18 October 2017 CE | 27 Muharram 1439 AH

Hadith Explanation

Fifteen Traits of the Doomed

The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “If my Ummah bears fifteen traits, tribulation will befall it.” Someone asked, “What are they, O Messenger of Allah?” He said, “When any gain is shared out only among the rich, with no benefit to the poor; when a trust becomes a means of making a profit; when paying Zakat becomes a burden; when a man obeys his wife and disobeys his mother; and treats his friend kindly whilst shunning his father; when voices are raised in the mosques; when the leader of a people is the worst of them; when people treat a man with respect because they fear some evil he may do; when much wine is drunk; when men wear silk; when female singers and musical instruments become popular; when the last ones of this Ummah curse the first ones - then let them expect a red wind, or the earth to swallow them, or to be transformed into animals.” [Tirmidhi]

This hadith lists some of the evils that will befall the Ummah in its last days. Because of our committing these sins we will deserve to be punished. It is scary to see how many of these sins are now rampant amongst Muslims.

The first sin mentioned is that the wealthy will keep wealth among themselves exclusively, not letting it circulate and benefit the poor. Look at current tax laws and you will see this to be true. Another manifestation of this sin is the invitation of rich relatives to celebrations but not poor ones. This is also a way of keeping good things among the rich only, as it excludes the poor from even benefiting from a meal.

When people hold certain positions but only do their job when they are bribed, this amounts to using a trust to make a profit. Holding a position of responsibility is a trust/amanat, but we see politicians, government servants and many others, instead bent on profiteering. Another example of using a trust to make a profit is the practice of banks loaning out to others on interest the money that people keep as safekeeping with them.

The third trait mentioned in this hadith is that zakat will become a burden. This is also evident today. How many people happily give zakat, despite it being a purification of wealth and source of great reward with Allah (subhana wa ta’ala)?

A man obeying his wife in preference to his mother is also a sin. This is provided that neither of them is asking him to do something haraam or that which compromises any other’s rights. There is no obedience if that obedience entails disobedience of Allah’s prescribed rules and laws.

Unfortunately, we also see among Muslims today that friends take precedence over family, although rights through kinship are highly stressed in Islam. We also see people raising their voices in mosques in argumentation and quarrels. The worst of a people being the leader of that nation also appears to be the case in many Muslim majority countries around the world. Consequently, people are afraid of the evil of their leaders and despite their wickedness thus treat them with respect.

As for the last four traits: Many members of the Muslim Ummah are gripped in the vice of drinking alcohol; many don’t think much of the sin of men wearing silk; female singers and music are entrenched in the popular culture of Muslims; and some deviant sects also engage in the repulsive sin of bad mouthing the first generation of Muslims.

We need to seriously repent and ask Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) to save us from the punishments that befall the sinful.

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