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Related by Bukhari, on the authority of Anas, who said:
"The Messenger of Allah said, "Each era will be followed by an era more evil than the previous one."
Also related by Bukhari, on the authority of Al-Aslami, who stated that the Messenger of Allah said:
"The most righteous (poeple) among us will pass away, then the best (most righteous) after them. The good people of the earth will continue to die off until only the scum of humanity remains: Allah has no regard for these who are like the debris found atop of barley."
The afore-mentioned ahaadith refer to the time periods that are to follow the time of Allah's Messenger (sallaAllahu alaihi wa sallaam). There are many ahaadith like this, which demonstrate that evil was more widespread during the age of the Tabiun than the age of the Sahaba. Subsequently, it worsened in the time period following the Tabiun.
There are numerous aathar (statements from the earlier scholars) that reveal that as un-Islamic dominance (at the hands of disbelieving people) over Muslims thrives, the Muslims' overall condition deteriorates. Commenting on Anas hadith, some Ulama (scholars) have said, "the hadith carries a general meaning that points to special circumstances." Ibn Masud considers the hadith's (the) meaning to be completely general:
I don't mean that every era of prosperity will be followed by an era of hardship. But what I do mean is, every era will be followed by a time of increased ignorance.
In other words, generally speaking, the evil within every time period will be worse than the previous age. With the exception of those generations when society's wickedness will actually be less, as was the case during the reighn of The Mahdi. Authentically recorded in numerous ahaadith of the Messenger of Allah (sallaAllahu alaihi wa sallaam), the Mahdi will fill the earth with justice equal to the degree of the prevailing injustice in the world at that time.
Considering how evil increases as time passes, one can only imagine justice under the Madhi's rule. Allah knows best. pages 29-30