There was a hadith about constructing high buildings close to the end of time. Will you explain this hadith?

Details of the Question
There was a hadith about constructing high buildings close to the end of time. Will you explain this hadith?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Constructing high buildings is mentioned among the signs of Doomsday in hadiths. As a matter of fact, the following is stated in a hadith.

"One of the signs of Doomsday is the rivalry of bare-footed and poor shepherds in constructing high buildings and boasting about it.” (Bukhari, Fitan: 25; Ahmad bin Hanbal, Musnad, II/313)

The people of low social class, that is, nomads and poor people will be leaders and administrators, increase their wealth and compete one another to construct high buildings in order to boast. Some scholars say this sentence indicates that Islam will spread. Kirmani states the following:

“To some up, one of the signs of Doomsday is Muslims dominating over other countries and nations.”1

Qurtubi states the following:

“What is meant by it is the nomads living in the desert invading the state and owning it by force, causing a big change. Thus, their wealth will increase and they will try to construct high buildings and start to boast of them. We witnessed them in this period.”2

Indicating high buildings is one of the important signs that describes the advanced technology of the period we live in informed by the Prophet (pbuh).
When we look at the history of architecture and engineering, we see that high buildings started to be built at the end of the 19th century. The advancement in technology, proliferation of steel, use of electric elevators speeded up the construction of skyscrapers.

Skyscrapers became an important part of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries; they became a symbol of prestige today. The news about people competing to construct high buildings given in the hadith came true when countries started to compete to construct higher skyscrapers.    


1. see Ahmed Davudoğlu, Sahih-i Müslim Tercüme ve Şerhi, Sönmez Publications: 1/117-119; Haydar Hatipoğlu, Sünen-i İbn-i Mace Tercüme ve Şerhi, Kahraman Publications: 1/106-107. 

2. see Fathul-Bari: 1/131; Nazım Muhammed Sultan, Kırk Hadis Şerhi, Guraba Publications: 59-60

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