The Hadith: 'Before the Last Hour there will be Fitnahs like pieces of a dark night'

Question:

I want to ask about a Hadith which reads as follows: Al-Hasan Al-Basri (may Allah be merciful to him) said: I have come to know that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Before the Last Hour there will be Fitnahs (trials) like pieces of a dark night in which a man’s heart will die like the death of the body and a man will be a believer in the morning and a disbeliever in the evening, or a believer in the evening and a disbeliever in the morning. There will be people who would sell their religion for paltry worldly goods.1

If this Hadith is Sahih (authentic), what is the act which if it is done by a Muslim, they will be disbelievers and what is the way out? Could you kindly advise. May Allah reward you with the best.

Answer:

It was related by Muslim in his Sahih Book of Hadith and Al-Tirmidhy in his Sunan (Hadith compilations classified by jurisprudential themes) on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “Hasten to perform (good) deeds before Fitnahs which are as dark as night, where one can be a believer in the morning and a disbeliever at night, or they can be a believer at night and a disbeliever in the morning. They would exchange their religion for the perishable goods of the worldly life.” Al-Tirmidhy said: This Hadith is Hasan and Sahih (good and authentic Hadith).

This Hadith was related by scholars in the chapters on Fitnahs, which refer to what befalls this Ummah (nation based on one creed), such as disagreements, killing, and rendering things which Allah (Exalted be He) and His Messenger (peace be upon him) have prohibited as Halal (lawful). The meaning of his saying: “One can be a believer in the morning and a disbeliever at night…2To his saying: “They would exchange their religion for the perishable goods of the worldly life3 was explained by Al-Hasan (may Allah be merciful to him) as related by Al-Tirmidhy as follows, “A person wakes up in the morning prohibiting for himself his brother’s blood, honor, and money and when the night falls, he believes they are violable.”

The exit from Fitnahs is to resort to Allah (Exalted be He) and avoid all disputing sects by sitting at home or moving to another place with one’s possessions or to another land if one has any other. Al-Bukhari related with his Sanad (chain of narrators) on the authority of Abu Sa`id Al-Khudry (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “A time is about to come when the best property of a Muslim will be sheep which he takes to the tops of mountains and the places of rainfall so as to flee with his religion from Fitnahs.” 4


  1. Ahmad, Musnad, vol. 3, p. 453. 

  2. Muslim, Sahih, Book on faith, no. 118; Al-Tirmidhi, Sunan, Book on trials, no. 2195; Ahmad, Musnad, vol. 2, p. 390. 

  3. Muslim, Sahih, Book on faith, no. 118; Al-Tirmidhi, Sunan, Book on trials, no. 2195; Ahmad, Musnad, vol. 2, p. 390. 

  4. Malik, vol. 2, p. 970; Ahmad, vol. 3, pp. 6, 30, 43, and 57; Al-Bukhari, vol. 1, p. 10, vol. 4, p. 97, vol. 7, p. 188, vol. 8, p. 94; Abu Dawud, vol. 4, pp. 461-462, no. 4267; Al-Nasa*y, vol. 8, p. 124, no. 5036; and Ibn Majah, vol. 2, p. 1317, no. 3980.