Will there be any good left at times of tribulation? And how can one protect oneself from tribulations?
Praise be to Allah
You should know – may Allah guide you – that good will remain in the ummah of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) until the Hour begins, and that one group of the ummah will continue to support truth, adhering to that goodness (the teachings of Islam) and calling people to it until the onset of the Hour.
It was narrated that Mu‘aawiyah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said:
“A group of my ummah will continue to adhere to the commands of Allah, not harmed by those who reject them or differ with them, until the decree of Allah comes to pass when they are like that.”
Narrated by al-Bukhaari (7460) and Muslim (1037).
The “decree of Allah” is the Day of Resurrection.
It was narrated that Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said:
“The likeness of my ummah is that of rain; no one knows whether the beginning of it is better or the end.”
Narrated by at-Tirmidhi (2869); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in as-Saheehah (2286).
Al-Qaadi Naasir ad-Deen al-Baydaawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said, explaining the reason why there is confusion as to which is better:
That is because each of them (the beginning and the end) has a unique characteristic that could make it better, just as each period of rain has its benefits for plants that cannot be denied, and it cannot be deemed unbeneficial, for the earlier Muslims believed on the basis of what they saw of miracles, and they responded to the call of the Messenger and believed in it, and the later Muslims believed on the basis of miracles that they had not seen, news of which reached them via mutawaatir reports, and they followed those who came before them in a proper manner.
As the earlier generations strove hard to support the religion, paving the way and helping to establish it, later generations strove hard in studying and explaining the teachings of Islam, and they devoted all their lives to confirming and supporting its teachings. Therefore all are forgiven, all their efforts are to be appreciated, and all are to be rewarded in abundance.
End quote from Fayd al-Qadeer (5/516).
If goodness and faith were to disappear from the earth, that would herald the onset of the Hour, and the Hour will only come upon the worst of people.
It was narrated from Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said:
“The Hour will not begin until it is no longer said on earth, ‘Allah, Allah.’”
Narrated by Muslim (148).
It was narrated that ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan ibn Shimaasah al-Mahri said: I was with Maslamah ibn Mukhallad ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas was also with him. ‘Abdullah said: The Hour will not come except upon the worst of people, who are worse than the people of the Jaahiliyyah. They will not ask Allah for anything but He will refuse their request.
Whilst they were like that, ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir came and Maslamah said to him: O ‘Uqbah, listen to what ‘Abdullah is saying. He said: He knows best; as for me, I heard the Messenger of Allah (sa) say:
“A group of my ummah will continue to fight to establish the command of Allah, continuing to defeat their enemies and not being harmed by those who oppose them, until the Hour comes upon them when they are like that.”
‘Abdullah said: Yes, “then Allah will send a wind like the fragrance of musk and with a touch like that of silk, and it will not leave any soul in whose heart is a grain of faith, but it will take it. Then the worst of people will be left, upon whom the Hour will come.”
Narrated by Muslim (1924).
This is the textual proof that good will remain at all times, and will not cease until the onset of the Hour.
As for rational proof, it is what we see and hear. The righteous who called people to Allah are still among us, striving to do good and spending their time to spread good (the teachings of Islam) and act upon it. The examples of people who strive to do good and benefit people, even at times of tribulation, are very many and well-known, praise be to Allah. We ask Allah to make us steadfast in adhering to His religion, and to enable us to do more of that which He loves of righteous deeds.
Saying that evil is widespread at times of tribulation, and that such times are devoid of any goodness or righteousness is a kind of overgeneralisation, which is regarded in psychology as a sign of pessimistic thinking that hinders one from performing the basic functions of life (unhelpful dysfunctional thoughts).
If you find that you have some psychological problems or social pressures that are causing you to think in this manner, then you should consult a specialist psychologist to analyse these problems and advise you concerning them, so that you can rid yourself of this negative overgeneralisation that could hinder you from performing the basic functions of life.
For information on how to remain steadfast in adhering to religion at times of tribulation, please see the answer to question no. 147626.
And Allah knows best.