Islamic Concepts and Beliefs

Earthquake & Wars


The Promised Messiah (as) wrote over 80 books in Arabic, Urdu, and Persian. Excerpts of his collected works have been translated into English and organised by topic. The Review of Religions is pleased to present these excerpts as part of a monthly feature. Here the Promised Messiah (as) describes the prophecies revealed to him about impending calamities.

Extracts from The Essence of Islam – Vol. V. pp. 139-153

The Divine Prophecy regarding the Coming of Five Earthquakes, the Words of which are: 


This is the meaning of this divine revelation: God says that, in order to testify to the truth of my claim, and so that people may realize that I am from Him, five terrifying earthquakes will occur, one after the other, at short intervals. They will bear witness to the truth of my claim and each one of them will display such brilliance that the beholder will at once be reminded of God. Such a terrifying effect will they have on people’s hearts and so extraordinary will be their power, intensity, and devastation, that people who behold them will lose their very senses. All this will be the result of divine jealousy, for people did not recognise the hour. God says, I was hidden, but now I shall reveal Myself and shall display My Brilliance and liberate My servants, just as Prophet Moses (as) and his people were liberated from the hands of Pharaoh. These miracles shall be manifested in the same way as those performed by Moses (as) in the presence of Pharaoh. And God says that He shall make a clear distinction between the truthful and the liar, and He shall support the one who is from Him, and oppose anyone who opposes him. So, O you who hear, you should all remember that if these prophecies come to be fulfilled in just an ordinary way, then know that I am not from God. But if these prophecies do create a panic in the world at the time of their fulfilment, and their severity leads people to the verge of insanity, and there is widespread loss of life or property, then fear God Who made all this happen for my sake. How can man run away from God, Who has control over every speck and particle? He says that He will come secretly like a thief, meaning thereby that no astrologer or claimant of revelation or dreamer will be given any intimation of His coming, except what He has revealed to His Promised Messiah, or whatever He may add to it in the future. After these signs, a transformation will come about in the world and the hearts of many will be drawn to God. In many blessed hearts the love of the world shall grow cold and the veils of indifference shall be lifted, and they shall be given the elixir of True Islam to drink. As God Himself says:

چُو دَورِ خسروی آغاز کر دند   مسلماں را مسلماں باز کردند [1]

Khusrau’s era refers to the era of the Call of this humble one. But it does not suggest an earthly kingdom, rather it signifies the heavenly kingdom which has been given to me. What this revelation briefly means is that in the era of Khusrau, i.e., the era of the Messiah – which God considers to be a heavenly kingdom – began at the end of the sixth millennium, as prophesied by God’s holy messengers. And the result was that those who were Muslims only in name started becoming true Muslims, as nearly four hundred thousand have already become. I thank God that at my hand almost four hundred thousand people have repented from transgression, sin, and idolatry, and a number of Hindus and Englishmen have also embraced Islam. Only yesterday a Hindu embraced Islam at my hand and was given the name Muhammad Iqbal. Yesterday, while I was continuously reciting the above Divine revelation, my spirit was all of a sudden imbibed with the following words, which are a sequel to the above revelation:

مقامِ او مبیں از راہِ تحقیر

بدورانش رسولاں ناز کردند [2]

Similarly, in the following revelation God Almighty gave me the glad tidings that Islam would be spread through me, as He said:

يَا قَمَرُ يَا شَمْسُ أَنْتَ مِنِّيْ وَأَنَا مِنْكَ

i.e., O Moon! and O Sun! you are of Me, and I am of you. In this revelation God Almighty has first called me the Moon and named Himself the Sun. This means that just as the light of the moon is a bounty from the sun, in the same way my light is a bounty from God Almighty. Then God has called Himself the Moon and named me the Sun. This means that He will manifest His glorious light through me. He was hidden but He shall now manifest Himself through me. The world was unaware of His light, but now, through me, His glorious light will spread all over the world. Just as you see a bolt of lightning illuminating the whole sky in a flash, so will happen in this age. Addressing me, God Almighty says, ‘For your sake I descended upon the earth; and for you did My name shine; and I chose you out of the whole world.’ And He says:

قَالَ رَبُّكَ إِنَّهُ نَازِلٌ مِّنَ السَّمَاءِ مَا يُرْضِيْكَ

i.e., Your God says that such powerful miracles will descend from heaven that you shall be pleased. Of these, one is the plague, and there have already occurred two strong earthquakes – about which I had foretold after receiving revelation from God. But now God says that five more earthquakes shall occur, and the world shall witness their extraordinary brilliance, and shall know for a certainty that they are in fact signs from God which have appeared in support of His servant the Promised Messiah. Alas! The astrologers and soothsayers of this age contend with me in the matter of these prophecies, just as the magicians had contended with Prophet Moses (as). Some ignorant claimants to revelation, who languish in pits of darkness, abandon the truth and abet the misguided in order to confront me, just like Balaam. But God says that He will humiliate them, and shall not grant this honour to anyone else. Now is the time for them all to confront me with their astrology or their revelations. And if they now spare me any of their onslaughts, they shall surely be the losers. God says: I shall defeat them all and shall become the enemy of thy enemies. He says: You alone have I chosen for the manifestation of My mysteries, and the earth and the heavens are with you as they are with Me. You are to Me as is My Throne. In support of [this revelation], there is the following verse in the Holy Qur’an, which distinguishes God’s chosen prophets from other people:

لَا يُظۡهِرُ عَلَىٰ غَيۡبِهِۦٓ أَحَدًا * إِلَّا مَنِ ٱرۡتَضَىٰ مِن رَّسُولٍ[3]

i.e., the clear knowledge of the unseen is only given to His chosen messengers. No one else has any share in it. Hence members of our Jama‘at should not stumble, nor should they give any credence to those who oppose me and have not pledged allegiance to me through bai‘at, or else they will come under divine wrath. Whenever some foul-mouthed person makes a prophecy, God puts the true believers to the test, to see whether they accord such a person the regard and honour that is due only to God and to His Messenger. He also sees whether or not they are firmly established upon the truth that has been given to them.

Remember, when these five earthquakes will have occurred, and the degree of destruction which God has willed will have taken place, His mercy shall once again surge forth and, for a time, extraordinary and terrifying earthquakes shall cease. The plague too shall disappear from the land, as God addressed me and said: 

يَأْتِيْ عَلَى جَهَنَّمَ زَمَانٌ لَّيْسَ فِيْهَا أَحَدٌ

This means that a time will come when the hell of the plague and earthquakes will come to an end in this country and no one shall be left in this hell. Just as it happened in the time of Noah, that after the death of a large number of people a period of peace and security was granted, the same would happen in this case. After this revelation, God says:

ثُمَّ يُغَاثُ النَّاسُ وَيَعْصِرُوْنَ

i.e., the supplications of the people will be heard, rains will come on time, and orchards and fields shall bear fruit in abundance. A period of happiness shall begin and extraordinary calamities shall disappear, lest people should think that God is only Qahhar [the Avenger] and not Rahim [Merciful], and lest they should consider His Messiah to be ill-omened.

Remember, it was necessary for a large number of people to die at the time of the Promised Messiah, and it was also destined that earthquakes and the plague should occur.

This is the meaning of the Hadith wherein it is written that people would die with the breath of the Promised Messiah, and his annihilating breath would work as far as his eyes would see. One must not conclude that in this Hadith the Promised Messiah has been called an enchanter who would take people’s lives just by looking at them. What it really means is that wherever his pure breath – his words – would spread in the world, people would deny him, reject him, and abuse him, so much so that their rejection shall become a cause of chastisement for them. This Hadith indicates that the Promised Messiah will be vehemently opposed, and consequently a great many people shall die in the country, the most severe earthquakes shall take place, and peace shall disappear altogether. It would otherwise be irrational to think that pious and righteous people should be unduly subjected to various punishments. This is the reason why in earlier ages also ignorant people considered every prophet to be a bearer of misfortune and blamed him for what were actually the consequences of their own misdeeds. The truth is that it is not the prophet who brings punishment, rather the prophet comes as a final warning when the people have become deserving of punishment and have thus created the necessity for his advent. Severe punishment never comes until a prophet has been sent, as God says in the Holy Qur’an:

وَمَا كُنَّا مُعَذِّبِينَ حَتَّىٰ نَبۡعَثَ رَسُولاً [4]

Why then is it that while the plague is devouring the country on the one hand, at the same time there is no respite from terrifying earthquakes? O, heedless ones! look around, perchance God has raised a prophet among you and you have rejected him. It is already the twenty-fourth year of the Hijrah century. Why then, without the advent of a prophet, are you being afflicted with this calamity which takes away your friends and loved ones each year and brings sorrow to your hearts? There must be a reason, why do you not look for it?

…If God had not given me all these tidings beforehand, then I would be a liar, but if these tidings have been recorded in my books for the last twenty-five years and I have been constantly warning you ahead of time, then you must be mindful lest you come under divine censure. You have already heard that I had published the prophecy regarding the earthquake which occurred on 4th April, 1905, one year before it occurred. That prophecy contained not only the words:

زلزلہ کا دھکا [5]

but also the revelation:

عَفَتِ الدِّيَارُ مَحَلُّهَا وَمَقَامُهَا

which means that, in some parts of the Punjab, buildings would collapse and disappear. I need not dwell on how very clearly this prophecy has been fulfilled. Then, in the same month of April, I published another prophecy in which God had revealed to me that just as the earthquake of 4th April, 1905 had struck in spring, the other earthquake would also strike in spring, and not before. That earthquake, therefore, could not strike earlier than 25th February, 1906.[6] Hence, for eleven months, there was no earthquake. But, when the date of 25th February 1906, had passed, such a severe earthquake struck at 1:00 a.m. on the night of 27th February 1906, right in spring, that even English newspapers such as The Civil & Military Gazette had to concede that this earthquake was equal in intensity to that of 4th April, 1905. There was a great loss of life and property in Rampur City, in Simla, and in many other places. It was the same earthquake about which, eleven months ago, I had been granted knowledge through this divine revelation:

پھر بہار آئی خدا کی بات پھر پوری ہوئی  [7]

The earthquake, accordingly, struck in spring. Reflect upon this. Is there anyone besides God who has the power to foretell events with such precision? The earth’s layers were not under my control that I could hold them for eleven months and then give them a powerful jolt just after 25th February, 1906!

So my dear ones! now that you have witnessed these two earthquakes, it should be easy for you to understand that the prophecy about the five earthquakes to come is also no idle talk…

You can well understand that no authority in the science of seismology can make these predictions with such clarity and precision. But God, Who is the Lord of heavens and earth, reveals these secrets only to His chosen messengers, so that people may be saved from disbelief and denial, and so that they may believe and be saved from the torment of hell. Behold, I present the earth and heaven as my witness that today I have clearly stated the prophecy regarding five earthquakes so that it may serve as a warning to you, and so that death may not overtake you while you are astray. O dear ones, do not fight God, for you can never win this battle. God does not and has never sent down such severe punishment upon a people without first sending His messenger to them, or until a messenger, who has been sent by Him, has appeared among them. Hence, make use of this age-old law of God, and look for the person for whose sake, right before your eyes, the solar and lunar eclipses took place in the month of Ramadan and the plague spread over the earth and earthquakes occurred. Who was it that conveyed these prophecies to you before their time? And who was it that claimed, ‘I am the Promised Messiah?’ Seek out that person for he is present among you, and he is none other than the one who now speaks to you. 

وَلَا تَاْيۡـَٔسُواْ مِن رَّوۡحِ ٱللَّهِ ۖ إِنَّهُۥ لَا يَاْيۡـَٔسُ مِن رَّوۡحِ ٱللَّهِ إِلَّا ٱلۡقَوۡمُ ٱلۡكَٰفِرُونَ [8]  

—Tajalliyat-e-Ilahiyah, Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 20, pp. 395-404

Bear in mind that God has informed me time and again about the coming of earthquakes. So be sure that just as there have been earthquakes in America and in Europe, in keeping with the prophecies, so will they occur in different parts of Asia, and some of them will be as terrifying as doomsday. There will be death on such a large scale that rivers will run with blood, and even birds and animals will not escape it. Such destruction will overtake the earth as has not happened since man was born. Most places will be turned upside down as if they had never been inhabited. There will also be other terrible afflictions, both in heaven and earth, and every sensible person will realise that they are no ordinary phenomena, and no trace of them will be found in books of astronomy or philosophy. Then people will be seized by anxiety and they will wonder what is going to happen? Many will be saved, and many will perish. Those days are near, indeed they are at the door, when the world shall witness a spectacle of doomsday. Not only will there be earthquakes, but other terrible calamities will also appear, some from heaven and some from the earth. This will happen because men have given up the worship of their God, and all their thoughts and their designs and their resolves are diverted towards the world. Had I not come, these calamities might have been delayed for a while, but with my coming the secret designs of God’s wrath, that had long been hidden, have been manifested. As God said:

وَمَا كُنَّا مُعَذِّبِينَ حَتَّىٰ نَبۡعَثَ رَسُولاً [9]

Those who repent shall find security and those who fear before the calamity overtakes them will be shown mercy. Do you think that you will be safe from these earthquakes, or that you can save yourselves by your own designs? No, you cannot. All human designs will come to naught that day. Do not imagine that only America has been shaken by the earthquake and that you are safe, for you may experience even greater calamities. O Europe! you are not secure, O Asia! you are not secure, O you who dwell in the Islands, no artificial god will come to your aid. I see the cities falling and I see the habitations in ruin. The One and the Unique has long remained silent. Abominations were committed before His eyes and yet He remained silent. But now He shall reveal His countenance in a dreadful manner. He who has ears to hear, let him hear! The hour is not far. I tried to bring everyone under the security of God, but the decrees of destiny had to be fulfilled. Assuredly, I say that this country’s turn is also drawing near. The days of Noah shall appear before your eyes, and you will see with your own eyes what happened to the land of Lot. But God is slow to wrath, repent so that you are shown mercy. He who abandons God is a worm, not a man, and he who does not fear Him is dead, not alive.

—Haqiqat-ul-Wahi, Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 22, pp. 268-269

Wake up quick, O you who sleep; for this is not the time for slumber,

My heart is in anguish due to what Divine revelation has communicated to me.

I see the earth turned upside down by the earthquake;

The time is very near and the flood is at the gates.

The Benevolent Master stands at the roadside; 

The righteous have nothing to fear from the terrible storm.

No boat can save you from this flood;

Every scheme has failed, and there remains only the One Who is Oft-Returning with compassion.

—Durr-e-Thamin, p. 68

A sign will appear some days from now,

Which shall devastate country and town and meadow.

So suddenly will people be seized by Divine wrath,

An undressed person will have no time to secure his loincloth.

They shall all be suddenly shaken by the earthquake;

Be it men, or trees, or rocks, or oceans.

In the twinkling of an eye the earth will be thrown upside down,

Blood will flow like in streams.

Those whose night garments were white as Jasmine,

Will wake up in the morning clad in red.

Men and animals will lose their senses,

And pigeons and nightingales will forget their songs.

That hour will be hard upon every traveller;

And every wayfarer will lose his way in agony.

With the blood of the dead, 

Mountain streams will become red as red wine.

Men high and low will be convulsed with fear;

Even the Czar, at that hour, will be in a wretched state.

This sign will be an example of Divine Wrath,

And Heaven will attack with a drawn sword.

Hasten not to repudiate it, you ignorant fool,

For on the fulfilment of this sign depends my truth.

This is the word of God, and it will surely be fulfilled;

Be patient a while, and be righteous and forbearing.

Never imagine that this mistrust will be forgiven;

It is a credit and shall be repaid to you in full.

—Brahin-e-Ahmadiyya, part 5, Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 21, pp. 151-152

The Sign of the earthquake that occurred on Tuesday,

Was but a morsel fed to you on empty stomach.

O heedless ones! A big feast is to be laid out in a few days;

Which the Gracious God speaks about repeatedly in the Qur’an.

It will become manifestly clear to the people as to whose faith is true;

They will learn whether the hallowed site of purification is Ka’bah or Haridwar?

Though Divine revelation apparently speaks of an earthquake;

It may yet be that some other calamity is in store for you.

Whatever it may be, it will surely be unprecedented;

It will be out of the ordinary, and will present a spectacle of doomsday.

Such destruction will come upon towns and villages,

The like of which is not to be seen in the world.

In an instant, houses of mirth shall turn into houses of mourning;

Those rejoicing shall beat their breasts in sorrow.

The high palaces and the lofty castles,

Shall come tumbling down like caves.

In a single jolt, houses will be reduced to a heap of rubble,

There will be no counting the dead.

But God is Merciful, and there is no fear

For those who bow to Him in humility.

It is happy indeed that everything lies in the Hand of the One,

Who is slow to wrath and quick to forgive.

When exactly all this will happen, only God knows;

But He did reveal to me that it would be in the days of spring.

“The spring comes again, and God’s word is once again fulfilled;”

These are the words of God, consider, O men of understanding!

Remember the words of the Quran, ‘When the earth is shaken with her violent shaking’;

What has been decreed in heaven will surely come to pass one day.

Those will be the days of great lamentation and distress,

But for the good they shall bring forth sweet fruits.

Of course it is fire, but all will be saved from it,

Who love the God of wonderful powers.

O ignorant ones, it is not good to bear malice towards Prophets,

Keep away, for this is the den of lions.

—Durr-e-Thamin, pp. 153-154

divine revelation has repeatedly employed the word ‘earthquake’ and has indicated that the earthquake will present a spectacle of doomsday, as described in the surah إِذَا زُلۡزِلَتِ ٱلۡأَرۡضُ زِلۡزَالَهَا [10] But I cannot say with certainty if it will in fact be an earthquake. It may not be an earthquake but some other dire calamity evoking the spectacle of doomsday, the like of which would not have been witnessed by this age, and which would bring about great destruction of life and property. However, if no such extraordinary sign appears and people do not openly reform themselves, then I shall prove to be a liar.

—Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, part 5, Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 21, p. 151, footnote


[1] When the Khusrau’s era begins, Muslims will be reconverted to Islam.

[2] Do not look down upon his station with disdain. For even the Prophets take pride in his era.

[3] The Holy Qur’an, 72:27-28.

[4] ‘We never punish until We have sent a Messenger.’ – The Holy Qur’an, 17:16.

[5] ‘A jolt of quake.’

[6] The date when spring formally begins in India.

[7] ‘The spring has come round again, and God’s word has again been fulfilled.’

[8] ‘And despair not of the mercy of Allah; for none despairs of Allah’s mercy save the unbelieving people.’ – The Holy Qur’an, 12:88.

[9] ‘We never punish until We have sent a Messenger.’ – The Holy Qur’an, 17:16.

[10] ‘When the earth is shaken with her violent shaking.’ – The Holy Qur’an, 99:2.