Islamic Signs of the Last Hour - Tall Buildings


There is a famous Hadith of Jibril (i.e. the angel Gabriel) which is often recited when a Muslim is talking about Islam. What most people don’t usually realize is that in that same hadith, Muhammad actually prophesied about the appearance of tall buildings at the end of time. What follows is the full excerpt from the hadith:



`Umar ibn Khattab (Allah be well pleased with him) said: “As we were sitting one day before the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him), a man suddenly appeared. He wore pure white clothes and his hair was dark black—yet there were no signs of travel on him, and none of us knew him. He came and sat down in front of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), placing his knees against his, and his hands on his thighs. He said, “O Muhammad! Tell me about Islam.”


The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) replied, “Islam is to bear witness that there is no god but God and that Muhammad is the Messenger of God; and to perform the prayer; pay zakat; fast Ramadan; and to perform Hajj to the House if you are able.”


The man said, “You have spoken the truth,” and we were surprised that he asked and then confirmed the answer. Then, he asked, “Tell me about belief (iman).”


The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) replied, “It is to believe in Allah; His Angels; His Books; His Messengers; the Last Day; and in destiny—its good and bad.”


The man said, “You have spoken the truth. Now, tell me about spiritual excellence (ihsan).”


The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) replied, “It is to serve Allah as though you behold Him; and if you don’t behold him, (know that) He surely sees you.”


“Now, tell me of the Last Hour,” asked the man.


The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) replied, “The one asked knows no more of it than the one asking.”


“Then tell me about its signs,” said the man.


The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) replied, “That slave women give birth to their mistresses; and that you see barefoot, unclothed, beginning shepherds competing in the construction of tall buildings.


Then the visitor left, and I waited a long time. Then the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) asked me, “Do you know, Umar, who the questioner was?” I replied, “Allah and His Messenger know best.”He said (Allah bless him and give him peace), “It was Jibril. He came to you to teach you your religion.”Sahih Muslim” 


It is interesting to read some of the Islamic prophecies of Sayyidina Muhammad. Sayyidina mentioned some interesting things some 1400 years ago.


Among the signs of the Hour mentioned in the hadith Sahih al-Bukhari is “when the destitute (al-buhm) camelherds compete in building tall structures.” Another version in al-Bukhari has: “when the barefoot and the naked are the top leaders (lit. “heads”) of the people.” In the hadith Sahih Muslim: “you shall see the barefoot, naked, indigent (al-’la) shepherds compete in building tall structures.” Another version in the hadith Muslim states: “when the naked and barefoot are the top leaders of the people.” A third version in the hadith Muslim has: “when you see that the barefoot and naked, the deaf and dumb are the kings of the earth.”


There is a Muslim by the name Ibn Hajar that said in commenting this passage of the hadith in Fath al-Bari:


It was said that “bear-foot and naked,” “deaf and dumb” are their attributes by way of hyperbole, showing how coarse they are. That is, they did not use their hearing or sight in anything concerning their Religion even though they are of perfectly sound senses. Muhammad’s words: “The heads of the people” means the kings of the earth. Abu Farwas’ narration names the kings explicitly. What is meant by them is the people of the desert country, as was made explicit in Sulayman al-Taymi’s and other narrations: “Who are the barefoot and naked?” He answered: “The Bedouin Arabs.”



Al-Tabarani relates through Abu Hamza, on the authority of Ibn `Abbas from the Prophet Muhammad, sallahu alayhi wa sallam, that “one of the signs of the change of the Religion is the affectation of eloquence by the rabble and their betaking to palaces in big cities.” 



Al-Qurtubi said: “What is meant here is the prediction of a reversal in society whereby the people of the desert country will take over the conduct of affairs and rule every region by force. They will become extremely rich and their primary concern will be to erect tall building and take pride in them. We have witnessed this in our time as well as the import of the hadith: “The hour will not rise until the happiest man will be the depraved son of a depraved father (lukka` ibn lukka`),” and also “if the leadership is entrusted to those unfit for it, then expect the hour,” both found in the authentic collections.”


From an Islamic Perspective

From a Biblical Perspective


”That day [is] a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the ”high towers”’. (Zephaniah 1:15-16)


”I have cut off the nations: their ”towers” are desolate . . . Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination [is] to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, [even] all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.” (Zephaniah 3:6,8)

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