The Destruction of Great Cities

 

Great cities will be ruined, and it will be as if they had not existed the day before. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi `Alamat
al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p. 38)

 

 

When developed places are ruined, then Doomsday is no further away than the distance between your two fingers. (Muhammad ibn `Abd al-Rasul Barzanji, Al-Isha`ah li Ashrat as-Sa`ah, p. 143)

 

 

There will be ruins all around the world. Ultimately, Egypt will also be ruined. But until Basra is destroyed, Egypt will remain secure. The ruin of Basra will be because of Iraq's destruction. Meanwhile, the downfall of Egypt will come with the drying up of the Nile ...
(Mukhtasar Tazkirah al-Qurtubi, p. 530)

 

The ruin of great cities spoken of in this hadith brings to mind the destruction that now arises from war and natural disasters. In addition to these, recently developed nuclear weapons, aircraft, bombs, missiles, and other weapons have caused untold destruction. These weapons have brought about a level of destruction heretofore unknown. Indeed, the great cities targeted are most affected by this destruction.

The incomparable destruction of the Second World War is an example of this. The atom bomb completely destroyed the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As a result of heavy bombing, European capitals and other important cities were devastated. The Encyclopedia Britannica states that:

The resulting devastation had turned much of Europe into a Moonscape: cities laid waste or consumed by firestorms, the countryside charred and blackened, roads pitted with shell holes or bomb craters, railways out of action, bridges destroyed or truncated, harbors filled with sunken, listing ships. "Berlin," said General Lucius D. Clay, the deputy military governor in the U.S. zone of postwar Germany, "was like a city of the dead."8

In short, this unprecedented level of destruction conforms entirely to that described in the hadith of the Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace).

Approximately 100,000 people died in Hiroshima in the immediate aftermath of the atomic bombing and subsequent months. Three days after this event, another atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki killed another 40,000 people. While bombs killed people, they also wiped out a great area of settlement. Those who survived suffered, as would their offspring, from genetic and physiological damage due to radiation.

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8. Britannica Encyclopedia 2000: "The Blast of World War II."

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