The “End of Times” has been mentioned in various scriptures of major religions. It refers to a particular period and happenings which will lead to the end of creation. Don’t be frightened… like all good Hindi movies, our world has a happy ending as well. Let us see what some of the major scriptures have to tell us in this regard. We do not find explicit time and date of this epoch in these books, however, they mention of certain signs. In the light of these, we can discern if this particular period we are living in has got anything to do with it.
Hindus refer to it as Kali Yuga or the Iron Age. Some of the signs of this phase are:
1.People would become morally corrupt and devoid of spirituality.
2.There would be violence, disease and general decay in nature.
3.The world would undergo chaos and degradation.
4.In this situation, an avatar would appear to rescue mankind.
5.This would be the worst time, which would be followed by a peaceful period.
However, in Hinduism, this process is cyclic and there is no end. After this evil Kali yuga ends, the next yuga or epoch would be Satya yuga where everyone will be righteous, followed by Treta yuga, Dwapara yuga and then another Kali Yuga.
The Christian Scriptures as well mentions of this period and the signs:
5.Moral degeneration in the world
6.Jesus will come to rescue Israel
7.He will defeat the Antichrist, judge the nations and the wicked in Israel and rule over the messianic kingdom
8. This will be followed by Dooms Day
(If anyone knows more on these accounts, he is welcome to enrich it in the comments section.)
Islam also mentions about the signs of the End times in the traditions of Prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him). These are broadly divided into two categories, minor and major signs. Some of these are:
1.Music and musical instruments will be found in plenty
2.People will indulge in homosexuality
3.There will be an abundance of illegitimate children
4.People will establish ties with strangers and sever relations with their near and dear ones
5.Hypocrites will be in control of the affairs of the community and evil, immoral people will be at the helm of business establishments
6.Gangsters and evil people will prevail
7.Time will pass faster
8.Wars and murders will be common among humans
9.The spread of theft, deceit and scandals between people
10.The spread of adultery
11.The rise of buildings
12.Knowledge will be taken away (by the death of people of knowledge), and ignorance will prevail
13.The number of men will decrease, whilst the number of women will increase, until for every man there are 50 women
14.Wine (intoxicants, alcohol) will be drunk in great quantities
15.Earthquakes will increase
16. A man will pass by the grave of another and wish he was in the latter’s place.
1.The Romans (Europeans) will come to a place called A’maq or Wabiq, and an army of the best people will go forth from Madinah to face them
2. The Muslim conquest of Rome
3. The Mahdi (the guided one) will appear, and be the guide of the Muslims
4. The Mahdi will not appear until innocent people are slaughtered, and he will appear when those on Earth and in the skies can no longer bear this killing
5. Jesus Christ will descend in Damascus, and pray behind the Mahdi
6. The Antichrist (al-masih al-dajjal, the false Christ) will appear, with all his tools of deception, and be an immense trial.
7. The appearance of Ya’juj and Ma’juj (Gog and Magog), and the associated tribulations.
8. A major war between the Muslims (including Jews and Christians who truly believe in Jesus after his return) led by the Imam Mahdi, and the Jews plus other non-Muslims led by the Antichrist
9. The Mahdi will join with Jesus to destroy the Antichrist (Dajjal)
10. Imam Mahdi will implement the religion as it was in the time of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). He will do away with schools in the world. No school will remain but that of the pure, true one.
All this would be followed by a great period of peace in the world; this would be a golden age for mankind and would end into the Day of Judgment where all people will be held accountable for their deeds and will be rewarded or punished accordingly. However, according to Islam, the knowledge of the exact time of the Hour is with God alone; these are only signs.
The objective of my article is to simply present what I could find in all these traditions, not to trigger a war of faiths. To me it seems that most of the minor signs in all these scriptures have already come to life: bloodshed, corruption, tribulations, earthquakes, adultery, famine and moral degeneration. At the same time, I am hopeful that it will end into a golden age and an ideal world that we dream of.
Whatsoever it may be, whatever our faith is, it would be more intelligent for us not to wait for some Avtar, Mahdi or Christ to turn our world into paradise. May be we cannot transform the whole world, but sure we can look into ourselves and do whatever is to be done in there and around us. That transformation of self and the surroundings would be our Golden Age. Even if this is not the end of time, none can escape death. And, Hell, Narak, and Jahhanum are the names of the same place where none of us would like to land. Iqbal says in this context, “There is no fire in hell; the people who go there, take their own flames with themselves.” We need to do away with those flames here and collect some flowers. Where to find the flowers? It up to the reader. All the doors are open: Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Humanism, Atheism or even the one that someone just invented…
I wish you all (in the words of Shahrukh Khan) “a Happys Endings”.