In the first place, we would like to stress that a Muslim should make his first priority to be prepared for the Day of Judgment. When a man came to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and asked, “What is the exact date of the Day of Judgment?” the Prophet answered, “What have you prepared for that day?”
This indirect positive answer from the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) directs every Muslim to concern himself, before anything else, with performing good deeds and acts of worship so as to be safe on that day.
The appearance of some signs of Judgment Day should motivate Muslims to turn back to their Lord, repenting and surrendering themselves to Him alone. Muslims should not sleep or wait with hands tied; rather, they should work for a better future for the whole Muslim Ummah and Islam, for Allah helps only those who want to help themselves.
Coming to the question in point, here are the words of the late Sheikh Ibn `Uthaymeen, a prominent Saudi Muslim scholar, regarding the major signs of the Day of Judgment:
1. The Emergence of the Dajjal (the Anti-Christ). This refers to a man who is an imposter and who will appear during the Last Days, claiming lordship. Regarding his coming, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
“Say: ‘O Allah! Verily I seek refuge in you from the punishment of the Hellfire, and I seek refuge in you from the punishment of the grave, and I seek refuge in you from the trial of Dajjal. And I seek refuge in you from the trial of life and death.’”
The Dajjal will emerge from a road in an area between the Levant and Iraq and will begin to call the people to worship him. A majority of the people that will follow him will be from the Jews, women and Bedouins. Seventy-thousand Jews from Asfahan (in present-day Iran) will follow him and he will travel throughout the entire earth, just as the wind blows rain in all directions, except for Makkah and Madinah, for he will be prevented from entering them.
The length of his stay will be forty days. One day will be like a year, one day like a month, one day like a week and the rest of the days will be as normal. He is one-eyed (i.e., one eye is good and the other is defective) and between his two eyes will be written in Arabic letters “KA FA RA”, that is, kafir (disbeliever). Only the believers will be able to read it. He will bring about great trials, some of which are that he will command the heavens and it will rain and he will command the earth and it will produce vegetation. He will have with him a garden and a fire. However, his garden will be a fire, and his fire will be a garden.
2. The descent of Jesus, son of Mary. This is established in the Qur’an, the Sunnah, and the consensus of the Muslims. Allah says what means: “There is not one of the People of the Scripture but will believe in him before his death, and on the Day of Resurrection he will be a witness against them” (An-Nisa’: 159).
This refers to the death of Jesus, which will occur after his descent, as has been interpreted by Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him). The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “I swear by Allah, that Jesus, son of Mary will indeed descend judging (mankind) with justice.”
Muslims have unanimously agreed upon his descent. He will descend by the white minaret in the east of Damascus, placing his hands upon the wings of two angels. Then it will not be possible for a disbeliever to perceive the scent of his breath without dying. And his breath will extend as far his eyesight extends. He will search for the Dajjal until he reaches him by the gate of Ludd, where he will kill him. He will break the cross and abolish the jizyah (tax paid by non-Muslims living under Muslim rule), and prostration will be only for Allah the Lord of the universe. He will also perform Hajj and `Umrah.
3. The emergence of Gog and Magog. They are two nations from the tribe of Adam that are currently in existence, based upon the evidence from the Qur’an and the Sunnah.
Their emergence, which is one of the signs of the Day of Judgment, has not occurred before in the past. However, its first indications were present during the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), who said, “Today a hole has been opened in the barrier of Gog and Magog like this”, and he made a circle with his index finger and thumb.
4. The emergence of the beast. This refers the beast that Allah will bring forth close to the time of the Day of Judgment. Its emergence is confirmed in the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Allah says what means: “And when the word of torment is fulfilled against them, We shall bring out from the earth, a Beast for them, to speak to them because mankind believed not with certainty in Our signs.” (An-Naml: 82)
5. The rising of the sun from the west. This is established in the Qur’an and the authentic Sunnah. Allah says what means: “The Day that
some of the signs of your Lord do come, no good will it do for a person to believe then, if he believed not before nor earned good (by doing good deeds), through his Faith.” (Al-An`aam: 158)
The above is excerpted, with slight modifications, from: http://www.geocities.com
Elaborating more on the other signs, we would like to cite for you the following:
The signs are listed in roughly chronological order, although the order is not necessarily precise, especially for those in the future.
This is a brief summary of the signs; there are many books, articles, cassettes, et cetera that discuss these in greater detail. May Allah enable us to recognize and heed the signs of Judgment Day and strengthen us in the times of tribulation!
1. Splitting of the moon.
2. Death of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).
3. A form of death that will kill thousands of Muslims (understood to refer to the plague of Amwas during the
caliphate of `Umar ibn al-Khattab).
4. A major fighting in Madinah (understood to refer to the Battle of al-Harrah during the caliphate of Yazid, 63 A.H.).
5. The Muslim conquest of Jerusalem.
6. The Muslim conquest of Constantinople.
7. Two large groups of Muslims will fight in war.
8. A war between the Muslims and a reddish people with small eyes, wearing sandals made of hair (understood to refer to
the Mongol Tatar invasion of the Islamic lands).
9. A peace agreement between the Muslims and non-Muslims from the yellow
race (Chinese, Mongols, et cetera).
10. Thirty impostors will appear, each thinking he is a prophet.
11. Naked, destitute, barefoot shepherds will compete in building tall buildings.
12. The slave-woman will give birth to her master or mistress.
13. A trial (fitnah) that will enter every Arab household.
14. Knowledge will be taken away (by the death of people of knowledge) and ignorance will prevail.
15. Wine (intoxicants) will be drunk in great quantities.
16. Illegal sexual intercourse will become widespread.
17. Earthquakes will increase.
18. Time will pass more quickly.
19. Tribulations will prevail.
20. Bloodshed will increase.
21. A man will pass by the grave of another and wish he was in the latter’s place.
22. Trustworthiness will be lost, that is, when authority is given to those who do not deserve it.
23. People will gather for Prayer but will be unable to find an imam to lead them.
24. The number of men will decrease while the number of women will increase until for every man there are 50 women.
25. The Euphrates will reveal a treasure of gold, and many will die fighting over it, each one hoping to be the one who gains
26. the Romans (Europeans) will come to a place called A’maq or Wabiq, and an army of the best people will go forth from Madinah to face them.
27. The Muslims will conquer Rome.
28. The Mahdi will appear and be the imam of the Muslims.
29. Jesus Christ will descend in Damascus and pray behind the Mahdi.
30. Jesus will break the cross and kill the swine, that is, destroy the false Christianity.
31. The Antichrist (the Dajjal) will appear, with all his tools of deception, and be an immense trial. He will be followed by 70,000 Jews from Isfahan (present-day Iran).
32. Gog and Magog will appear with all the associated tribulations.
33. The beast from the Earth will emerge, carrying the Staff of Moses and the Seal of Solomon; it will speak to the people, telling them they did not believe with certainty in the Divine Signs.
34. There will be a major war between the Muslims (including Jews and Christians who truly believe in Jesus after his return) led by Imam Mahdi, and the Jews plus other non-Muslims led by the Antichrist.
35. Jesus will kill the Antichrist at the gate of Ludd (Lod in present-day Israel, site of an airport and a major Israeli military base).
36. There will be a time of great peace and serenity during and after the remaining lifetime of Jesus.
37. Wealth will be so abundant that it will become difficult to find someone to accept charity.
38. Arabia will become a land of gardens and rivers.
39. Society will then decay.
40. The women of the tribe of Daws will again circumambulate the idol Dhul-Khulsah.
41. There will be a great fire in the Hijaz, that will be seen by the inhabitants of Busra.
42. Three major armies will sink into the earth: one in the east, one in the west, one in Arabia.
43. An Abyssinian leader with thin shins will destroy the Ka`bah.
44. There will be a huge cloud of smoke.
45. The sun will rise from the west (its place of setting).
46. A gentle wind will take the souls of the believers.
47. There will be no one left on the earth saying “Allah, Allah” or “There is no god but Allah.”
48. Eventually the Day of Judgment will fall upon the worst of the people, who copulate like donkeys in public.
49. The Angel Israfil will blow the Trumpet, upon which everyone will faint except as Allah wills.
50. At the second blowing of the Trumpet, everyone will be resurrected.”