Harun Yahya

One of the signs of the last day is near: the sun will rise in the west

One of the signs of the Last Day given by our Prophet (saas) in the Hadiths is the rising of the sun in the west. The Hadiths tell us that the last day will not come before this sign occurs.
Throughout history many people have interpreted the grandeur of the mountains and the glory of the Sun and the stars according to their own superstitions thinking that the universe is indestructible and will last for all eternity. This belief lay at the foundation of ancient Greek, Sumerian and Egyptian religion.
The Qur’an tells us that these people were in great error: This perfect order that has lasted billions of years is the work of the Lord Who created everything and, at His command; it will come to an end in a similarly glorious way. 20th century scientific developments have affirmed what the Qur’an said centuries ago: that the universe had a beginning. And like the universe, all human beings and other forms of life will die.
The Qur’an refers to the time when the universe, all forms of life from human beings to microorganisms, the stars and galaxies come to an end as the Hour.  This hour is a particular hour used in the Qur’an to describe the Last Day.
Together with the announcement in the Qur’an of The Last Day, there is a description of all the stages and the events that will occur at that time: ‘When the sky is ripped apart’, ‘When the seas are set ablaze’, When the mountains are plucked up by their roots and scattered’, ‘When the sun is extinguished’……The fear, panic and amazement with which people will witness these extraordinary events is described vividly; they will find no place to hide, there will be no escape ad no one will be able to protect themselves from the agony of this time.
Throughout history, people have wondered what the The Last Day would be like; the Qur’an gives the answer. People asked our Prophet (saas) when the Hour would come:

“They will ask you about the Hour: When is it due?...”(Surat al-A‘raf, 187)
“They ask you about the Hour: ‘When will it come?’” (Surat an-Nazi‘at, 42)

Our Lord gave this answer to our Prophet (saas): “Say: ‘Knowledge of it rests with my Lord alone.” (Surat al-A‘raf, 187) That is, only He knows the time of the Day of Judgment.  The Qur’an does not say when it will happen; it only gives the signs that will occur before that Hour comes. The Qur’an tells us that there are many signs to be expected:

“What are they awaiting but for the Hour to come upon them suddenly? Its signs have already come…” (Surah Muhammad, 18)

In order to understand that signs preceding this great announcement, we must carefully consider what the Qur’an and the Hadiths of our Prophet (saas) say about the signs of the Day of Judgment and the last day. There is no use, as the Qur’an says, to think about these things after the day has come. In the Hadiths, our Prophet (saas) gives us detailed information about the signs of the end and about the period that precedes the end. The time when these signs happen is called the End Times.
In the first stage of the End Times, the world will suffer from many material and spiritual problems. The second stage is called the Golden Age when the moral teachings of the Qur’an will prevail and there will be great prosperity. When this period comes to an end, the world will be plunged into social chaos and then the end will come. Allah knows the truth. When we look at the signs of the The Last Day as related in the Qur’an and the Hadiths, we can see that these signs have begun to happen, one after the other just as they are described, in the present time.
The occurrence of these events described 14 centuries ago increases a believer’s faith and devotion to Allah.  In one verse, the Lord makes this promise: “Say: ‘Praise be to Allah. He will show you His signs and you will recognize them...” (Surat an-Naml, 93). But it must be remembered that only Allah knows the whole truth. As with everything else, we have no knowledge of the Last Day apart from what He tells us. Only Allah knows the time of the Last Day:

Say: ‘I do not know whether what you are promised is close or whether my Lord will appoint a longer time before it.’ He is the Knower of the Unseen, and does not divulge His Unseen to anyone (Surat al-Jinn, 25-26)

Most people know something about the Day of Judgment. Almost everyone knows more or less about the horrors of that Hour. In spite of this, most people share a common attitude toward this viral matter; they do not want to think or speak about it. They make a determined effort to keep the fear of the Hour out of their minds. A tragedy reported in the newspaper or disasters they witness in a film are not enough to make them consider the Last Day. They avoid thinking about the fact that this day will certainly come one day.
Some people do not even believe that the Hour will come. Such a person is the rich grape-vines owner in Surat al-Kahf.

(He said,) “I do not think the Hour will ever come. But if I should be sent back to my Lord, I will definitely get something better in return.” (Surat al-Kahf, 36)

This is an example of the real attitude of a person who says he believes in Allah but does not consider the reality of the Last Day. In another verse, our Lord tells us about deniers who are filled with doubts about the Hour:

(The unbelievers will be told,) ‘When you were told, "Allah’s promise is true and so is the Hour, of which there is no doubt," you said, "We have no idea what the Hour is. We have only been conjecturing. We are by no means certain." (Surat al-Jathiyya, 32)

Some people completely deny the Hour:

But instead, they deny the Hour; and We have prepared a Searing Blaze for those who deny the Hour. (Surat al-Furqan, 11)

Those who deceive themselves about the The Last Day are making a great mistake.  Because in the Qur’an, Allah tells us that the Hour is near and that there is no room for doubt about it:

And the Hour is coming without any doubt and Allah will raise up all those in the graves. (Surat al-Hajj, 7)
We did not create the heavens and Earth and everything between them, except with truth. The Hour is certainly coming…(Surat al-Hijr, 85)

There may be some who think that 1400 years have passed since the Last Day was announced in the Qur’an and that this period is long compared to the length of a human life. But what we are talking about here is the end of the Earth, the Sun and the stars, in short, the whole universe. When we consider that the universe is billions of years old, 1400 years is a very short time.
The great Islamic scholar, Bediuzzaman Nursi, gave a wise analogy to explain this:
The Qur’an has issued a decree saying that ‘The Last Day is near’. It is not important that it has not come after so much time has passed. Indeed, The Last Day is the death of the Earth. Compared to the age of the world, a thousand or two thousand years is like one day or one minute compared to the length of a year. The Last Day is not appointed for human beings so as to be compared with the length of their own lives.
In the Hadiths, our Prophet (saas) announced many signs of the Last Day. Some of these have to do with the second coming of ‘Isa (as), the killing of Dajjal (Anti-christ), the appearance of Mahdi and the dominance of Islamic morality throughout the world, the sun rising in the west, the appearance of Dabbat al-Ardh and smoke. Other signs predicted by our Prophet (saas) include the increase in the number of wars, anarchy, poverty, adultery, prostitution, sexual perversion; the increased frequency of disasters and earthquakes; the rejection of the moral teachings of the Qur’an; and the appearance of false prophets. But here we must remember something very important:
Some of the signs announced in the Hadiths may have occurred at some point of other in the 1400 year history of Islam, in certain parts of the world, and in a certain number.  But this does not indicate that it is the End Times. The End Times must display all the signs of the Last Day at once. On this point a Hadith says:
Signs following one another like the pieces of a necklace falling one after the other when its string is cut.
When we consider the Hadiths in this light, an extraordinary situation emerges. All the signs predicted centuries ago by our Prophet (saas) are happening one after another in almost every corner of the world and in the age in which we live. This is indeed something that we must think about very carefully. As they occur, these signs remind us that the The Last Day is coming very soon when we will give an account of ourselves in Allah’s presence, and of the importance of practicing the moral teachings of the Qur’an in our lives.
In the last chapter of his book entitled Fiqh Akbar the great Islamic scholar and imam, Abu Hanifa, wrote that there were divine indications that revealed that these signs were certainly going to happen:
The emergence of the Antichrist and of Gog and Magog is a reality; the rising of the Sun in the west is a reality; the descent of Jesus, upon whom be peace, from the heavens is a reality; and all of the other signs of the Last Day, as contained in the authentic traditions, are established realities.
One of the signs given by our Prophet (saas) in the Hadiths concerning the The Last Day is that the Sun will rise in the west.  The Hadiths say that the end of the world will not come before this sign occurs.
It [the Day of Judgment] will not come until you see ten signs," and [in this connection] he mentioned the smoke, the Dajjal, the Beast, the rising of the SUN FROM THE WEST, the descent of Jesus son of Mary…(Sahih Muslim)
Before (those) six things come to me, hurry to engage in good deeds (that are considered as worship); THE RISE OF THE SUN IN THE WEST, Duhan, Dabbat-ul Ardh, Dajjal…” (Sunan Ibn Majah, volume: 10, p. 295)
There are various verses in the Qur’an that refer the Sun rising in the west.

What are they waiting for but for the angels to come to them or for your Lord Himself to come, or FOR ONE OF YOUR LORD’S SIGNS TO COME? ON THE DAY THAT ONE OF YOUR LORD’S SIGNS DOES COME, no faith which a self professes will be of any use to it if it did not believe before and earn good in its faith. Say: “Wait, then; We too are waiting.” (Surat al-An‘am, 158)

The great Islamic scholar, Ahmad b. Hanbal, tells a story in which our Prophet (saas) says that one of the signs of the Lord mentions in the verse cited above is the Sun rising in the west. This verse call all people to faith before the signs of the Lord come. Some of the Hadiths of our Prophet (saas) on this verse are as follows:
That is the day explained in the verse: “On the day that one of your Lord’s Signs does come, no faith which a self professes will be of any use to it if it did not have faith before and earn good in its faith…” (Surat al-An‘am: 158) Certainly the Last Day will come…” (Sahih Bukhari, volume 14, p. 6426)
"THE LAST DAY WILL NOT COME UNTIL THE SUN RISES FROM WHERE IT SETS. When people see it, people on earth have faith." (Sunan Ibn Majah, volume 9, p. 4362)
Important Islamic commentators have all interpreted this verse as above-the Sun rising in the west. In the same way they interpret the verse 9 of Surat al-Qiyama “and the sun and moon are fused together” as proof of the Sun rising in the west.
Many Islamic scholars have commented on how the Sun would rise in the west. Bediuzzaman Said Nursi tells how this great sign predicted by our Prophet (saas) would happen:
The sun rising in the west will be a self-evident sign of the end of the world, and because it is self-evident, it will be a heavenly event which closes the door of repentance, which is tied to the will and reason. Its meaning is therefore clear, and is in no need of interpretation (The Rays / The Fifth Ray – Twentieth Matter, p.520) 
As Bediuzzaman explained, this sign will be witnessed by everyone and it will happen in such an extraordinary way that no one will need any proof or explanation. This celestial event will have an effect on every human beings and every other creature in the world both animate and inanimate; and they will all witness the coming of The Last Day. Bediuzzaman continues by explaining how this great sign will happen. (Allah knows best.)
Bediuzzaman Said Nursi says in several places that this sign will occur when the Earth collides with a star or another heavenly body. After this collision that will occur according to Allah's will, the world’s orbit will change, it will start rotate from east to west. As a result, the Sun will not rise in the east but in the west and so one of the great signs announced by our Prophet (saas) of the Last Day will come to pass. Bediuzzaman Said Nursi says that the Last Day will come after this great event occurs.  Only Allah knows the whole truth.
When Bediuzzaman interprets this Hadith of the Prophet (saas), he mentions “a jarring collision”; Allah tells us of this in verses 6-7 of Surat an-Nazi‘at:

On the Day the first blast shudders, and the second blast follows it. (Surat an-Nazi‘at, 6-7)

In these verses, two great blasts are mentioned. The first of these may be the result of the great collusion of the Earth with another star or heavenly body. (Allah knows best.)
The first collision will stop the orbit of the Earth that had continued in its course perfectly for billions of years.  This will totally upset the world’s order. Night will not turn into day; one side of the Earth will remain in perpetual darkness while the other will be always in daylight. People will be amazed at this change and overwhelmed by great fear, horror and panic. The Earth’s crust will shift; there will be earthquakes everywhere. There will be violent volcanic eruptions and magma sill stream down. Horror and panic will increase.
The Lord tells us that a second blast will follow the first. The Qur’an says that a second blast will come after the first. (Only Allah knows the whole truth).  The horror of the second collision will be greater than the first. With this collusion the Earth will reverse its orbit. At that moment, the Earth, which for billions of years had moved perfectly from west to east without stopping for a moment, will begin to turn from east to west. As a result, the Sun will start to rise not in the east but in the west. Both the collisions and the change in the direction of the Earth’s motion will upset the ecological system that ensured the order of the world and the continuation of life. The sense of horror will increase in people’s hearts and minds and the process of the destruction of the world and all creatures in it will begin. Our Lord reveals the spiritual state of human beings after these collisions in Surat an- Nazi‘at:

…hearts that Day will be pounding and eyes will be cast down. (Surat an- Nazi‘at, 8-9)
But instead, they deny the Hour; and We have prepared a Searing Blaze for those who deny the Hour. (Surat al-Furqan, 11)

“Do we know what killed the dinosaurs?”, Leslie Mullen, Science Communications, http://www.astrobio.net/news/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=158
Every year meteorites weighing a total of more than 10.000 tons (22.050.000 pound) enter our atmosphere and burn up without our knowing. But there are some that are too big to disintegrate in the atmosphere.  For example, a meteorite approximately 100 kilometers in diameter plunged into Mexico’s Gulf of Yucatan, bringing the age of the dinosaurs to an end. A study of the effects of that meteorite collision 65 million years ago will help us to understand how the Earth will be affected by the two great collisions that Bediuzzaman Said Nursi refers to and that are mentioned in the Qur’an.
That collision cased radical ecological changes on the Earth. The first result was widespread destruction. After the collision, there were volcanic eruptions, earthquakes everywhere in the world, tsunamis, violent storms, fires and acid rain.
When this meteorite entered the Earth’s atmosphere, it created a fireball four times brighter than the Sun causing global warming. The collision caused boiling temperatures, chemical changes in the atmosphere, clouds of dust and gasses and a mist of sulphur blocked out the Sun and plunged the Earth into darkness. As a result the global temperature fell; there was endless winter for generations and photosynthesis ceased. Scientists determine that, if photosynthesis stopped for even just a year, the ecosystem would totally collapse.
Life on Earth depends 99.9% on the Sun; and if the Sun is taken away, the first condition of life is removed. The lengthy blocking of the Sun’s rays, therefore, changed the ecological system. With the death of plants and plankton there was a sudden lowering of the Earth’s oxygen level. Shortly afterwards, herbivorous animals died of hunger; this change lasted hundreds of years and caused the disappearance of many species of animals. This meteorite fell about 65 million years ago and after the event 90% of the Earth’s sea creatures and 70% of its land vertebrates died out. The most important result of this collision, called the K/T Destruction, was the end of the age of the dinosaurs.
There will be a series of violent shocks and tremors.
These two collisions will change the Earth’s whole ecological system; human beings, animals and all other forms of life will face great disasters. The collisions and the change in the Earth’s direction will shift the Earth’s crust and there will be violent earthquakes everywhere. Our Prophet (saas) said that violent earthquakes are one of the signs of the end of the world.
Gigantic waves will inundate trees, skyscrapers and every corner of the world. In the face of such never before experienced shocks, people will panic-stricken and overwhelmed by fear. Most fearful of all will be the realization that there is no escape and no place to hide from the horror. These shocks will not be like familiar earthquakes that people have seen before limited to certain areas or cities and lasting only some minutes. This time there will be no escape; the shocks will occur all over the world and all at once.
These worldwide shocks will have a profound effect on people. Think for a moment about earthquakes: these shocks last only a matter of minutes but nevertheless leave great destruction behind them. But these shocks that our Prophet (saas) regarded as a sign of the Last Day cannot be compared in force, effects or extent to earthquakes experienced in the world previously.
No matter how strong an earthquake may be, people usually have the possibility to save themselves; they can take measures to protect themselves as soon as the tremors begin and escape to a safe place. But this time, people will realize that this tremor is nothing like that have experienced before; there will be no possibility of escape to safety. As always, the Qur’an warns people about the Hour and about the inescapable shocks that are to occur: 

O Humanity! Fear your Lord! The quaking of the Hour is a terrible thing. (Surat al-Hajj, 1)

At the Hour, no earthly possession will have any value or meaning. Luxury homes, giant skyscrapers, 5-star hotels, houses bought and furnished with hard-earned money, palaces, bridges, the finest buildings in the world, the pyramids that have lasted for centuries impervious to the forces of nature, historic castles, and cities will all crumble like sandcastles build on the beach. Offices, luxury cars and all proud earthly possessions will vanish in an instant. Glory, fame, respect and power will mean nothing.
Everyone that has used every excuse to deny Allah and avoided the worship they knew to be their responsibility will finally know that there is no other power apart from Allah in which they can take refuge.  But how there will be no escape for them and they will not be able to atone for their deeds; repentance will be of no use.
Volcanic eruptions will be all over the Earth
Earthquakes set off by the collisions will be followed by volcanic eruptions; the force of the collisions will break the Earth’s crust and magma will rush down to cover the whole Earth. In Surat az Zilzal, our Lord says:

…and the Earth then disgorges its charges and man asks, “What is wrong with it?” On that Day it will impart all its news because your Lord has inspired it. (Surat az-Zilzal, 2-5)

As we know, the Earth’s core (5000-6000 km (3100-3700 mi) under the crust) is under very high pressure. Its temperature is estimated to be about 4500 degrees Centigrade (8100 F). The lava that erupts from a volcanic explosion comes from this magma core. Volcanic explosions have terrified the residents of many cities throughout history and many individuals and even cities have perished.
Cracks that have occurred for various reasons in the Earth’s layers have resulted in the eruption of lava and, the higher the pressure, the more violent the eruption. The determinative factor is the level of gas present. When magma spills out onto the Earth, the gasses separate from the liquid material, spread over the magma causing a pressure increase. The force of a magma eruption depends on the pressure exerted by the gas; the lava erupts and flows down turning Earth into a hell. This kind of eruption is limited to a particular area. And according to the latest research, these disasters are for the most part predictable and protective measures can be taken.
The phrase in the Qur’an disgorges its charges means that on that day, everything beneath the Earth and all the liquid part of the core will erupt and flow over the Earth. The required infrastructure will be put in place in order for all the violent shocks and cracking of the Earth’s layers to occur easily. That is, on the last day, powerful earthquakes will wrack the earth, people will flee from falling mountains and buildings and lava will erupt from cracks in the earth and cover everything; this will be one more reminder to people that there is no escape from death. Disaster will follow disaster; a person fleeing one will be caught by another. (Allah knows best). It is revealed in the verses as follows:

When the Earth is flattened out and disgorges what is inside it and empties out, hearkening to its Lord as it is bound to do! (Surat al-Inshiqaq, 3-5)

The weight that the Earth will discharge on that day is not only magma. Magma is the main vehicle for the exchange of heat inside the mantle and between the mantle and the crust. In other words, matter from under the Earth carried by magma will erupt at a high temperature over the surface of the Earth. This will be the cause of a never before seen rise in the Earth’s temperature. As a result of these occurrences, underground petrol, coal, fossils, dead bodies, various remains and everything under the Earth animate and inanimate will be ejected. In short, the Earth will be totally turned inside out. Allah tells us about this in the Qur’an:

When the graves are emptied out, each self will know what it has sent ahead and left behind. (Surat al-Infitar, 4-5)

And underground water will be forcefully expelled by the shocks from subterranean layers. The effect of this compressed water will be quite violent. Great damage will occur at the point where this water is expelled and a flood of water will spread over the Earth causing a widespread upset in daily life.
When there is a volcanic eruption anywhere thick dust and solid particles are expelled into the upper atmosphere.  During such an eruption, a cloud of dust and ashes cover the whole area. Allah tells us in the Qur’an that, on the Last Day, the mountains will “become scattered dust in the air”. (Surat al-Waqi‘a, 6) In accordance with what is said in the Qur’an, the probability is quite high that there will be such eruptions all over the Earth on the Last Day.
So we can see that people all over the world will suffer severe affliction. Spreading clouds of dust and gasses will take people’s breath away and cause them to writhe in agony. What happens on that day will be enough to show deniers the dimensions of the eternal pangs of Hell that they will suffer. Allah has decreed this horrible end to human life and prepared for deniers terrible physical and mental pangs in Hell. In the face of these horrible events, there will be an omnipresent fear of death. There will be nothing left but fear and sorrow.
The Heavens
The planets stars and countless heavenly bodies came to be by Allah’s command in the vast expanses of the universe. By His power they have been sustained in a wondrous balance. As with every created thing, Allah has prepared a wondrous end for this magnificent world in the heavens. After two great collisions, there will be great changes in the skies; disaster will rain down over all humanity.
The sky has always been a secure and certain canopy in whose continued existence human beings could trust. This magnificent canopy which Allah has erected and sustains as a curtain between the Earth and endless space has protected the Earth perfectly from the many dangers that have threatened it (ultraviolet rays, meteors, the freezing cold of space). It has been the most important factor in the continuation of life on Earth.  Because of the qualities of the atmosphere, light coming from the cold depths of space spread sufficiently over the Earth and human beings came into existence because they could breathe the delicate amount of oxygen in the atmosphere. However, after the collision of heavenly bodies with the Earth, the heavens will be deprived of their function. The Qur’an reveals the following about these events that will occur in the heavens:

On the Day when heaven sways to and fro. (Surat at-Tur, 9)
"by which heaven will be split apart? His promise will be fulfilled." (Surat al-Muzzammil, 18)
"and Heaven will be split apart, for that Day it will be very frail.” (Surat al-Haqqa, 16)

As we saw earlier, a great color of dust and smoke will cover the world as a result of these collisions of heavenly bodies. This covering of dust and smoke will be thick enough to prevent the penetration of sunlight and the ecological system of the Earth will be upset.  One of the signs our Prophet (saas) gave of the Last Day is the ‘smoke that will remain on the Earth for years.’
The Qur’an describes the end of the sky in these words:

On the Day the sky is like molten brass.  (Surat al-Ma‘arij, 8)

On that day the atmosphere will become incandescent as it starts to melt. The accustomed blue color of the sky will turn to red. In his book entitled The Last Three Minutes, Paul Davies describes the effect of the collision of a comet with the Earth; he says that a gigantic ray of light in the sky will begin to burn and the sky will melt like metal. In the same chapter, Davies explains that a boiling whirlpool will be formed because of the vacuum formed in space. This description is very similar to that in the 37th verse of Surat ar- Rahman.

When heaven is split apart and goes red like dregs of oil. (Surat ar-Rahman, 37)

The melting of the sky reminds us of a molten liquid like oil or melted metal. The sky will turn incandescent taking on an angry red color.  As Paul Davies said, on that day everything will look like a boiling whirlpool; it will be very much like the color of a crimson rose.
The Seas Be Set on Fire
The masses of water that cover three quarters of the Earth’s surface will suddenly begin to boil; it will be a sight that human eyes will hardly believe. At 4.500 degree (8100 F), the contents of the Earth will be ejected out from every possible opening. This doubtless included what is under the seas.  Anyone who has seen a documentary film about how lava erupts into the sea will have witnessed the incredibly frenzy of the water. But something quite different from this will be witnessed on the Last Day; the horror will be much more extensive. All the seas of the Earth will be on fire and people will be overtaken by an unavoidable mixture of flames and sparks. On that day all the seas will be ablaze. As Allah says in the Qur’an:

When the oceans surge into each other… (Surat at-Takwir, 6)

As a result of these events, all life on land and in the sea will come to and end. The normally quiet and tranquil seas will suddenly radiate a terrible heat; waves will be replaced by gigantic clouds of flame. The smoke in the atmosphere will use up most of the oxygen. The violent churning of the endless seas burning with flames of fire will be accompanied by many disasters.
One of the events related in the Qur’an signaling the Last Day is the overflowing of the seas.

“When the seas flood and overflow…” (Surat al-Infitar, 3)

On that day, by the will of Allah, disasters on land and on the seas will be combined. As we know, when there is an underwater earthquake, huge waves occur on the surface of the water. As a result of the violent earthquakes unleashed by the collision of a heavenly body with the Earth, swelling waters will engulf communities and cities, and destroy islands. In addition, changes in the ecological system will melt glaciers and cause the level of the waters to rise.
When this period decreed by Allah reaches its end, terrifying events will occur in a series. A horrible noise coming from everywhere, the rending of the mountains, lava flowing under people’s feet, all enveloping dust, clouds of smoke and gas, boiling water flowing over people….this great day will bring sudden pangs of horror to those who preferred not to think about the existence of Allah or appreciate His greatness; it will break the stubbornness of absolutely everyone and show them how helpless they are; it will show everyone the uselessness of the things the one valued… this will be a day when people will not be able to describe the fear and terror that is within them. They will run around in circles searching for a place to hide. But everyone knows that there is no escape from this day.
“On the Day the first blast shudders, and the second blast follows it.”(Surat an-Nazi‘at, 6-7)
This verse mentions two great tremors. The first may be the collision with the Earth of another star or heavenly body.
This collision will stop the revolution of the Earth that has gone on without interruption for millions of years.
After the first collision, the second will occur. The horror of this collision will be even greater than that of the first.
With this collision, the Earth will start to rotate in the opposite direction that is, from west to east. As a result, the sun will not rise in the east but in the west.

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