05 November 2009

Tall Towers

It's in today's news that Barj Dubai is now the tallest man-made structure ever. One of the signs of the Hour, as the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) related, is that shepherds will start building tall towers. This should not be understood as a religious derision of the achievements of the desert Arabs to whom it particularly refers to, for achievements of man are commendable. Rather it is a very literal prophecy. Muslims who have criticised the superfluous building constructions in Mecca have used this narration to attack the Saudi establishment. This has been a traditionalist critique, which is quite valid, but short of looking at the effect this may have on local, small industries. In fact, the latter should be the primary concern. In the Dubai case, however, it is intended to attract tourism. On the other hand, the first argument unwittingly implies that faith is a treasured past which is being intruded upon by modernity. As such, faith becomes a relic, an identity rather than a timeless message from God. What's for sure is that the competition to build tall buildings is proof that humanity, indeed the entire earth, is in a new age which will lead to the Last Hour. Only God has the knowledge of its exact time and occurrence.

No comments: