The world being in a major economic crisis is a sign of the coming of Hazrat Mahdi (as)
By setting out the portents of the coming of Hazrat Mahdi (as) in the hadiths, our Prophet (saas) makes it possible for Muslims to realize that Hazrat Mahdi (as) has appeared when they see these events taking place one after the other.
As foretold in the hadiths, one of these portents of the coming of Hazrat Mahdi (as) is a great economic crisis that will affect the whole world. Rasulullah (saas) tells us that trade will stagnate in the End Times, everyone will complain of reduced earnings, the cost of living will rise and, in short, there will be severe economic problems.
This hadith describes the period in the run-up to the appearance of Hazrat Mahdi (as) as follows:
Before Hazrat Mahdi (as) appears, TRADE AND ROADS between nations WILL BE CUT and strife among people will grow. (Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi `Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar, p. 39)
The next part of the hadith says that these problems will come to an end in the time of Hazrat Mahdi (as):
"… We came to seek that person [Hazrat Mahdi (as)] BY WHOSE HAND STRIFE WILL BE EXTINGUISHED.” (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p. 52)
[Before Hazrat Mahdi (as) appears] "THE MARKETS BEING STILLED, A DECREASE IN EARNINGS..." (Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Rasul Barzanji, Al-Isha'ah li-ashrat al-sa'ah, p. 148)
Everyone COMPLAINING OF LOW EARNINGS... the rich respected for their money... (Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Rasul Barzanji, Al-Isha'ah li-ashrat al-sa'ah, p. 146)
BUSINESS BEING STAGNANT. Everyone will complain ‘I cannot sell, buy or earn anything.’ (Al-Barzanji, Al-Isha'ah li-ashrat al-sa'ah, p. 152)
The crisis that erupted in October 2007 in the USA was not restricted to that country alone. It turned into a global crisis that stunned all the economic markets of countries such as Great Britain, Germany, China, Hungary, Poland, Argentina, Holland, France and Russia. The United Nations described this crisis as "THE CRISIS OF THE CENTURY." The crisis led to the collapse of tens of major companies, millions being made unemployed, thousands of people losing their homes, production coming to an almost entire standstill in many countries and even to whole nations becoming bankrupt. Poverty was no longer a problem of concern to specific countries in the world and began threatening societies in developed countries.
VARIOUS HEADLINES REFLECTING THE GLOBAL IMPACT OF THE CRISIS
The world’s largest brokerage company, Merrill Lynch, lost some $46 billion because of the global crisis.
According to a report by the U.S. Department of Employment, 73,000 people lost their jobs in August alone, while 159,000 jobs were lost in September. A total of 760,000 people have lost their jobs over the last nine months.
700 banks have gone bust in the USA, and there is a possibility of a further 700 doing so.
In Japan, the world’s second largest economy, Yamato Life Insurance, an insurance company dating back 98 years and with total debts of $2.7 billion, went bankrupt in October 2008.
Iceland, in second place on the United Nations’ “Countries with the Highest Levels of Well-Being,” went bankrupt.
Because of decreased worldwide demand, leading global automotive companies halted production in their companies and laid off thousands of workers.
More than 100,000 people have been laid off in the financial sector since September.
XL, the third largest tourism company in Britain, went bankrupt in September 2008.
In addition, the airline British Airways cited the crisis as a reason for laying off 1400 staff.
Greece’s credit ratings were lowered and the country came to the brink of bankruptcy. There is uncertainty over whether the country can repay its debts.
Portugal has also entered a debt spiral because of rising interest rates and is heading toward bankruptcy. Spain is also said to be facing the danger of bankruptcy.
Dubai, known for its great wealth, is also among those going bankrupt.
THERE ARE REFERENCES TO THE ECONOMIC CRISIS IN THE QUR’AN
Allah tells us in the Qur’an that when He sends a Messenger or Prophet to warn or remind communities, He first warns those societies with troubles, poverty and difficulty, in other words, through economic crises.
We have never sent a Prophet to any city without seizing its people with HARDSHIP AND DISTRESS so that, hopefully, they might learn humility. (Surat al-A'raf, 94)
Allah has made His Messenger instrumental in the happiness of societies. Every messenger or prophet is the Mahdi of his time. Hazrat Mahdi (as) will be instrumental in people attaining happiness in these, the End Times. In the same way that Allah warned and tested earlier peoples with economic crises, so He has produced a major economic crisis in the End Times, in the run-up to the appearance of Hazrat Mahdi (as). By Allah's leave, this crisis will come to an end when the moral values of Islam fully rule the world and poverty and want will be replaced by a hitherto unknown wealth and plenty.