a positive way, give frequent thanks, possess a sound conscience, are affectionate, compassionate, just, courageous, reliable, strong, honorable, humble, understanding, tolerant, humane, loveable, have no hesitation about speaking the truth, are patient, slow to anger, who do not persist in their errors, who follow the truth rather than the majority, who keep their word, and are loyal, chaste and conciliatory will result in the emergence of highly virtuous societies.
As a result of this fear of and full compliance with Qur’anic virtues, nobody will be despairing or apathetic, but will become enthusiastic in all they do and useful both to society and to themselves.
They will better see and appreciate the beauty and blessings around them created for them by Allah, and will take greater pleasure from these. Love of children and affection and compassion for the elderly and needy will rise. People will treat their work colleagues with love and respect. They will protect and care for their employees’ families and share all their problems, and people from all sections of society will rush to be of assistance whenever they need anything.
Hypocrisy, banality and superficiality will entirely disappear, and people’s natures will be dominated by profundity, honesty and quality. When people live by Qur’anic moral values, all forms of vulgarity and banality that ill befit the human soul and the character of a believer will spontaneously vanish.
Again under the influence of Qur’anic moral values, people will attach great importance to cleanliness, and will keep both themselves and their surroundings as clean and attractive as possible. Everyone, in all sections of society, will be exceedingly clean, elegant and spruce.
This virtue that will arise in the time of the Mahdi during the Golden Age is described as follows in the hadiths of our Prophet (saas).
In Al-Awsad, Tabarani related via Amr ibn Ali from Ali ibn Abu Talib :
... Allah will end Islam with us just as how He commenced it with us. Just as how idolatry and enmity between them and us is eradicated and friendship and love in hearts are placed, it would be the same (by his coming.) 21
”...In his time the kind people become even more generous, even the bad people are treated with kindness.” 22
The Golden Age Will See a Climate Based on Freedom of Ideas
Islamic moral values recognize complete freedom of belief for all. This conception, which has applied from the revelation of Islam right up to the present day, represents the foundation of Islamic moral values.
According to the moral values of Islam, people are free to choose their own beliefs and nobody can impose a belief on anyone else. Muslims only have a responsibility to communicate the message to someone they wish to become a Muslim, and to explain the Qur’an, the true scripture of Allah, that Muhammad (saas) is His prophet, the existence of the Hereafter and the Day of Judgment, and the beauties of Islamic virtues. Yet this responsibility is restricted solely to describing the faith. Allah reveals this in the Qur’an:
There is no compulsion where the religion is concerned. Right guidance has become clearly distinct from error. Anyone who rejects false gods and believes in Allah has grasped the Firmest Handhold, which will never give way. Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing. (Surat al-Baqara, 256)
The person to whom Islam is described decides of his own free will whether or not to believe, without being subjected to any pressure or compulsion. As a result, political disputes will come to a complete end, and a climate of democracy in an environment of friendship and love will emerge. There will be complete freedom of belief, on condition that one does no harm to others, and everyone will be able to declare their ideas without giving rise to any confusion or conflict.
All Faiths Will Enjoy Peace and Tolerance
While Islam leaves people free to make their own choices when it comes to religious belief, it also commands them to respect other faiths. Even if someone holds beliefs that are described as falsehood in the Qur’an, people who abide by Qur’anic moral values can still live together in peace and harmony. They are free to perform their religious observances in the light of their own beliefs. Nobody can prevent anyone else from performing those observances. Nor can they oblige anyone else to worship in the way they want them to. That is a violation of Islamic moral values and a form of behavior that is displeasing to Allah. When we look at the history of Islam we see that in the time of our Prophet (saas), too, there was a model of society in which everyone worshipped freely and was able to carry out the requirements of their own beliefs. The Qur’an speaks of monasteries, churches and synagogues, the places of worship of the Peoples of the Book, as being under the protection of Allah:
… if Allah had not driven some people back by means of others, monasteries, churches, synagogues and mosques, where Allah’s name is mentioned much, would have been pulled down and destroyed. Allah will certainly help those who help Him–Allah is All-Strong, Almighty. (Surat al-Hajj, 40)
Many examples of this virtue can be seen in the life of our Prophet (saas). He told Christians who came to visit him to worship in his own masjid, and left it at their disposal for that purpose.23 This tolerant understanding was maintained in the time of the caliphs who succeeded the Prophet (saas). When Damascus was captured, a church turned into a mosque was divided into two, with Christians worshipping in one half and Muslims in the other. 24
The hadiths reveal that, as in the Age of Happiness when all peoples lived together in peace and harmony, the same toleration will prevail in the time of the Mahdi during the Golden Age. Accordingly, there will be a conception of brotherhood, affection and compassion based on mutual tolerance between the Muslim and Christian worlds. All Christian and Jewish places of worship, synagogues, churches and foundations will be placed under protection, and those who wish to open churches, who make requests in the light of their religious beliefs or wish to fulfill their religious obligations will be allowed to do so. All Christians and Jews will be able to live in peace and security in lands they regard as sacred to them, all problems will be easily resolved in a spirit of love, respect and tolerance, and all peoples will continue to live together in harmony and friendship.
There Will Be Unmatched Plenty and Abundance in the Golden Age
The hadiths of our Prophet (saas) describe the matchless nature of the blessings to be enjoyed in the Golden Age in considerable detail. According to these accounts, the Golden Age will be a time of great plenty and abundance in goods and products. There will be hitherto unseen wealth, and the years of high costs of living, difficulties in making ends meet, hunger, poverty and scarcity will come to a complete end. Nobody will be left in need, anybody asking for anything will be given many times more than what they request, and nothing will be counted out or weighed. All means, material or otherwise, will be used for people’s comfort, happiness and peace of mind, and there will be not the slightest difficulty, poverty or hunger. Our Prophet (saas) imparts the tidings of this plenty and abundance in the time of the Mahdi thus in hadiths:
The Mahdi among my ummah will appear. Allah will send him to render people wealthy. Then will my ummah receive blessings, animals will be in abundance and the Earth’s plants will be ample.
The Mahdi distribute to people lots of goods evenly. 25
... On that day goods will be very abundant. 26
In the End Times there will be a khalifa [successor] who will distribute wealth without even counting it.. 27
At that time both the good and the bad in the ummah will benefit from blessings they had not seen before.... 28
... ... And wealth will be so abundant that no one will accept it.. 29
Great Advances Will Be Made in Agriculture
We are told in the hadiths of our Prophet (saas) that more will be obtained from the soil than ever before and that there will be incomparable plenty and abundance in this sphere:
People will reap 700 measures of wheat for every one they sow ... People will throw down a few handfuls of seeds and reap 700 handfuls ... 30
... (The land) would bring forth its yield and would not hold back anything and the property at that time would be a stack... 31
… Then will my Ummah be blessed, the number of animals will increase and the land will bear its fruits… 32
Again according to the hadiths of our Prophet (saas), there will also be great abundance in terms of water resources during the Golden Age, and that as more irrigation becomes possible all lands will become much more fertile than has ever been seen before:
...Although much rain will fall, not a drop of them will go waste, without demanding not a single seed the soil will become fertile and abundant. 33
As. Hudhaifia related our Prophet (saas) said:
... In his time all water will become sweet, rivers will grow longer, the Earth will increase its yields, and give its treasures out. 34
...In his time, even the running rivers will add to their waters.... 35
... The heavens will give its rain, the earth will be abundant, my ummah will attain comfort in an unprecedented manner.. 36
Our Prophet (saas) may be indicating in these hadiths that there will be an increase in production in the time of the Mahdi as a result of a transition to modern agriculture, the development of new production technologies, work on seed improvement and the use of rain water in new dams and reservoirs. Technology is progressing at a rapid pace in our day, and enormous increases are becoming possible in terms of both product quality and quantity. These can now last longer and grow using less water. Thanks to newly developed technologies, a diversity of products can be obtained and all kinds of fruits and vegetables can be grown in all four seasons of the year.
These advances will continue still further in the Golden Age, and there will be an extraordinary rise in quality levels. A greater range of crops with better tastes and smells will be grown. In one verse of the Qur’an pointing to this subject we are told that:
The metaphor of those who spend their wealth in the Way of Allah is that of a grain which produces seven ears; in every ear there are a hundred grains. Allah gives such multiplied increase to whoever He wills. Allah is All-Encompassing, All-Knowing. (Surat al-Baqara, 261)
According to the indications in the hadiths, great importance will be attached to irrigation in the Golden Age, large reservoirs and dams, wide canals and artificial rivers will be built, and nowhere will be left without water. Sea, rain and flood waters will be purified and used in agriculture, and arid regions will thus achieve enormous abundance and plenty. Deserts will turn green through the use of technologies that have only been implemented in a very narrow area in our day, and mankind will thus achieve a very large arable area. Again according to the information contained in the hadiths, as a result of all this progress in agriculture, there will also be huge improvements in livestock quality, and production of all kinds of animal products will also increase:
...The ummah will receive blessings, animals will eat plenty, and the earth will give its yields.... 37
Underground Wealth Will Be Brought to the Surface
Another development that will take place in the time of the Mahdi is the extraction of all underground riches and the use of these for the comfort and well-being of humanity. This feature of the Golden Age is reported in the hadiths of our Prophet (saas)
...The Mahdi will extract treasures... 38
The land will reveal the treasures within. 39
… The Earth will give out all the riches it conceals within it in the form of gold and silver columns.
It will give out all its riches in the form of gold and silver. 40
There Will Be Great Advances in Science and Technology
The hadiths of our Prophet (saas) also contain indications of advances in science and technology. Intense encouragement and education programs aimed towards science will be implemented among all societies during the Golden Age, technological progress will rise to a peak and people will be able to enjoy the maximum benefit from the blessings of technology. Great advances will be made in medicine, agriculture, communications, industrial technology and transportation. All this technological progress will bestow enormous comfort on people’s lives. Thanks to these advances, there will be great and rapid facilitation of them.
As a result of advances in transport technology, the highest level of passenger comfort and safety will be ensured, loss of time and the risk of accidents will be reduced to a minimum, and all precautionary measures essential for this will be taken. There will be significant progress in communications technology, too, and speed and ease in communicating and exchanging information all over the world will reach the very highest levels. (Allah knows the best.)
As all these technologies are obtained, great importance will also be attached to people’s health and comfort, and to the elimination of all problems that might have a negative impact on these, to which end precautionary measure against harmful side-effects of technologies will also be taken.
The most important feature of this change that will take place during the Golden Age is the way that the whole world will be able to benefit in a just manner from advances such as these. All opportunities will be made available to all the peoples of the world, and the same delights and equal opportunities will be made available to all.
There Will Be Extraordinary Progress in Medicine and Human Health
Every advance in technology in the End Times will lead to extraordinary advances in the sphere of medicine. All the scientific and technological progress in the Golden Age will, by Allah’s leave, accelerate medical research, lower margins of error, prevent a great many diseases, facilitate diagnoses, and increase treatment possibilities.
Great importance will be attached to human life and health, people will no longer despair because they lack access to doctors or drugs, or because they have been administered the wrong treatment, and everyone in need will be assisted on the spot. Great care will be taken over everyone’s health problems, with no distinction being made between rich and poor or young and old. All existing means will be tried for people’s health, and all possibilities will be made use of.
All material and spiritual requirements will be met. Hospitals, drugs and treatments will all be free of charge, and the needs of those requiring help and care will be met in the finest possible manner without their even feeling them.
Dietary policies will also be perfected in the light of advances in science and technology in order for everyone to be able to lead healthy lives. There will be studies and research aimed at eliminating all harmful elements in foodstuffs. Scientific methods of eliminating cholesterol or other harmful constituents from foods will be developed. Precautionary measures regarding all food and drink that might be damaging the body will be taken, and people will be able to enjoy high-quality and clean food. As a consequence of this, the number of deaths due to such causes as disease, heart attacks and high blood pressure will decline, and people’s life spans will be extended in a manner never seen before. (Allah knows the best.)
In addition to nutrition, all societies will also be made aware of the importance of sport for a healthy life, and many diseases will be prevented through people having a healthy mind and body. In addition to all this, many psychological illnesses will also disappear as people are more resigned to events they encounter and treat one another with love and toleration. (Allah knows the best.)
All these developments that will take place in the field of health and medicine in the Golden Age have been indicated in the hadiths of our Prophet (saas), and it is revealed that the life spans of people living at that time will be prolonged:
In his time…life spans will extend and entrusts will not go waste... 41
A Superior Conception of Art and Aesthetics Will Prevail across the Whole World
Another development indicated in the hadiths is that the abundance, wealth, beauty and progress in all spheres of life in the Golden Age will also apply to art. Great importance will be attached to art in the Golden Age. Everyone will receive intense encouragement in this area, and there will be an extraordinary rise in the trend towards the arts. The whole Islamic world will register enormous progress in the field of art. More beautiful works will be forthcoming in music, painting and the other arts, and the broad horizons and depth of thinking imparted by faith in Allah will lead the way in all branches of art. People will see nothing but beauty at this time and, like their moral values, their homes, gardens, interior décor, the music they listen to, forms of entertainment, pictures and conversation will become ever more attractive.
No place or building will be left ugly or ill-formed, and everywhere will be attractive and pleasing to the eye. There will be more spacious homes, swimming pools, vineyards and gardens, and those that already exist will be more attractive. Attractive fruit trees will be planted in the streets, and there will be small zoos just about everywhere. The number of nature parks will rise enormously, and greenery will abound where people live. Thousands of plants and flowers that people can enjoy without having to care for themselves will adorn cities and villages. The illumination and painting of such areas will be exceedingly artistic, and everything will be made very attractive, and a high quality pleasing to the soul will prevail all over the world.
Everywhere, roads, places of worship, places of entertainment, rest areas, workplaces, homes, people’s clothes, in short, everything, will be spotlessly clean. In addition, solutions will be brought in to prevent environmental pollution in settlement areas and to resolve everything giving rise to pollution.
At the same time, love of animals will also be encouraged and pleasant and aesthetic environments in which animals of all kinds can be admired and examined will be established. Animals such as lions, leopards, panthers and cheetahs will be trained. Their aggression will be eliminated using various methods and biological techniques, and it will be easy for people to bond with them and show their affection. Birds of all kinds, such as storks and pelicans, will be able to live in cities and villages. Thanks to the scientific eradication of the venom of animals such as scorpions and snakes, these will also be prevented from doing people harm, and even the snake will assume an attractive appearance. (Allah knows the best.)
As a result of the understanding imparted by Qur’anic moral values, enmity towards animals will disappear and all behavior harmful to them will be eliminated. Thus the danger of animal species becoming extinct will be overcome, and there will be a rise in their numbers.
Our Prophet (saas) draws our attention to this climate that will be experienced in the End Times in one of the hadiths:
…an individual will tell his sheep and animals to go and graze, and they will go; even though they will advance through the crops, they will not take even a single grain into their mouths, snakes and scorpions will not give trouble to anyone, predators will stay in front of doors, giving no harm to anyone,... 42
Habis Al Hadrami related: ...Snakes will get along with kids, and cows with lions. 43
Everyone Will Be Pleased with the Mahdi’s Rule in the Golden Age
In the hadiths our Prophet (saas) reminds us how auspicious the Golden Age that will take place under the leadership of the Mahdi will be. It is related that in this time “from the fish in oceans to the birds in the skies and human beings, all living beings in the heavens and earth will be pleased with the Mahdi . It is also reported:
Have the good news of the Mahdi,... Everything in the heavens and earth are pleased with him... 44
... In that time, the ones in the heavens and earth, all predators, birds, and even fish in the oceans will be pleased with his caliphate... 45
Abu Said Hudri related from our Prophet (saas):
The Mahdi’s followers take refuge (find peace and security beside him) in him, just as how honey bees take refuge in queen bee; he will fill the Earth with justice and honesty. 46
In the Qur’an Allah has told Muslims who comply with Qur’anic moral values of the beauties to be bestowed on them in the life of Paradise. In return for their moral virtues they will be given an eternal life of delightful lands with rivers flowing through them, springs that never stop flowing, villas, mansions, fine clothes, foods, drinks and jewels. Paradise is the eternal life that Muslims always long to attain:
‘Enter the Garden, you and your wives, delighting in your joy.’ Platters and cups of gold will be passed around among them and they will have there all that their hearts desire and their eyes find delight in. You will remain in it timelessly, for ever. That is the Garden you will inherit for what you did. There will be many fruits in it for you to eat. (Surat az-Zukhruf, 70-73)
The Golden Age is the preparation for Muslims of such a delightful life in this world. As we are told by our Prophet (saas), paradise on Earth is a blessing from Allah to the faithful. This period, which all Muslims will seek to attain with its abundance, plenty, and peaceful climate filled with comforts of all kinds, is a most sublime recompense for believers in the life of this world. There is no doubt that being told of this delightful time is a great honor for all Muslims.
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. El-Kavlu’l Muhtasar Fi Alamet-il Mehdiyy-il Muntazar, The Book of Portents of the Awaited Mahdi, p. 22
4. Portents of the Mahdi of the End Times, Jallalladdin Suyuti, p. 14
5. Al-Burhan fi `Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, (A Short Book of Portents of the Mahdi of the End Times), p. 12
6. (Abu Dawud. Thirmidhi.) (The Great Corruptor the Dajjal Messiah, Saim Gungor, Pamuk Publishing, p. 80) Abu Dawud and Thirmidhi/ The Great Hadith Collection, Rudani vol. 5, p. 365
7. Al-Qhavlu’l Mukhtasar Fi Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntadhar, (The Book of Portents of the Awaited Mahdi), p. 20
8. Imam Sha’rani, (Death-Doomsday-The Hereafter and Portents of the End Times), p. 394-395, no. 733
9. Al-Burhan fi `Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, (A Short Book of Portents of the Mahdi of the End Times), p. 12
10. Al-Burhan fi `Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, (A Short Book of Portents of the Mahdi of the End Times), p. 26
11. Sunen Abu Dawud, 5/93
12. Portents of Doomsday, p. 163
13. Al-Qhavlu’l Mukhtasar Fi Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntadhar, (The Book of Portents of the Awaited Mahdi) p. 47
14. Al-Qhavlu’l Mukhtasar Fi Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntadhar,, (The Book of Portents of the Awaited Mahdi) p. 54
15. Sunan Ibn-i Majah, 10-347/ Ramuz al Ahadith, p. 508
16. Sahih Muslim, 1/136
17. Al-Burhan fi `Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, (A Short Book of Portents of the Mahdi of the End Times) p. 11
18. Al-Burhan fi `Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, (A Short Book of Portents of the Mahdi of the End Times) p. 58
19. Al-Qhavlu’l Mukhtasar Fi Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntadhar, (The Book of Portents of the Awaited Mahdi) p. 47
20. Imam Suyuti, (Portents of Doomsday, Death and Resurrection) p. 179, 1699
21. Portents of the Mahdi of the End Times, Jallalladdin Suyuti p. 20
22. Al-Burhan fi `Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p. 17
23. Ali Bulac, Concepts and Orders, Iz Publishing, 16th Edition, Istanbul, 1998, p. 241
25. Al-Qhavlu’l Mukhtasar Fi Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntadhar, (The Book of Portents of the Awaited Mahdi)p. 23
26. Sunan Ibn-i Majah, 10-347/ Ramuz al Ahadith, p. 508
27. Sahih Muslim
28. Al-Burhan fi `Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, (A Short Book of Portents of the Mahdi of the End Times) p. 16
29. Sunan Ibn-i Majah, 10/340
30. Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qhavlu’l Mukhtasar Fi Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntadhar, p. 24
31. Sunan Ibn-i Majah, 10-347/ Ramuz al Ahadith, p. 508
32. Al-Qhavlu’l Mukhtasar Fi Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntadhar, (The Book of Portents of the Awaited Mahdi)p. 26
33. Al-Qhavlu’l Mukhtasar Fi Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntadhar, (The Book of Portents of the Awaited Mahdi)p. 21
34. An-Necmu’s-sakib Bayanı Anna’l Mahdi min Avladi Ali b. Ebi Talib, Translated by: Ömer Dönmez p. 43
35. Al-Qhavlu’l Mukhtasar Fi Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntadhar, (The Book of Portents of the Awaited Mahdi) p. 31
36. Al-Burhan fi `Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, (A Short Book of Portents of the Mahdi of the End Times) p. 9
37. Al-Burhan fi `Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, (A Short Book of Portents of the Mahdi of the End Times) p. 15
38. Al-Qhavlu’l Mukhtasar Fi Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntadhar, (The Book of Portents of the Awaited Mahdi) p. 33
39. Al-Qhavlu’l Mukhtasar Fi Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntadhar, (The Book of Portents of the Awaited Mahdi) p. 43
40. Imam Sha’rani, (Death, Doomsday, the Hereafter and the Portents of the End Times) p. 464
41. Al-Qhavlu’l Mukhtasar Fi Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntadhar, (The Book of Portents of the Awaited Mahdi) p. 43
42. Signs of the Last Day, Pamuk Publishing House, p. 245
43. Al-Qhavlu’l Mukhtasar Fi Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntadhar, (The Book of Portents of the Awaited Mahdi) p. 64
44. Al-Burhan fi `Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, (A Short Book of Portents of the Mahdi of the End Times) p. 13
45. Al-Qhavlu’l Mukhtasar Fi Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntadhar, (The Book of Portents of the Awaited Mahdi) p. 31
46. Al-Qhavlu’l Mukhtasar Fi Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntadhar,(The Book of Portents of the Awaited Mahdi) p. 30