Question: It is said, "A thousand years after Hegira, it is the Last Age." Did the Last Age not start with the coming of our master the Prophet?
Yes, it did. No prophet will succeed Muhammad 'alaihis-salam, and the religion he communicated, the Islamic religion, will be valid until Doomsday. The saying "A thousand years after Hegira, it is the Last Age" refers to the time when the signs of the Last Age begin to increase. There will be an ever growing increase in the emergence of these signs, and finally the major signs will emerge. Afterwards, Doomsday will come.
The fitnah of the Last Age
Question: What does the "fitnah of the Last Age" refer to?
The fitnah of the Last Age refers to innovations (bid'ah), disbelief (kufr), apostasy, anarchy, separatism, and different types of turmoil. The purport of a hadith-i sharif is as follows:
(As Doomsday approaches, fitnah will increase. It will resemble the increase in darkness as night begins. Many who leave their homes in the morning as Muslims will return home as disbelievers in the evening. While they are Muslims in the evening, they will lose their faith during the night. During such times, staying at home is better than being involved in fitnah. Those who stay aloof are better than those who attack and lead in front. On that day, break your arrows! Leave your weapons! Address everybody with a smiling face and sweet words!) [Abu Dawud]
Question: Though it is stated in a hadith-i sharif, "Each century will be more corrupt than the one preceding it. Thus it will go on becoming more corrupt until the end of the world," it is witnessed that there is a rising tide of Islamic awakening in the world. What explanation can be provided for this?
This hadith-i sharif contains a general meaning. That is, it points out that people will be more and more corrupt. That in some regions there are always people who adhere to Islam is an exception, and it does not break the general rule.