The era of trials and tribulations
Hadhrat ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar (May Allah be well pleased with him) says: We were in the presence of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) and He spoke about trials and tribulations: When you see people breaking their promises and breaching their trusts, understand that it is a time of trials and tribulations.
We asked: O Prophet of Allah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam)! What should people do in such a time? He said: Sit in your houses, guard your tongues, act on what you know and be silent about what you don’t. They should worry about themselves and forget others.
Hadhrat ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud (May Allah be well pleased with him) says that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) told Harith bin Umayya (May Allah be well pleased with him): If you live long, you will see a time in which there will be lot of preachers (of Islam) but few who act (on the teachings of Islam), people who beg will be many and those who give will be few. People of that time will follow their desires.
I asked: O Prophet of Allah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam)! When will that time be? When people will miss Salaat and will take bribes; when they will sell their religion for a few scraps of this paltry world. The pious folk should distance themselves from the people of that time.
Hadhrat Yousuf bin Asbaat (May Allah be well pleased with him) says: I heard from Hadhrat Sufyan Thauri (May Allah be well pleased with him): By the Lord Almighty except whom there is none worthy of worship! In such a time, secluding oneself will be permissible.
Hadhrat Fudhail bin ‘Iyaadh (May Allah shower His Mercy on him) says: That will be a time when one should guard one’s tongue and hide oneself and wait for better days, when one should act on religion and avoid (reprehensible) innovations. He says: The religion of people of such a time will be full of ostentation.
[Excerpted from Mawaaiz-e-Hasana]