Most of the signs of the Last Hour mentioned in Qur’an are such as will manifest themselves very close to the Hour. Then, the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) has described in the Ahadith all kinds of tokens, the near ones and the distant, the minor and the major.
Allamah Muhammad Abdur Rasool Barzanjt (Rahmatullah Alayh) (d. 1040 AH) has enumerated three kinds of signs of al-Qiyamah in his book Al-Isha’ah Liashwat Al-Sa’ah. These are: (1) the distant tokens, (2) the in-between tokens, also called the small (minor) signs, (3) the near tokens also called the major signs.
(1) The First Kind (The distant signs)
The distant signs are those that have manifest themselves already in the past. They are called distant because there is a greater time lag between them and the Last Hour. These include, the coming of the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), the event of shuqq al-Qamar (splitting of the moon), the death of the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and the Battle of Siffeen. All these have already transpired and in the light of the Qur’an and Hadith are signs of the Last Hour.
(2) The Second Kind (The minor or in-between signs)
The minor signs of the Last Hour have become manifest but have not yet taken a complete shape. Every day, they become more and more manifest and their manifestation will go on intensifying. This will go on until the third kind of tokens begin to be seen. The minor signs are also many. Read more…
(3) The Third Kind (The near signs)
These tokens will be seen very near the Last Hour, one following the other. They will be great universal events and so they are also called major signs. These include the coming of Mahdi, the emergence of Dajjal, the descent of Isa (Alayhis Salam), Yajooj and Majooj, the rising of the sun from the west, the beast of the earth and the fire that will erupt from Yaman and spread and so on. When all the signs of this kind have manifest themselves then the Last Hour will come any moment, suddenly.
[Compiled from Hadhrat Maulana Mufti Muhammad Rafi’ Usmani Sahab (db)’s “Meaning of Signs of Qiyamah, Their Importance and Kinds”]