The Sign of the HOUR

The Qur’an says in Surat-ul Hijr (15):85, We created not the heavens, the earth, and all between them but for just ends. And the HOUR is surely coming (when this will be manifest).

And in Surat-ul Ahsab (33):63, it says, Men ask thee concerning the HOUR; say, “The knowledge thereof is with Allah (alone).”

Then the Qur’an says in Surat-ul Zukhruf (43):61, And (Isa) shall be a Sign (for the coming of) the HOUR (of Judgment): therefore, have no doubt about the (HOUR)....

As we study the scriptures of the monotheistic faiths, we become increasingly aware that life does not end in the grave, but rather it only begins! Even the Qur’an reminds us that there is indeed an appointed HOUR, a time to come, in which Allah will fulfill His plan of justice for the universe and the human race. We are told that it is an hour, or an appointed time, during which the dead will be resurrected to life and justice handed out to every soul that ever lived. It will be a time when Allah’s own Light will shine upon all the earth and chase away the shadows of darkness. All sorrow and fear; all turmoil and despair; all conflict and struggle; all sickness and decay; yes, every element of darkness and death will vanish in the Glory and Splendor of Allah’s Light of Eternal Life!

But how and when will this great eventful HOUR occur, this hour which is known as the Day of Resurrection and the Day of Judgment? And how will we know when this HOUR is about to strike upon the time clock of human history? Throughout the centuries, many learned men and religious scholars have tried to answer these questions. As a result, the traditions of various religions have offered their own versions of what will take place and how it will all end. Some people have claimed to know the exact date and have even projected the day, month, and year when the world will come to an end. The Holy Scriptures, however, make it clear to us that no one can know the exact time. Such knowledge of the HOUR and related events rests with Allah alone. Nevertheless, we are told in the same Holy Scriptures that it will be Allah’s good pleasure to convey this hidden knowledge to one of His choice prophets. This prophet will return to the world in the end-time, and will restore true peace worldwide. Who is this prophet that has been appointed to return to defeat the armies of Shaitan, and rule as Allah’s agent over the whole earth? His name is Isa Ruhullah Kalimatullah of whom the Qur’an declares: “And he shall be the Sign of the Hour.”

THE RESURRECTION AND THE JUDGMENT

The idea that a person will live again after death is not a new one. In fact, ancient civilizations, such as that of the Egyptian Pharaohs, firmly believed that there was life after death. For this reason, the early Egyptians embalmed the dead bodies of their loved ones and laid them in tombs filled with food, clothing, and household goods. This was to prepare them for the world of the afterlife.

It was during these days of ancient past that Allah spoke through one of His choice messengers, the Prophet Ayub(a:) (Job). We recall that Ayub(a:) suffered much in this world. His life was beset with tragedy and sickness. As a result, his family forsook him and his friends condemned him. But Allah was ever present, and lovingly revealed to His servant Ayub(a:) a glimpse of hope regarding life beyond the grave. Though he was tested much, Ayub(a:) proved faithful to his loving Master. He kept firmly in his heart the assurance that death would one day release him from the struggle of this life and usher him into the peace of a life to come. He continued to believe that his old worn-out, sickly body would be transformed into a renewed body. It would be a body made suitable to stand before his Redeemer and at last gaze upon His Face. So with determined faith to courageously carry on, Ayub(a:) uttered these profound words of hope:

If a man dies, will he live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait for my renewal to come. I know that my Redeemer lives and that in the end, He will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet apart from my flesh, I will see God; I myself will see Him with my own eyes.... How my heart yearns within me!

Writings of the Prophets, Job 14:14; 19:25

Freed From the Grave
Years later Allah spoke through another prophet, again giving assurances of life after death. This prophet was Nabi Daud (a:). In the Holy Scriptures of the Zabur, Daud(a:) also writes about being redeemed or freed from the grave, and awakened from death to look upon the Face of the Almighty!

In righteousness I will see Your Face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing Your likeness.
God will redeem my life from the grave; He will surely take me to Himself.

Zabur, Psalm 17:15; 49:15

Throughout the ages, other prophets also spoke on this same issue of life after death. This was to remind the faithful ones that the Living LORD of their hearts would not forsake them in the grave. For Allah’s Spirit, who is indeed the breath of eternal life, would free them from the grip of death and make them living beings again! So Allah speaks:

Your dead will live, their bodies will rise. You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy. Your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead.

Writings of the Prophets, Isaiah 26:19

I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death!

Writings of the Prophets, Hosea 13:14 16


A New Body

Of course many questions come to mind when we stop to consider this matter of life after death. Perhaps one of the most common questions concerns the nature of a person’s body once he is raised up from the grave. In this earthly life, the body seems to only wear out and die away. And of course it completely decays once it becomes confined to the grave. So what will someone do about a body in the afterlife? Prophet Ayub(a:) touched upon this issue when he declared, “All the days of my hard service I will wait for my renewal.” Yes, a person will have a body, but it will be a new body; it will be a glorious body! Listen now to these words of enlightenment from the Holy Scriptures:

Someone may ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?” How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. But God gives it a body as He has determined, and to each kind of seed He gives its own body.

All flesh is not the same: Men have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. There are also heavenly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another....

So it will be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.

We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.

Injil, 1 Corinthians 15:35-44,51-53

Indeed, this raising of the dead from the grave, which we call the resurrection, will be a momentous occasion for the human race. It will mean a new life for a new body, and will be a miraculous sign brought about by the mighty power of Almighty Allah. When this HOUR comes it will truly be a time of great rejoicing! But sad to say, not all will be able to join in the celebration. The Holy Scriptures clearly warn us that although every individual will be raised to life to stand before the Creator, not all will prove eligible to remain in His Holy presence. Over 2,000 years ago, the Prophet Daniel(a:) prophesied these extremely important words:

Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.

Writings of the Prophets, Daniel 12:2

As we think about the above reference, we realize that the Day of Resurrection will also be a day of separation. One group will be escorted into the presence of the King to live in eternal bliss. The other group will be separated and forbidden to enter. What will be the fate of this latter group that will be denied entry? The history of the human race has over and over again recorded for us the outcome of those who remain outside the presence of the Mighty LORD and King. They experience utter turmoil and despair, suffering and darkness! But now, why this sorting out of the dead raised to life? How does one go about securing his ticket of entry? And what determines whether one is able to enter or not? These are vital questions. Their answers determine the unchangeable and

Criterion of Holiness
As we noted previously, all will rise from the dead, but not all will be ushered into the everlasting Kingdom of Allah. The Prophet Daniel(a:) reminded us that there would be those who would rise to face everlasting shame and disgrace. This prophecy was later confirmed by the teachings of Isa Ruhullah(a:) when he declared the following:

For a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out; those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.

Injil, John 5:28,29

So now we begin to see who will be forbidden to enter. It is those who have done evil. The Holy Scriptures further declare:

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor prostitutes, nor homosexual offenders, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor swindlers will inherit the Kingdom of God..

Injil, 1 Corinthians 6:9,10

The acts of the sinful nature are obvious, such as: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. ...those who live like this will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

Injil, Galations 5: 19-21

But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters, and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur.

Injil, Revelation 21:8

From the above scriptural references, we understand that it is the wicked who will not inherit the Kingdom of Allah. These are the people whose sinful nature has not yielded to the transforming power of Allah. These are the ones who have arrogantly rejected faith and submission to the Almighty. They have stubbornly persisted in pursuing their own path of evil and have defiantly refused to submit to the noble path of Allah’s purity. Such inward character, that is reflective of the sinful nature of human beings, inevitably finds outward expression through an endless list of impure acts. These expressions of impurity and their cause are, without doubt, completely contrary to the very nature of Allah who is Al-Quddus. So we are not surprised to discover that the bearers of such impurity are strictly banned from entering the Holy Kingdom. In fact, we are told that those who are found unfit for the Kingdom will be severely punished and damned for all eternity. How many times we have heard, with fear and trembling, that their doom will be forever sealed in a place of torment and everlasting darkness!

The Hour of Judgment

Yes, there will certainly be an hour of judgment—an appointed time when everyone will be judged by the Word of Allah. It will be a day when every soul will be summoned to give an account of all his earthly deeds. The Holy Scriptures abound in declaring that judgment will surely be carried out:

The LORD is coming with thousands upon thousands of His holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.

Injil, Jude 14,15

Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns.” The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; He will judge the people with equity. Let the heavens rejoice; let the earth be glad. ...they will sing before the LORD, for He comes, he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in His truth.”

Zabur, Psalm 96:10,11,13

This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous, and throw them into the fiery furnace where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Injil, Matthew 13:49,50

He (God) commands all people everywhere to repent. For He has set a Day when He will judge the world with justice by the man He has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.

Injil, Acts 17:30,31

From the above accounts, we come to realize that Allah Himself will conduct the Day of Judgment. Furthermore, not only will thousands of angels be involved, but also a “man.” This man will be divinely appointed to administer the justice of the LORD, who reigns supreme. We will discuss the identity of this special man, but for now let us continue with this HOUR of judgment.

In summary, this event will be a sorting out of the good from the bad. Those on the Right will be the ones who have faithfully submitted to the Path of Allah. They will inherit eternal life and live forever with the LORD of their hearts in His glorious Kingdom. On the other hand, those on the Left will be the ones who have rejected Allah and have deliberately strayed from the straight and noble Path. They will inherit eternal damnation and everlasting punishment.

Signs of the Coming Judgment


It is no wonder that as people begin to hear these severe warnings of approaching damnation, many want to be absolutely sure that they will be ready when the HOUR of Judgment arrives. They are extremely eager to know exactly when this Day will come, and what the signs will be to warn of its arrival! Such urgent inquiries are recorded even in the Scriptures.

Following is an account in which the disciples of Isa Ruhullah question him concerning the end-time and his return to earth:

The disciples came to him (Isa) privately, “Tell us,” they said, “...what will be the sign of your coming and the end of the age?”

Isa answered, “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, „I am the Christ (Al-Masih),‟ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of war, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains. Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

“Immediately after the distress of those days, ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ At that time the Sign of the Son of Man (Al-Masih) will appear in the sky.”

Injil, Matthew 24:3-14, 29,30

As we examine the above references of Holy Scripture, we are struck by the fact that the condition of the world will only worsen as the time of the HOUR approaches. Though we are obligated as Servants of Allah to strive for peace and godliness for one and all, the truth of the matter is that mankind as a whole will seek his own selfish way in opposition to the will of Allah.

The Holy Scriptures warn us that as signs of the end-time, wickedness will abound and the hearts of people will grow cold. Warfare will spread from country to country, and rumors of more wars will spread worldwide. Followers of Isa will be persecuted for their faith. False “prophets” will arise to deceive the people into following a path of disillusion and empty promises. Earthquakes and famines will create havoc among world citizens. There will even be astrological catastrophes that will strike terror and panic throughout the earth. All these are among the many signs that will usher in the great and terrible HOUR of reality.

But there is yet one more sign to speak of. It is the most spectacular of them all, for it is the Sign of the Son of Man (Al-Masih). Who is this one named Al-Masih? He is Isa Ruhullah, Kalimatullah, ibn Maryam(a:). Yes, Isa Ruhullah will one day return to the earth. When he does, then all mankind will know that the Day of Judgment is at hand! For Isa Ruhullah is the SIGN OF THE HOUR! The Holy Scriptures tell us that when he returns, he will do so with great honor and power. When the disciples witnessed the ascension of Al-Masih into the clouds of heaven, the angels round about encouraged their hearts with these words of assurance:

Men of Galilee,... why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Isa, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven

Injil, Acts 1:11

The Holy Scriptures give further confirmation of Isa Ruhullah’s return to the world:

Grace and peace to you from... Jesus Christ (Isa Al-Masih)...who is the faithful witness, the first-born from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of earth.... ...To him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen. Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him,...

Injil, Revelation 1:4-7

They (all the nations) will see the Son of Man (Al-Masih) coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.

Injil, Matthew 24:30

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