The Three Landslides
As quoted earlier in a hadeeth (saying of Prophet Muhammad), among the major signs of the Day of Judgment are the three landslides that will occur. One will occur in the East, one in the West and one in the Arabian Peninsula. Not much further information has been given concerning these events—and therefore not much can be added. However, the well-known hadeeth exegete ibn Hajar does note that landslides are a well-known occurrence and have occurred often. Therefore, he says, it is likely that the nature of these three landslides which will occur shortly before the Day of Judgment will be of a much greater magnitude and severity, setting them apart from what occurs customarily in this world. And God alone knows best.
Among the major signs mentioned by the Prophet, may God praise him, is that of “the smoke.” Allah refers to this event in the Quran, saying:
“Then wait you for the Day when the sky will bring forth a visible smoke, covering the people, this will be a painful torment” (Quran 44:10-11)
Again, beyond what has been stated explicitly by the Prophet, very little comment can be made concerning this sign. However, there is a hadeeth in which the Prophet said:
“Verily, your Lord has warned you concerning three [matters]: the smoke that overtakes the believer like a cold and overtakes the disbeliever and makes him swollen until it comes out of his ears.”
The Rising of the Sun from the West
According to a large number of the Quranic commentators, based on the hadeeth of the Prophet, the italicized portion of the following verse is in reference to the phenomenon of the rising of the sun from the West just prior to the Day of Resurrection:
“Do they then wait for anything other than that the angels should come to them, or that your Lord should come, or that some Signs of your Lord should come! The day that some of the Signs of your Lord do come, no good will it do to a person to believe then, if he believed not before, nor earned good (by performing deeds of righteousness) through his Faith. Say [to the disbelievers], ‘Wait you! We (too) are waiting’” (Quran 6:158).
In an authentic narration, the Prophet recited this verse after mentioning the people see the rising of the sun from the West. Thus, al-Bukhari records, that the Prophet said:
“The hour will not be established till the sun rises from the West; and when it rises (from the West) and the people see it, they all will believe. And that is (the time) when no good will it do to a soul to believe then.” Then he recited the complete verse (6:158).
In numerous narrations, the Prophet has made it abundantly clear that the nature of this sign is such that no one would have any reason to doubt, question or refuse to believe after seeing it. When an individual experiences a sign of this nature, the reality virtually becomes exposed to him and, therefore, there is no longer any sense of a trial or test. In fact, at that time, the test is over and the individual is already seeing the results unfolding in front of his/her very eyes. That is why “conversion” to faith will have no meaning at that time and will not be acceptable by God.
However, before this occurs, the door to repentance to God and His mercy is always open—such is how great the mercy of God is but it is also just and based on wisdom. Thus, Muslim recorded that the Prophet said:
“He who seeks repentance (from the Lord) before the rising of the sun from the west (before the Day of Resurrection), God turns to him with Mercy.”
The rising of the sun from the West is one of three greatly definitive signs of this nature. Thus, the Prophet said:
“When three things appear faith will not benefit one who has not previously believed or has derived no good from his faith: the rising of the sun in its place of setting, the Dajjaal, and the beast of the earth.”
Muslim also recorded that the Prophet said:
“The first sign would be the appearance of the sun from the west, the appearance of the beast before the people in the forenoon and which of the two happens first, the second one would follow immediately after that.”
This leads directly into the next sign which is the appearance of the Beast of the Earth.
The Beast of the Earth
God says in the Quran,
“And when the Word (of torment) is fulfilled against them, We shall bring out from the earth a beast to them, which will speak to them because mankind believed not with certainty in Our Signs” (al-Naml 27:82).
This verse referrs to the beast of the earth who will appear shortly before the Day of Judgment.
When the Beast comes, it will distinguish the people and declare who is a believer and who is a disbeliever. Ahmad recorded that the Prophet said:
“The beast will appear and he will brand the people on their noses. The people will then go on living with this branding such that a person will buy a camel and when he is asked, ‘From whom did you buy it?’ he will reply, ‘From one of the branded people.’” (Al-Albani)
The Fire that Will Gather the People
This is the last of the great signs. After this starts the beginning of a new experience and creation. Muslim records a hadeeth in which the Prophet stated the ten major signs and it concludes with, “at the end of which fire would burn forth from the Yemen, and would drive people to the place of their assembly.” One can only imagine the intensity of this fire and the shear horror and fear that the individuals alive at that time will experience. After this, all that will be left is for the masses of humanity to be resurrected and to face the reckoning of their Lord.
No one, of course, can say why Allah has chosen to end this creation in the remarkable and amazing fashion that He has so chosen. This is truly an amazing and marvelous creation and perhaps it is fitting that it should be brought to an end via amazing and marvelous events. In any case, a Muslim knows with full certainty that this is what is going to occur, as the Quran and Prophet have described these events. These events will occur and the Hour will be established. With the Hour comes judgment and this is what every human should be thinking about and preparing for, especially as he/she is reading about these events that shall occur before that momentous occasion.