The Hour [Day of Judgment] will not be established until ... earthquakes will be very frequent. (Ramuz al-Ahadith, 476/11)
There are two great events before the Day of Judgment ... and then years of earthquakes. (Ramuz al-Ahadith, 187/2)
There will be conflicts and frequent earthquakes... (Al-Barzanji, Al-Isha'ah li-ashrat al-sa'ah, s.166)
As is well known, very strong earthquakes have occurred throughout the world in the last couple of years. These earthquakes, occurring with such unprecedented frequency for the first time in the world’s history strongly heralds the coming of Hz. Mahdi (as).
However, until recently earthquakes happened quite rarely.
For example, according to the reports of the US Geological Survey, the number of 5.0 and stronger earthquakes that happened between 1556-1975, a span of 400 years, was only 110.
However, beginning in the year 1400 according to the Hegira calendar, these earthquakes rose in an unprecedented manner.
All these figures show that the earthquakes rose rapidly in frequency beginning in the year 1400 of the Hegira calendar (1979-1980 in Gregorian calendar).
For example, in the year 1999 alone, there were 20.832 small and big earthquake.
According to the official reports, 22.711 people died in these earthquakes.
This was foretold by Prophet Muhammad (saas) in his hadith:
There will be earthquakes in my community. Ten thousand, twenty thousand, thirty thousand people will die. [Ibn ‘Asakir, Gelecegin Tarihii 1 (History of the Future 1), Orhan Baytan, Mevsim Publishings, p. 81]
Some of the earthquakes that happened in the last thirty years are as follows:
On the 28th of July, 1976, a 7.8 earthquake shook China, killing 242,000 and injuring 164,000 people.
On the 7th of December 1988, the earthquake in Armenia killed 20.000 and left 500.000 homeless.
The Kobe earthquake of 1995 lasted only 20 seconds, but caused over 100 billion US dollars in damages.
The 7.9 earthquake in India on the 26th of January 2001, killed 30.000 and injured 166,000 people.
The 6.7 earthquake in Iran that happened on the 26th of December, 2003 killed 20.000 and injured 50.000 people.
300.000 lost their lives as a result of the tsunamis that happened after the 9.0 earthquake in Indonesia on the 26th of December, 2004.
The 7.6 earthquake in Pakistan on the 8th of October, 2005, killed 100.000 people.
The Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, which occurred on the 11th of March, 2011, killed over 15,000, injured over 5,000, and left over 8,000 still officially missing. Additionally, this catastrophe cause over 300 billion dollars in damages, making it the most expensive natural disaster recorded.
In the last 30 years, in other words, as of the year 1400 in the Hegira calendar, many other earthquakes, both small and large happened, in addition to those that have been listed here.
Many people were left homeless as a result of these earthquakes.
This is explained in one hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (saas).
The days when you can find no homes to shelter you or animals to carry you have come close. Earthquakes will demolish your houses… (Al-Barzanji, Al-Isha`ah li Ashrat as-Sa`ah, p. 146)
In addition to the Prophet Muhammad’s (saas) hadiths, there are verses in Qu'ran, mentioning the link between earthquakes and the Day of Judgment.
The name of the 99th verse in Quran is Az-Zilzal (The Earthquake).
In this surah, the heavy shaking of the earth is described, and it is said that after this earthquake the people will be risen in the Day of Judgment and give account to All-mighty Allah:
I seek refuge with Allah from the accursed satan.
When the earth is shaken to her (utmost) convulsion, and the earth throws up her burdens (from within), And man cries (distressed): 'What is the matter with her?'- On that Day will she declare her tidings: For that thy Lord will have given her inspiration.
On that Day will men proceed in companies sorted out, to be shown the deeds that they (had done).
Then shall anyone who has done an atom's weight of good, see it! And anyone who has done an atom's weight of evil, shall see it. (Surat at-Zilzal, 1-8)