Onto a Bigger and Better Story; The One Told in the Islamic Faith; Known By Many Names, of Great Tribulation is My Favorite; Tribulation Defined; A List of 46 Minor Signs Present in the World of Today; Some with Explanations, Some Not; Photographs of a Tang Dynasty Cup With a Warrior and a Phoenix and Dragon Cloth

There is, of course a name for all of this and it is difficult to pronounce, one problem I have with the Islamic faith is that many of the words are impossible for me to pronounce. Islamic eschatology is the aspect of Islamic beliefs is that concerns itself with the end of the natural world and the afterlife. It involves the resurrection of the dead, the final judgment of God, the eternal division off the righteous and the wicked. Unlike the Christian version found in the Book of Revelations, discussed in yesterday’s blog, it has a preview describing the events leading up to the horrible tribulation.

Tribulation is a fantastic word is a state of great trouble or suffering. It has many synonyms, here are some. , burden, cross to bear, affliction, ordeal, adversity, tragedy, trauma, reverse, setback, blow, ill fortune, mishap, misadventure;  distress, misery, wretchedness, woe, grief,, anguish, agony, hassle. I suppose my favorites are adversity, affliction, woe, agony and hassle. But to call the end of the world a hassle does not seem sufficient somehow. In Islam the Great Tribulation (or Hassle) is described in Hadith literature and the works of various Muslim scholars. These events are portents described as ‘minor signs” and ‘major signs” when terrible corruption and chaos rules the earth. A major bad guy appears making things worse – he is Al-Mash ad Dajjal, similar to the Antichrist in Christianity. Islamic literature describing Armageddon is known as The Great Epic or Oculation,. The Mahdi, a righteous man descended from Muhammad, assisted by the prophet Jesus arrives on the scene establishing a period of peace, liberating the world from cruelty and injustice. Then there will be a time of serenity when people will live according to religious values. This will be followed by the end of the world and then the Day of Judgment. The Qur’an calls it the Day of Reckoning, the Last Day and the Hour.

This description of the grandest event ever is a simplification – sort of a “Great Tribulation Made Easy” Do you remember those yellow books tackling every subject known to man, but somehow Made Easy? This an interesting fact, a 2012 poll conducted in several Muslim-majority countries found that half or more respondents expected the the Final Redeemer to return during their lifetime.
The Hadith literature mentions that minor signs will occur first, then the Mahdi will come and then the major signs. There is some debate over wether this could occur concurrently or it must be at different points in time.

Minor signs]
The Minor or Lesser Signs are “moral, cultural, political, religious, and natural events designed to warn humanity that the end is near and to bring people into a state of repentance. There are 86 signs. Rather than list all of them, which may cause you to fall asleep, I shall instead list the ones I see happening, from my perspective, here in the United Arab Emirates, the United States and the world in general . ome shall be commented upon, some not..

  1. The coming of fitna (tribulations) and removal of khushoo (fearfulness of God, reverence of God, etc.)
  2. The Arabs will be utterly destroyed and sent to Hell. (Arabs include those whose language was Arabic and even those in the Diaspora)
  3. The loss of honesty, as well as authority put in the hands of those who do not deserve it.
  4. The loss of knowledge and the prevalence of religious ignorance
  5. Frequent, sudden, and unexpected deaths. (Covid and its mutations)
  6. The spread of riba (usury, interest), zina (adultery, fornication, prostitution, rape, sodomy,] pedophilia and pederasty, homosexuality,incest, and bestiality), and the drinking of alcohol.
  7. Widespread acceptance of music.
  8. Pride and competition in the decoration of mosques. (My goodness, look at the utterly beautiful Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi in that light)
  9. Women will increase in number and men will decrease in number so much so that fifty women will be looked after by one man. (Look to the number of wives accumulated by some Middle East Rulers)
  10. Frequent occurrences of disgrace, distortion, public humiliation and defamation.
  11. When people wish to die because of the severe trials and tribulations that they are suffering. (Suicide rates have soared even among children, as reported in a prior blog).
  12. In a fight between Jews and Muslims, stones and trees would inform Muslims about Jews hiding behind them. (One would wish this would happen in Isreal) ]
  13. Nobody will live after 100 years]
  14. When paying charity becomes a burden.]
  15. Nomads will compete in the construction of tall buildings (Dubai, for example)
  16. Women will appear naked despite their being dressed.
  17. People will seek knowledge from misguided and straying scholars
  18. Liars will be believed, honest people disbelieved, and faithful people called traitors.
  19. The death of righteous, knowledgeable people.
  20. The emergence of indecency (obscenity) and enmity among relatives and neighbours.
  21. The land of the Arabs will return to being a land of rivers and fields.(Perhaps the 2041 grand plan for Dubai)
  22. People will increasingly earn money by unlawful (Haram) ways.
  23. There will be much rain but little vegetation.(The recent seeding of cumulous clouds) [
  24. Evil people will be expelled from Medina.
  25. Lightning and thunder will become more prevalent.
  26. Islam will wear out as embroidery on a garment wears out, until no one will know what fasting, prayer, (pilgrimage) rites and charity are.[
  27. There will be a special greeting for people of distinction.
  28. Trade will become so widespread that a woman will help her husband in business.
  29. No truly honest man will remain and no one will be trusted.
  30. Luka bin Luka (meaning “the wickedest”) will be the happiest person
  31. Nations will soon call each other to attack Muslims (Isreal been the prime example of that.
  32. Islamic knowledge will be passed on, but no one will follow it correctly.
  33. Muslim rulers will come who do not follow the guidance and tradition of the Sunnah. Some of their men will have the hearts of devils in a human body
  34. Stinginess will become more widespread and honorable people will perish
  35. Voices will be raised in the mosques. (Look to recent events in Palestine, horrible, dreadful).
  36. The leader of a people will be the worst of them.
  37. The most honored man is the one whose evil the people are afraid of.
  38. Much wine will be drunk.
  39. Muslims shall fight against a nation who wear shoes made of hair and with faces like hammered shields, with red complexions and small eyes. (Not sure who that might be, but fun to think about)
  40. Dajjal or plague will be able to enter Medina
  41. Emergence of an army, from Yemen, that will make Islam dominant.( Not yet but remember those pesky drones.) ]
  42. Markets will approach / come close. (The Yas Mall, the Dubai Mall and malls all over the Middle East).
  43. Sexual immorality appears among people to such an extent that they commit it openly, except that they will be afflicted by plagues and diseases unknown to their forefathers;
  44. People cheat in weights and measures (business, trades, etc.) and are stricken with famine, calamity, and oppression as a result;
  45. Men and women partake in sihr and shirk; they travel the world through attaching themselves to the jinn, causing mischief;
  46. Unless their leaders rule according to the Quran and seek all good from that which Allah has revealed, Allah will cause them to fight one another.

I would say, offhand, that things are not looking good, 46 out of 86 is more than half-way there.  Many, many, many minor signs. I am not sure what I am going to do about this, as this has been a real learning experience for me. (and I hope you)

Tomorrow (or the next) will bring news of the Major Signs. Perhaps some humor might be in order, in the meantime. Worry does not get anyone anywhere.

The two photographs are taken from the Louvre book on the exhibit of the Dragon and the Phoenix. One is a cup with a hunting scene dating from the Tang Dynasty.  Perhaps it is depicting the men described in number 39.
The other photograph is fabric with eagles and phoenixes, Do remember that I arise from adversity like a Phoenix from the Ashes. Some ashes have come my way of late but I seem to be doing my Phoenix transformation. Perhaps more about that in an upcoming blog.

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