Widespread murders a sign that Judgement Day is near

Islam forbids any form of harm, cruelty, persecution and taking' the lives of others.

12 Feb 2024 06:00pm
One of the reasons for the occurrence of killings is the spread of ignorance and the loss of knowledge.
One of the reasons for the occurrence of killings is the spread of ignorance and the loss of knowledge.

Stories of murder often abound lately. Not only with the bloody tragedy that claimed thousands of lives due to the Zionist Israeli military attacks in Palestine, but now it seems to be spreading.

Especially when it involves local citizens. As human beings, how heartbreaking and heart-wrenching it is to hear such distressing stories.

Know that the act of murder is one of the signs that are becoming increasingly clear, as mentioned by Prophet Muhammad (SAW): "As the Day of Judgment approaches, days will be filled with Al-Harj. At that time, knowledge will disappear and ignorance will spread everywhere.

Abu Musa said: 'Al-Harj means murder in the language of the people of Habsyi.'" (Hadith narrated by al-Bukhari)

The reality that could be observed now was the incident of the loss of an autistic child, the late Zayn Rayyan Abdul Matiin, who was eventually found dead due to murder.

This was followed by the news of the murder of a husband and wife in Kampung Penchala, Kuala Lumpur, believed to have been stabbed by their own son in December.

Thus, the saying of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) as narrated by Abu Hurairah (RA) is true: "By the One in Whose hand my soul is! The world will not perish until people become more wicked. They will be so wicked that they will not know what goodness is and people will be killed without knowing why they are being killed. A person will kill someone and he does not even know why he killed him.

"Then they will ask, 'Why is this happening?' The Prophet said, 'It is Al-Harj (widespread killing), about which Allah said: "And when Al-Harj was joined to Al-Marj."' They asked, 'O Allah's Messenger! What is Al-Harj?' He replied, '(It is) killing, killing!'" (Hadith narrated by al-Albani)

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If contemplated, surely the question arises in our minds about the difficult-to-answer question. Why was such a small child murdered? Where is the humanity in the perpetrator? Why did elderly parents also become victims?

It is clear that the meaning of Al-Harj, which refers to murder, occurs at a certain time. One of the reasons is the spread of ignorance and the loss of knowledge.

In another narration, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: "When the Day of Judgment approaches, there will be days of ignorance, knowledge will be lifted, and Al-Harj will spread. Al-Harj is murder." (Hadith narrated by al-Bukhari)

Ignorance vs Murder

Indeed, there is a connection between ignorance and the recent murders. Undoubtedly, we can judge and assume that the perpetrator, when committing murder, was at a very low level of knowledge.

While the reality of Islam is rapidly advancing, the understanding and appreciation of it are gradually thinning among Muslims, leading to various insults and ignorance within society.

Among the factors that contribute to ignorance in society are:

  1. The quality of the education system plays a crucial role in the development of human intelligence.

    A good education system can enhance cognitive skills and knowledge. However, in some situations, changes in the rules have led society to become indifferent to the importance of seeking knowledge, thus neglecting matters related to it.

    As a result, people find it difficult to distinguish between what is good and bad. In other words, mental confusion occurs due to insufficient emphasis on scholarship.

    The words of Allah SWT: "Allah will raise those who have believed among you and those who were given knowledge, in degrees. and Allah is acquainted with what you do." (surah al-mujadalah, verse 11)

  2. Although technology provides fast and immediate access, excessive reliance on it results in a decline in achievements in knowledge.

    This is closely related to seeking knowledge requiring mentorship, not solely relying on information and technology. The ease of access to violent videos, facilitated by current technology, is considered one of the factors contributing to the occurrence of murders.

  3. Unhealthy lifestyle choices, including a lack of physical activity, poor sleep patterns and the habit of consuming unhealthy food, contribute to intellectual decline.

    When the mind is confused and thinking becomes unstable, it prompts individuals to act beyond control, leading them to engage in actions that deviate from human rationality.

The importance of worship

Prophet Muhammad SAW said: "Worship during the occurrence of al-Harj (killing) is like making Hijrah (migration) to me." (Hadith narrated by Muslim)

This hadith clearly indicates that the value of worship during times of widespread killing is equivalent to the value of migrating to Prophet Muhammad SAW.

In this context, the term al-Harj, according to Imam an-Nawawi, refers to trials and worldly matters involving human affairs. Therefore, the significance of worship during such times is crucial.

This is because, during those periods, many people tend to forget about the hereafter and become excessively preoccupied with matters leading to trials.

Islam firmly prohibits any form of harm, oppression, persecution, and unjust killing of others. Indeed, it is considered a major sin, and intentional murder is subject to the punishment of Qisas, i.e., retaliation, if proven guilty.

Regardless of the reasons, taking someone's life without just cause is strictly forbidden by Allah SWT.

Remember, the polytheists of Makkah in the past killed their own children due to their misguided beliefs, such as fearing misfortune upon their offspring.

Furthermore, some would even kill their own offspring out of fear of economic hardships. Therefore, it is essential to return to the fitrah (natural disposition) of Islam, a religion that promotes well-being for all.

***Dr Khairul Asyraf Mohd Nathir is a Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Main Language Studies, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia.***