Book of the End: Great Trials and Tribulations
By Ibn Katheer
In The Name Of Allah, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful
O Allah, send prayers and salutations on Muhammad, his family,and his Companions. This is the Book of The End : Great Trials and Tribulations. It deals with what the Prophet informed us about regarding the signs of the Hour and the great events that are to take place before the Day of Judgment, all of which we must have faith in, because the Prophet spoke not from desire, but from revelation.
Abu Moosa Al-Ash’aree related that the Messenger of Allah said, “This nation of mine is one upon which there is mercy; there is no punishment upon it in the Hereafter; its punishment is in this world— with trials, earthquakes, and killings.”
Hitherto in our discussion on the unseen past, [This book is a continuation of Ibn Katheer’s history book, Al-Bidaayah Wan-Nihaayah; whereas the previous volumes are concerned with past events, this one is chiefly concerned with events that are yet to take place.] we covered in detail events that pertain to the beginning of the world, the stories of the prophets, and the history of peoples until our era. Then we discussed the biography of the Prophet mentioning his characteristics and the proofs of his prophethood. Then we covered some events that the Prophet prophesized about and that have already taken place before our century. When we gave an account of events that took place after the Prophet’s death, we pointed out those occurrences about which a Hadeeth gave information. Since we already mentioned those prophesies that have already become realized and since it would be too long to repeat them all here, we will suffice by mentioning only a few examples, after which we will return to the main theme of this work. And we seek help from Allah.
SOME OF THE EVENTS THAT THE PROPHET SAID WOULD OCCUR AFTER HIS LIFETIME
The Prophet intimated that after him Abu Bakr would take charge over the Muslim Nation
Once, after the Prophet spoke to a female questioner, he told her to come back at a later time. She said, “And if I do not find you,” asif she was alluding to his death. He said, “If you do not find me,then go to Abu Bakr.” (Bukhaaree) And in fact Abu Bakr did assume the duty of leadership after the Prophet. The Prophet, wanted to write a declaration, making it clear that Abu Bakr was to be the next Khaleefah. However, he refrained from writing it because he knew that his Companions a being pleased with Abu Bakes superiority and merit, would choose no one else. The Prophet said, “Allah and the believers refuse to have anyone other than Abu Bakr.” (Muslim)
In another narration, the Prophet said, “And with those two who come after me, Abu Bakr and ‘Umar.” (Ahmad, Ibn Maajah, At-Tirmidhee, who ruled it to be authentic). These words were proven to be true, for Abu Bakr became Khaleefah after the Prophet and he was then followed by ‘Umar
The Prophet Intimated To Us That The Muslims Would Conquer Egypt
Ibn Ka’ab related from his father that the Messenger of Allah said, “When you conquer Egypt, then treat its inhabitants in a good manner.” (Maalik) And in another narration, “Treat its inhabitants in a good manner, for they have the right of security and they are kinsfolk (Hagar, the mother of Ismaa’eel, was from them).” ‘Amr ibn Al-‘Aas led the Muslim army that conquered Egypt in the year 20 H, during the caliphate of ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattaab. And Abu Dhar related that the Prophet said, “Indeed you will conquer a land in which Al-Qeeraat is mentioned (Al-Qeeraat is a portion of a dinar, dirham, and other currencies; the people of Egypt, who used Al-Qeeraat in their transactions, would speak about it often). Treat its inhabitants well, for they have the right of security and they are kinsfolk.” (Muslim)
The Prophet Foretold The End Of The Persian And Roman Empires
The Messenger of Allah said, “When Caesar is destroyed, there will be no Caesar after him, and when Kisra (a title designated to the emperor of Persia) is destroyed, there will be no Kisra after him. And by the One Who has my soul in His Hand, you will spend their treasures in the way of Allah.” (Bukhaaree and Muslim)
This prophecy was fulfilled, for during the caliphates of Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, and ‘Uthmaan, Caesar (the name of this particular Caesar was Haraql) lost control of countries in Sham (Syria and surrounding regions) and the Arabian Peninsula. His dominion was then limited to the countries of Rome. In Arabic, the application of the word Qaisar (Caesar) was for he who ruled over Rome, Sham, and the Arabian Peninsula. Therefore this Hadeeth contained glad tidings for the inhabitants of Sham; it promised them that, until the Day of Judgment, they would never again be under the rule of Rome. As for Kisra, he lost his entire control of most of his dominion during the caliphate of ‘Umar, and then he lost everything during the caliphate of ‘Uthmaan. According to one narration, – this occurred in the year 32 H – all praise is for Allah and all blessings are from Him. When the Prophet, sent a letter to Kisra, inviting him to Islam, the latter tore it up. The Prophet supplicated against him, invoking Allah. to completely tear apart his empire, and that is in fact what happened.
The Messenger of Allah Prophesized ‘Umar’s Murder
Shafeeq Ibn Salamah reported that Hudhaifah said, “As we were seated in the company of ‘Umar, he said, ‘Who among you has memorized the Hadeeth of the Messenger of Allah regarding the Fitnah (tribulation)?’ I said, ‘I.’ He said, ‘Tell it, you are indeed bold.’
I said, ‘He A mentioned the Fitnah of a man in his family, his wealth, his self, his child, and his neighbour – which are all expiated for by prayer, charity, the ordering of good, and the forbidding of evil.’ He said, ‘That is not what I meant; I am referring to (the Fitnah) which will become agitated like the agitation of the sea (i.e. when people will become submersed in discord).’ I said, ‘O leader of the believers, indeed between it and you is a closed door.’ He said, ‘Woe unto you! Will the door be opened or will it break?’ I said, ‘Rather, it will break.’ He said, ‘Then it will never be closed again.’ I said, ‘Indeed.’ ”
Shafeeq Ibn Salamah said, “We said to Hudhaifah, ‘It is as if ‘Umar knows who that door is?’ ” Hudhaifah answered, “Yes, I related to him a Hadeeth that was not false (not false because it was spoken by the Prophet, who spoke not from desire, but from revelation).” Shafeeq later said, “We were afraid to ask Hudhaifah who the door was, so we asked Masrooq to ask.” Hudhaifah answered, “‘Umar.” And this is exactly what occurred. After ‘Umar was killed in the year 23 H, people became engulfed in trials; ‘Umar’s death was what led to the spreading of those trials.
The Prophet Foretold The Trials That ‘Uthmaan Was To Undergo
The Prophet said that ‘Uthmaan Ibn ‘Affaan was from the inhabitants of Paradise but that he would first be afflicted by a trial. This happened when he was besieged in his own home. Throughout that trial until its culmination – when he was murdered – he was patient and was hoping for his reward from Allah and he became a martyr. When we previously discussed the events surrounding ‘Uthmaan’s murder, we mentioned those Ahaadeeth in which that murder was foretold by the Prophet Similarly, we mentioned those Ahaadeeth which foretold of the events that took place during the days of Jamal and Siffeen. And we seek help from Allah. [From this point forward, when Imam Ibn Katheer – may Allah have mercy on him – says about a Hadeeth or topic that he discussed it earlier, it might be from an earlier section of this volume, but he may be referring to what he wrote in a previous volume of his book on history.]
The Prophet Foretold ‘Ammaar Ibn Yaasir’s Killing
There are narrations in which the Prophet said that ‘Ammar would be killed. As for the Khawaarij, whom ‘Alee Ibn Abee Taalib fought, there are many ahaadeeth related about them, ahaadeeth we have hitherto mentioned – all praise is for Allah and all blessings are from Him. We have also discussed the murder of ‘Alee and the ahaadeeth that foretold it.
The Prophet Specified That The Period Of The Caliphate Was To Last For Thirty Years After His Death And Then The Era Of Kingdoms Would Begin
Safeenah, reported that the Messenger of Allah said, “The Khilaafah (caliphate) after me will last for thirty years; then there will be kingdom(s).” (Ahmad, Abu Daawood, An-Nisaaee, and At-Tirmidhee, who ruled it to be Hasan)
Those thirty years consisted of the caliphates of Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq , ‘Umar Al-Faarooq ‘Uthmaan Ash-Shaheed, and ‘Alee ibn Abee Taalib Ash-Shaheed; the full thirty years came to an exact end with the end of Al-Hasan’s caliphate, which lasted for six months. As soon as those thirty years ended, which was in the year 40 H, Al-Hasan stepped down, allowing Mu’aawiyah ibn Abee Sufyaan to take his place, and the people pledged allegiance to him. That year was called the Year of the Gathering (because the people came together after having been divided). In an earlier section, we have already discussed this matter in detail.
The Prophet Gave Tidings Of Al-Hasan ads Making Peace Between Two Huge Groups Of Muslims
Abu Bakrah related that he heard the Messenger of Allah A say while Al-Hasan ibn ‘Alee was beside him on the pulpit, “This son of mine is a leader, and through him, Allah will bring together two huge groups of Muslims.” (Bukhaaree) And of course, that is what happened.
The Messenger Of Allah Informed Umm Haraam Sint Milhaan, That She Would Die In A Naval War
Umm Haraam bint Milhaan 40 related that the Messenger of Allah mentioned that his battles in the sea would be of two groups and that Umm Haraam would be from the first group. (Bukhaaree and Muslim) That occurred in the year 27 H, when Mu’aawiyah asked ‘Uthmaan s permission to attack Qubrus. He gave his permission force. In that battle, Umm Haraam died at sea; she was accompanying the army with Mu’aawiyah’s wife and her sister, Bint Qurzah. The second naval battle referred to in the Hadeeth took place in the year 52 H, during the rule of Mu’aawiyah.
Mu’aawiyah sent his son, Yazeed, to lead the Muslim army in an attack on Constantinople. Many eminent Companions accompanied Yazeed’s army – among them were Abu Ayyoob Al-Ansaaree and Khaalid ibn Yazeed Khaalid died there and requested Yazeed ibn Mu’aawiyah to bury him as close as he could to the territory of the enemy. When the time came, Yazeed fulfilled that request.
Umm Haraam related that she heard the Messenger of Allah say, “As for the first army from my nation that will attack by sea, it has become binding (i.e., binding that they enter Paradise).” Umm Haraam asked, “O Messenger of Allah, am I one of them?” He said, “Indeed you are one of them.” The Messenger of Allah continued, “The (members of) the first army from my nation to attack the city of Caesar are forgiven.” Umm Haraam asked, “Am I one of them, O Messenger of Allah?” He said, “No.” (Bukhaaree)
The Prophet Indicated That The Muslim Army Would Reach India And Sindh
Al-Hasan related that Abu Hurairah said, “My Khaleel and the truthful one, The Messenger of Allah, said, ‘From this Nation there will be an expedition to Sindh and India.’ If I reach that time and if I become martyred, then that is fine; and if I return, then I am Abu Hurairah the saved: He will have freed me from the Fire.” (Ahmad) And in another narration Abu Hurairah said, “The Messenger of Allah, promised the invasion of India. If I become martyred, I will be from the best of the martyred; and if I return, I am Abu Hurairah, the saved.” (Ahmad) An-Nasaaee related it as well from Sayaar ibn Jaabir, who heard it being imputed to Abu Hurairah.
The Muslims attacked India in the year 44 H, during the rule of Mu’aawiyah ibn Abee Sufyaan. And King As-Sa’eed Al- Mahmood ibn Shinkinkeer of Ghuznah attacked it and surrounding territories in the year 400 H. He performed many greatest idol in that land, an idol called Soomanaat; As-Sa’eed took the bracelets and swords hanging on the idol and returned safely and profitably to his homeland. At an earlier time, armies under Banee Umayyah fought the Turks (when Turks are mentioned in this book, the Tatars and their descendants are being referred to) at the extreme borders of Sindh and China. There, they subjugated King Al-Qaal Al-‘Aazam after having destroyed his army and appropriated his wealth. In some Ahaadeeth, a description of those Turks is given, which we will now briefly discuss.
The Prophet Said That The Muslims Would Fight The Turks
Abu Hurairah + related that the Prophet said, “The Hour will not arrive until you will fight a people whose shoes are made of (braided) hair and until you fight the Turks, who have small eyes, red faces, small and turned up noses, and who have faces that are like the shield (of a combatant)… People are minerals (this means that their roots, backgrounds, and lineages differ). The best of them in (the days of) ignorance is the best of them in Islam. And there will come upon you a time wherein for one of you to see me is more beloved to him than to be given more family and wealth – (than to be given) double what he already has.” (Bukhaaree)
Abu Hurairah also related that the Prophet said, “The Hour will not arrive until you fight Khoor and Kirmaan, (two) foreign peoples, whose faces are red, whose noses are wide and flat, whose faces are like shields, and whose shoes are (braided) hair.” (Bukhaaree)
‘Amr ibn Tha’lab + related that he heard the Messenger of Allah say, “From the signs of the Hour is for you to fight a people whose faces are wide, as if their faces are shields (of combatants).” (Ahmad) Bukhaaree related it as well from Jareer Ibn Haazim. The Companions fought and defeated the Turks; they gained spoils of war and they took women and children as captives.
Here, it is literally indicated that this Hadeeth is a sign of the coming of the Hour (i.e. The Day of Judgment). If the “Signs of the Hour” refers to events that take place shortly before the Hour, then the event referred to in the Hadeeth – i.e. a major battle between the Muslims and the Turks – can take place again. But if “Signs of the Hour” refers to a more general meaning, then an event at any time, and not just events that take place shortly before the Hour, can be from the Signs of the Hour, even if a given event occurs much before the Hour. But still, the event must take place after the time of the Prophet for it to be considered one of the Signs of the Hour. After having reflected on all of the Ahaadeeth that are related about this topic, we feel that the latter of the two possibilities appears to be correct – and you will see this presently In-sha-Allah.
The Prophet Intimated That Some Children Would Take Positions Of Authority Over The Muslims, And He Pointed Out That That will Lead To Evil And Corruption
Abu Hurairah related that he heard the Messenger of Allah say, “The ruin of my nation will be at the hands of children (or young men).” (Ahmad) Marwaan said, “I used to go with my father to Banee Marwaan after they were made to rule; they would pledge allegiance to young boys and some who were pledged allegiance to were still in their safety rope (something specific to children to keep them from straying). I said, ‘Perhaps these companions of yours are those about whom Abu Hurairah said: Indeed, these kings resemble one another.”‘
Other prophesies are in the Hadeeth we mentioned about the “Liar” and the “Destroyer” from Thaqeef; the “Liar” was Mukhtaar ibn Abee rUbaid, who appeared in Koofah during the days of ‘Abdullah ibn Az-Zubair s. And the “Destroyer” was Al-Hajjaaj ibn Yousuf Ath-Thaqafee, the one who killed ‘Abdullah ibn Az-Zubair. In another Hadeeth the Prophet prophesized the black flags, which Banu Al-‘Abbaas came with when they wrenched control of the Muslim Nation from the hands of Banu Umayyah. This occurred in the year 302 H. The last ruler of Banu Umayyah was Mirwaan ibn Muhammad ibn Mirwaan ibn Al-Hakam ibn Abul-‘Aas, known as Mirwaan Al-Himaar (literally, meaning donkey; he was called this because he would sweat profusely as he tirelessly fought those who opposed his rule) and Mirwaan Al-Ja’dee (his teacher was Ja’ad ibn Dirham Al-Mo’tazilee). Abu Al-‘Abbaas ‘Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Alee ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Al-‘Abbaas ibn ‘Abdul-Muttallib was the first ruler of Banu Al-‘Abbaas.
Abu ‘Ubaidah ibn Al-Jarraah and Mu’aadh ibn Jabal related that the Prophet said, “Indeed Allah has commenced this matter upon Prophethood and mercy; it will become Khilaafah and mercy; it will become honor and sanctity; it will become kingdoms, great oppression, and corruption in the nation – people will deem
(unlawful) private parts, alcohol, and silk to be lawful. They will be supported upon that and they will be given provision continuously until they meet Allah ‘Azza Wa fall (to Him belongs Might and Majesty).” (Abu Daawood)
Abu Hurairah related that the Messenger of Allah said, “The Prophets will be followed by the Khaleefahs, who will apply Allah’s Book and who will be just with Allah’s slaves. The Khaleefahs will be followed by kings, who will take their revenge, kill men, and choose wealth (for themselves). (At that time) one can change (evil) with his hand, with his tongue, and with his heart; and there is no Eemaan
beyond that.” (Al-Baihaqee)
Abu Hurairah also reported that the Prophet said, “The Children of Israel were led by Prophets; each time a Prophet died, he was replaced by a Prophet. And there is no Prophet after me, though there will be many Khaleefahs.” The Companions asked, “And what do you command us to do, O Messenger of Allah?” He said, “Honor the earliest pledges of allegiance and give them (i.e. the rulers) their rights. For indeed, Allah will ask them about what He made them rule over.” (Bukhaaree)
‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood related that the Messenger of Allah said, “There was no Prophet who did not have companions who were his supporters – who were guided by his guidance and who followed his way (Sunnah). After them come ensuing generations, who say that which they do not do and who do that which they forbid.” (Muslim)
The Prophet, Informed Us Of Twelve Khaleefahs From The Quraish Who Will Rule Over The Muslim Nation
Jaabir ibn Samarah related that the Prophet said, “There will be twelve Khaleefahs who will all be from the Quraish.” (Bukhaaree and Muslim) In another narration, Jaabir ibn Samarah reported that he heard the Messenger of Allah say, “The affair of this nation will continue to remain upright and it will continue to be victorious over its enemy until it goes through twelve Khaleefahs, all of whom are
from the Quraish.” The Companions asked, “Then what will happen?” He W, said, “Then there will be Faraj (holes and gaps through which seep factors that lead to division and weakness in the ranks and in souls).” (Abu Daawood)
The twelve referred to in the Hadeeth are not the same twelve that the Raafidah falsely consider to be infallible Imams. Most of the twelve they mention never even had any position of authority over the Muslims, not even over a region or territory of Muslim land. Among the twelve Imams that the Raafidhah mention, only ‘Alee and his son Al-Hasan ibn ‘Alee ruled over the Muslims. The Khaleefahs Of The Quraish Referred To In The Hadeeth Are Not The Twelve Leaders Who Followed In Sequence After The Prophet’s Death The twelve leaders of the Muslims who followed one another after the death of the Prophet among whom were the leaders of Banu Umayyah – are not the twelve Khaleefahs that are referred to in the above-mentioned Hadeeth. In the Hadeeth of Safeenah, the Prophet said, “The caliphate after me will be for thirty years.” He also said that kingdoms would follow that period, which means that the rulers of Banu Umayyah cannot be considered to be from the twelve Khaleefahs of the Quraish. Nonetheless, among those twelve Imams are Abu Bala, ‘Umar ‘Uthmaan, ‘Alee, and his son, Al- Hasan ibn ‘Alee . The majority of scholars maintain that ‘Umar Ibn ‘Abdul-‘Azeez is also one of the aforesaid twelve Khaleefahs – and all praise is for Allah. Among them were also some from Banu Al- ‘Abbaas. The rest of them will come in the future, one of them being the Mandee that is spoken of in some Ahaadeeth. We seek help from Allah and we wholly depend upon Him.
Narrations Mentioning Signs Related To The Year 200 And Narrations Indicating That The Best Of Muslims After The Year 200 Are Those Who Have Neither Wealth Nor Children
Ibn Qataadah related that the Messenger of Allah said, “The Signs are after (the year) 200 (H).” (Ibn Maajah) Ibn Maajah then related it through two other chains from Anas, but none of them are authentic. If we suppose that it is an authentic Hadeeth, it is referring to the Trial that resulted from some people saying that the Qur’an is created and to the Trial that Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal and his companions from the Imams of Hadeeth endured. Rawaad ibn Al-Jaraah, whose narrations are Munkar, relates the following narration: “The best of you after the year 200 is he who will have a light load on his back.” The companions asked what that meant, and he answered, “He who has neither family nor children.” This is Munkar (one of the categories of the Da’eef Hadeeth).
The Best Generation Is the Generation of the Messenger, Then Those Who Came Next, Then Those Who Came Next, and Thereafter Corruption Will Spread
‘Imraan ibn Husain reported that the Messenger of Allah said, “The best of my nation are those of this generation, then those that followed them.” ‘Imraan said, “I do not know whether he mentioned two generations after his generation or three.” The Hadeeth continues, “Then there will come after you a people who will give their testimony without being asked (scholars have said that this is referring to a person who gives testimony without being asked to give it on behalf of another who has knowledge of the fact that he is a witness; other scholars say that this is referring to one who puts himself forward as a witness but is not worthy of giving testimony), who will be treacherous and cannot be trusted, and who will make a binding oath (Nadhr) to do something but then will not honor that oath; and fatness will become prevalent among them.” (Bukhaaree and Muslim, and this wording is that of Bukhaaree)
The Messenger Did Not Specify When This World Will Come To An End And It Is Not Authentically Related From Him That Prior To The Day Of Judgment He Will Remain In His Grave For 1000 Years
What is related from many commoners regarding the Prophet not remaining under the Earth for 1000 years has no basis; this notion is not related in any trusted book of Hadeeth, and we have not heard it in lengthy compilations or summarized ones. Also, it is not established in any Hadeeth from the Prophet that he specified when the Hour will arrive; all that he mentioned is the signs which indicate that the Hour is near at hand, and we will mention them, Insha Allah.
The Narration That Speaks About A Fire In The Land Of Hijaaz Which Will Illuminate Camels in Busrah, in the Land of Sham
Abu Hurairah related that the Messenger of Allah said, “The Hour will not arrive until there appears a fire from the land of Hijaaz that will illuminate the necks of camels in Busra (Busra is in the land of Sham: Syria and surrounding regions).” (Bukhaaree) And Muslim related it through ibn Shihaab.
The Appearance Of A Fire In Madeenah That Continued To Rage For An Entire Month In The Year 654 H
Shaikh Shihaabud-Deen Abu Shaamah, Shaikh of the Hadeeth scholars and historians during his era, mentioned that on Friday, the 5th of Jumaadah Al-Aakhirah, 654 H, there appeared a fire in lands near Madeenah An-Nabawiyyah, in some of its surrounding valleys. It extended for four leagues lengthwise and four miles widthwise. Rocks would pour out until they remained like lead or molten tin, and then they became like black coals. By dint of the fire’s light, people were able to travel to Teemaa. The fire remained ablaze for an entire month. The inhabitants of Madeenah related this incident and some among them composed verses of poetry about it.
Qaadee Al-Qudaat, Sadrud-Deen ‘Alee ibn Al-Qaasim Al-Hanafee, said that a Bedouin once told his father that on that night (i.e. the night of the fire), he was in Busrah and that the people there saw the necks of camels from the light of that fire, which was ablaze in the land of Hijaaz.