Minor signs of the end times
There are hundreds of end time prophecies that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ made which have come true in our times. The Islamic scholars have divided them in to two types: major and minor. The minor are in the hundreds while major are less, in some cases only ten but highly significant. Some of these ten are also mentioned in the Quran. For this answer I would like to mention a few minor but definitely very important ones.
1. Time will pass by quickly
Prophet said: “The Hour will not come until time passes so quickly that a year will be like a month, a month like a week, a week like a day, a day like an hour, and an hour like the time it takes for a palm-leaf to burn.” We sometimes remark that we reached 2018 or 2019 but where did the previous year go? It went by so fast that we couldn’t even tell. Now we’re almost half way passed 2019. The above tradition is very clear for us as we experience this in our daily routine and ask ourselves at the end of each day, each week, each month and each year that how fast did they go by!
2. Slave mother giving birth to her mistress and skyscrapers
A man asked the Prophet: "Tell me about the Hour." He said: "The one who is asked about it does not know more about it than the one who is asking." He said: "Then tell me about its signs." He said: "When a slave woman gives birth to her mistress, when you see the barefoot, naked, destitute shepherds competing in making tall buildings.'"
Explanation of this hadith:
These words are taken from the famous hadith-e-Jibreel and this man who was inquiring from the Prophet was Jibreel (alaihi salaam). His inquiries and the answers given by the Prophet was to teach those around him some important lessons about their faith. One of the major lessons that we learn is 2 signs of the approach of the last hour. The Prophet ﷺ informed us about 2 signs in the above hadith. The first one is related to surrogacy: ‘When a slave woman gives birth to her mistress’. Before we can understand how this prediction relates to the surrogacy we need to first realize that surrogacy is usually accepted as a practice in those nations or such people within a nation that are living under much financial duress. Due to their financial situation they are forced to adopt a life that make them vulnerable for exploitation. Such as the poor women of many parts of India, Philippines, some countries in Africa such as Nigeria, are willing to rent their wombs for couples mainly from Western Europe or rich nations who wish to have a child but for various reasons are unable to have themselves or their wives do not wish to bear. These people are then looking for poor mothers from other developing countries who may wish to carry an embryo for a large sum of money. Please note that there are several middle men involved in this process who take major portion of this amount and only give meager share to the poor lady whose womb is used in this process. Therefore at the end of this process the poor lady still remains poor and everyone else benefits heavily from her!
As per some scholars of Islam, and not all, the interpretation of this sign is a poor mother living in slavery conditions whom we can refer to as a ‘slave mother’ gives birth to a child who is actually considered a master or mistress as the child will now belong to the upper class of the society i.e. taken back to the rich nations with the couple. Thus this prediction is happening right before our eyes. One can find many good documentaries on YouTube. Wombs for rent: Indian surrogacy clinic confines women in 'terrible...
However at this point it’s also important to mention that before the financial situation of the modern world, majority of Islamic scholars throughout the history have interpreted this hadith of the Prophet ﷺ to mean that ‘The children will become master and mistress of their mothers and parents and would treat them like slaves are treated’ which is also very evident as the respect of parents has been lost in our age with the new generation being more greedy. This can also be confirmed due to the fact that the Prophet ﷺ prophesied: “….a man obeys his wife and disobeys his mother, he is kind to his friend and abandons his father...” a sign that rather than children taking care and being respectful to their parents they will be abandoned in old homes, which is a common trend especially in the modern Western societies, and unfortunately this has also started taking place in the East albeit not as great as in the former.
3. Modern Technology and its communication system
Prophet Muhammad said: “By the One in Whose Hand is my soul! The Hour will not be established until predators speak to people and until the tip of a man's whip and the straps on his sandal (shoes) speak to him, and his thigh informs him of what occurred with his family after him.” This prediction is as bright as a daylight for our generation as we notice voice assistant systems such as Siri and GPS, softwares that speak through our mobile phones and devices, help navigate when driving and provide us online info without even having to type. The shoes speaking has also become a reality after google has come out with its smart shoes called google talking shoes. Amazingly the Prophet did not just mention shoes speaking, he specifically mentioned the ‘shoe laces’ and the chip that communicates is connected to the shoe laces. As for part of the hadith that mentions “man’s thigh informing him of what is happening to his family after him” meaning that when man leaves his home he now has access to know what is going on behind him. That ‘thigh’ is obviously what we call a cellular phone device that keeps you informed and with new advancements such as Watsapp and Skype, you may even see your family while talking when you are away from home. Not to forget that we usually carry the mobile in our front pockets next to thigh and that is what most likely means ‘thigh informing’.
4. Skyscrapers in Middle East
The Prophet ﷺ said: “the naked, poor, and bare-footed shepherds rival each other in the height of the buildings.” The sky scrapers in the GCC states is a fulfillment of this prophecy, for instance the world’s tallest building called Burj Khalifa in UAE. Till a few decades ago the lands of the GCC countries was barren till the discovery of oil which resulted in their gaining wealth to such an extent that instead of utilizing for humanitarian purposes they have become extravagant in their spending. They have utilized their wealth mainly towards expensive construction projects including skyscrapers in competition with each other and other countries across the globe. It is also a fact that the royal families of these rulers are actually Bedouins from the time of the Prophet whose main profession was herding camels. It is quite evident if one travels to modern capitals of Riyadh, Qatar and Dubai, that even their apartment buildings have at least 30 floors and higher!
6. Legalization of Gay Marriages
The Prophet said: “when men lie with men and women with women, when men will become like women and women will become like men.” (Al Bidayah Wa Al Nihaya) As per leading scholars of Islam this pertains to the arrival of legalized marriages of gay couples around the world and its acceptance on a global scale which is taking place only in the 21st century. The number of countries accepting this practice can be noticed by viewing a Pew Research Center report called ‘Gay Marriage Around the World’. This report clearly shows an increased in the number of countries worldwide that have begun to legalize same-sex marriages. As for women will become like men is a sign taking place in our times while it was absent in the history of humankind due to the fact that natural role of man and a woman is to act and live according to their God given nature. But the feminist revolution claims women can do everything that man does and therefore there is no reason for them to act like women any more, they believe and teach that they are just like men. This has caused much confusion in the Godly inspired role of men and women as taught by all Prophets of God which maintains the family structure and keeps it intact. This sign has resulted in the collapse of the family structure.
7. Capitalist Economic System
Prophet ﷺ predicted: “There will come a time when you will not be able to find a single person in all of humankind who will not be consuming riba (usury or interest). And if anyone claims that he is not consuming riba (usury) then surely the vapor of riba will reach him.” One has to be blind not to be able to notice this prediction. That time has come. The global economic system is based on a banking system which deals in money lending, this originated from Europe and today has engulfed the entire humankind. This system has resulted in a great economic disparity around the globe. Even the people who do not directly deal in any sort of interest based transactions, such as purchasing house and cars on loans, are not immune. Such people are also indirectly impacted because they keep their money within the banking system, in bank accounts, which means their cash is also part of the capitalist economy.
8. Women will work like men
The Prophet ﷺ said: “ahead of the hour trade will become so widespread that a woman will help her husband in trade and ties of kinship will be severed.” This is very true in our times. Traditionally it has always been a man’s role to be the breadwinner of the house but due to financial strains of the capitalist economy around the globe the women have entered the workforce in large numbers and work outside the house like men have always done. This is especially the case in countries like Bangladesh, India, Vietnam, Philippines and Cambodia similar countries where females constitute majority of workforce in garment manufacturing plants of H&M, Nike, Gap, Puma etc. In Cambodia, Women make up 90 percent of the country’s more than 700,000 garment workers in 1,200 garment businesses, according to the Ministry of Industry and Handicraft. They work on extremely low wages like $1 a day or even less and this causes them to work overtime due to being underpaid. This has also impacted family structure unlike in the past where mother's major focus was her home and she was always there for the children. It is such societies where lower status women have resorted to become surrogate mothers for wealthy couples as discussed in the hadith of "slave mother will give birth to her mistress."
9. Voices will be raised in mosques
The Prophet ﷺ said: “voices are raised in the Masajids (mosques).” With modern technology and the introduction of loud speakers have caused this prediction to come true in the 20th century. But some scholars say this refers to the disputes and arguments in mosques that will happen due to divisions among Muslims which is quite prevalent and also seems to be correct.
10. Markets will become closer
Abu Huraira (r.a) narrated that the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: “The hour will not begin until trials and tribulations appear, there is a great deal of lying and the markets will become closer.” A leading Saudi scholars named Dr Muhammad ibn Abd al-Rahmaan al-Areefi comments on this hadith: “The markets have come close in the following ways: The ability to quickly get info on the markets through online access which has cut our efforts to physically travel and reach there. The ability to travel from market to market for trade and business through medium of modern transportation such as airplanes, cars, trains etc. which has made cut the distance short. Thirdly there is no doubt that with internet access and television channels one can access all information on whatever markets one wants to know. Nevertheless the words also imply that there will be much lying and manipulation of the forces who control the markets which is also very clear to see. The corporate elite controls our access to things in the market and even influence us by deceiving through marketing tactics.” (al-Areefi 2010)
11. Obesity will become widespread
The Prophet ﷺ said: “….obesity will become widespread…”This is true as the world statistics say that one-sixth of the world population is now obese and this is mainly due to the lack of physical exercise that was part of people’s lives in the past unlike in our times there is big lack of physical activities due to sitting jobs and movement in transportation like cars. In our times people lose weight by going to gym and this gym phenomena never existed before our times. Go to any pharmacy section anywhere in the world and one will see all types of medicines available to lose weight.
12. The coming of a time when a man will be given choice of being labelled incompetent or committing immorality.
Abu Huraira (r.a) narrated that the Prophet ﷺ said: “There will come a time when a man will be given choice between being labelled incompetent and committing immorality. Whoever lives until that time should choose incompetence over immorality.” This is a very clear sign that is observed specially in schools, universities and modern educational institutions and whoever has experienced this would agree. If a student keeps to himself or herself they are considered weak and peer pressured to commit some immoral or vulgar acts so that they are more accepted in the mainstream. This sort of drama happens a lot in the dorm lifestyles of the Western universities.
13. Tabook will be filled with gardens and greenery
Tabook is a city in Northern part of present day Saudi Arabia which was always a dry land and it has never had agriculture activity till modern times. Muadh bin Jabal (r.a) narrated that the Prophet ﷺ said: “….If you live long enough, Muadh, you will soon see this place filled with gardens.” In our times there are big agricultural projects at work in that land which has caused the entire area to become green and lush with crops and farm lands. The Tabuk Development Agriculture Company is specifically working on agriculture projects and is primarily responsible for all agribusiness development in this area. An article published in an Egyptian Journal shares data collected using the satellite imagery which assesses the potential of the surrounding barren land to see how agriculture development can be expanded further.
 Jami` at-Tirmidhi 2332 – Sunnah.com
 Sunan an-Nasa'i 4990 – Sunnah.com
 Jami` at-Tirmidhi 2181 – Sunnah.com
 Jami at-Tirmidhi 2610 – Sunnah.com
 David Masci 2017
 Sunan Abi Dawud 3331 – Sunnah.com
 Musnad Ahmad
 Watch 2015
 Jami at-Tirmidhi 2210 – Sunnah.com
 al-Areefi, Dr. Muhammad ibn Abd al-Rahmaan. 2010. The End of the world - The Major and Minor Signs of the Hour. Riyadh: Darussalaam.
 Al Bukhari & Muslim.
 Book 9, Hadith 2 – Muwatta Malik
 Al-Harbi 2010