Q: Are there any signs and indications of the approach of the day of judgment? Could you please outline them?
A: There are very clear statements in the Qur’an concerning the day of resurrection. The first is that its timing is known only to God who keeps it to Himself: “They question you concerning the hour and when it will come. Say: ‘Its knowledge belongs to my Lord. He alone will reveal it at its appointed time.” (7:187) We also know that it will arrive suddenly. “It will overtake you without warning.”
We are told in the Qur’an that it will be preceded by strange happenings in the universe. One of these is that a walking creature will come out of the earth which will speak to people. This is a true piece of information mentioned in Verse 82 of Surah 27, entitled ‘The Ants.’ We do not know exactly what sort of creature this will be, but it must be something like animals, because the word used to denote it is normally used to refer to walking animals. Since God has not given us any more information about this creature, we do not venture to say any more. We only say that we believe the Qur’anic statement as it is, knowing that God is able to do what He pleases in the manner and fashion He chooses.
Another indication which the Qur’an has mentioned is the release of Gog and Magog after the collapse of the wall which separates them from us. We do not know who are Gog and Magog, or where their land lies, or where the wall is. If we manage to identify these on the basis of research and linking various sorts of evidence and we come up with a conclusion which is not contrary to the Qur’an, we accept it. Otherwise, we accept the Qur’anic statement in its generality.
There are other indications which have been outlined in authentic Hadiths, such as true knowledge becomes scanty, while ignorance becomes widespread. Drinking intoxicants and adultery becomes commonplace. Women become greater in number than men, and honesty becomes a rare commodity in human society. Social standards become inconsistent, and lowly people rise in society. The impostor will make his appearance when he will delude a great many people. None but the true believers will be able to recognize that he is an impostor. The second coming of Jesus, the Messiah, will then follow, and he will certainly support the message of God’s final Prophet, Muhammad, peace be upon him.