It is widely acknowledged in the three Abrahamic faiths that the end of time will see the arrival of the saviour, or a Messiah that will reinstall peace across the globe, especially after a period of increased turmoil.
In Islam, we believe that the Messiah will arrive in the form of the Mahdi, the final Imam from the lineage of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family). Here are a few hadiths that discuss how the economic world will be before his advent, and then after his arrival.
Before the Mahdi
A time of recession
A man asked the Prophet (peace be upon him and his family) about when the Day of Resurrection would be to which he responded:
“The approach of the Day of Resurrection has some signs, one of which is the convergence of markets. This is when there is a recession of markets and trade, and the lack of growth of plants and crops notwithstanding the rain.”
At-Targhib wal Tarhib: Volume 3, Page 442.
The Commander of the Faithful (peace be upon him) has said that nearer to the end of times: “Trade and transactions will increase, but only small profits will be earned by the people and after that extreme famine will break out.”
Ibn Tawus: Malahim, Page 125.
A time fear, hunger and loss of wealth
Imam Al-Sadiq was asked on the meaning of the following verse
“We will surely test you with a measure of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth, lives, and fruits; and give good news to the patient.” [Surat al Baqarah, verse 155]
To which he replied:
“God will test the believers on account of the fear caused by the kings of the dynasties of so-and-so at the end of their rule; what is meant by starvation is price inflation; what is meant by the insufficiency of properties is trade recession and the inadequacy of income; what is meant by the loss of lives is widespread, sudden deaths; and what is meant by the lack of fruits is the deficiency of agricultural earnings and products. Then, glad tidings be to the steadfast for hastening the advent of al-Qa’im [Imam Mahdi] at that moment.”
Kamalulddin: Volume 2, Page 650.
After his return
The correct distribution of properties
Imam Al-Baqir (peace be upon him) has said: “When the Qa’im of the Ahlulbayt rises up, he will distribute the public treasury to the people evenly and he will behave justly with them. Riches on the ground (such as zakat and khums) as well as underground wealth (like treasures and minerals) will be gathered through him. He will give wealth such that no one before him had ever done.”
Biharul Anwar: Volume 52, Page 390.
The uprooting of poverty from society
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his family) has said: “When Hadrat al-Mahdi rises up, properties and zakats will be brought into the alleys, but one could hardly be found who would be willing to receive them.”
‘Iqd Al-Durrar: Page 166.
No one will need to receive Zakat
Imam Al-Sadiq (peace be upon him) has said: “When our Qa’im rises up, he earth will bring out its treasures and expose them in such a manner that the people could see them on the ground with their own eyes. The payers of zakat will look for someone needy to whom they could give their zakat but they would not be able to find anyone. Owing to the grace and munificence of God, the people will become needless of others.”
Biharul Anwar: Volume 52, Page 337.
Prosperity and development globally
The Commander of the Faithful (peace be upon him) has said: “The Mahdi will dispatch his companions to different lands. He will send companions who had paid allegiance to him from the beginning of the uprising off to the cities, enjoining justice and benevolence. Each of them will become the ruler of a territory on the earth. Afterward, all cities of the world will flourish through justice and benevolence.”
Al-Shia wal Raj’ah: Volume 1, Page 168.
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his family) has said: “[The Imam] will fill the earth with justice and equity while the sky will send down rain, and as a result, the soil will produce its crops permanently and my Ummah, during the rule of the Imam, will enjoy blessings the like of which has not been seen before.
Biharul Anwar: Volume 52, Page 345.
The growth and expansion of commerce
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his family) has said: “Among the signs of the advent of al-Mahdi are the following: Assets and wealth will flow like a flood among the people; knowledge and learning will become manifest; and commerce will expand and flourish.”
‘Uyun Al-Akhbar: Volume 1, Page 12.