Fatawa Islamiyyah:How Long Will The World Last?


QUESTION: I heard that some scholars said that the Day of Resurrection would happen before the year 1500 AH, and they quoted some ahaadeeth of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) as evidence. Is this view correct?

ANSWER: Praise be to A1laah. The view referred to in the question was suggested by al-Suyooti (RAH) in his book al-Haawi, 2/249-256, in which he said that this world would last for seven thousand years and that the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) was sent at the end of the sixth millennium. The end of the sixth millennium means half way through it, based on that the lifespan of this ummah is more than one thousand years and less than 1500years.

He said: "The period cannot be fifteen hundred years at all." i.e., the period must be less than fifteen hundred years. Then he mentioned the ahaadeeth and reports which he quoted as evidence to support that, some of which are Israaeeliyyaat (reports from Jewish sources) which cannot be taken as evidence, and some of the rest are daeef (weak), and the scholars ruled that they are lies and fabrications (mawdoo) The evidence that this view is false includes the following: If this view were correct, then everyone would know when the Hour is to begin.

This goes against what is mentioned in the verses of the Quraan and the ahaadeeth of the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) which definitely state that the time of the Hour is known to no one except Allaah. Allaah says:"People ask you concerning the Hour, say: The knowledge of it is with Allaah only. What do you know? It may be that the Hour is near!" (Q33[al-Ahzaab]: 63)

Ibn Katheer said: Here Allaah tells His Messenger (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) that he has no knowledge of the Hour and that if people ask him about that, he should refer the matter to Allaah (i.e., say that only Allaah knows that). AI-Shanqeeti said: It is known that innama (translated here as "only") conveys the meaning of exclusivity, so what the verse means is that the Hour is known only to Allaah alone. And Allaah says: "They ask you (O Muhammad) about the Hour when will be its appointed time? You have no knowledge to say anything about it. To your Lord belongs (the knowledge on the term there of? You (O Muhammad) are only a worner for those who fear it". (Q79[al- Naaziaat]: 42-45)

Ibn Katheer said: i.e., knowledge of that is not given to you or to anyone else in creation, rather the matter is to be referred to Allaah, for He is the One Who knows exactly when it will happen. Al-Sadi said: Because knowledge of the Hour serves no religious or worldly purpose of people, rather their interests lie in its being hidden from them, the knowledge of that has been concealed from all of creation and AlIaah has kept that knowledge to Himself. He says: "To your Lord belongs (the knowledge of) the term there of?" (Q79 [al-Naaziaat]:44)

The ahaadeeth which indicate that the time of the Hour is known only to Allaah include the famous hadeeth of Jibreel in which it says that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to Jibreel, when he asked him about the Hour: "The one who is asked about it does not know more than the one who is asking." (Muslim). 2 - These reports which al-Suyooti (RAH) quoted as evidence were classed as daeef (weak) by the scholars, and indeed they ruled that they were lies.

Ibn al-Qayyim said in al-Manaar al-Muneef (1/80), where he mentions the ways in which a hadeeth may be known to be mawdoo: "(One of these ways is): if the hadeeth goes against the clear meaning of the Quraan, such as the hadeeth which says that this world will last for seven thousand years and that we are now in the seventh millenium. This is one of the most obvious of lies. Because if it were correct then everyone would know that there was only two hundred and fifty-one years left until the Resurrection from our time [i.e., the time of Ibn al-Qayyim]. But Allaah says: "They ask you about the Hour (Day of Resurrection): "When will be its appointed time?" Say: "The knowledge thereof is with my Lord (Alone). None can reveal its time but He. Heavy is its burden through the heavens and the earth. It shall not come upon you except all of a sudden." They ask you as if you have a good knowledge of it Say: "The knowledge there of is with Allaah (Alone) "(Q7 [al-Araaf]:187)

Ibn Katheer said in al-Nihaayah fil Fitan waI-Malaahim: There is no (sound) ahaadeeth in which the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) defined when the Hour would be, rather he mentioned some of its portents and signs. He also said: With regard to the statements in the books of the Israaeeliyyeen and the People of the Book which suggest that this world will last for a certain number of millennia, more than one of the scholars have stated that these are mistaken, and it comes as no surprise that they were mistaken. There is a hadeeth which says, This world is one of the weeks of the Hereafter" but its isnaad is not saheeh either.

The same applies to every hadeeth which states a specific time for the Day of Resurrection - none of their isnaads (chains) can be proven". Al-Sakhaawi said in al-Maqaasid al- Hasanah: "Everything that has been narrated describing a specific time for the Day of Resurrection either has no basis at all or its isnaad cannot be proven". 3 - What al-Suyooti himself said indicates that this view is false. He mentions that the Mahdi will appear after twelve hundred years, but fourteen hundred years have passed and the Mahdi has not appeared yet. He says that people will remain for one hundred and twenty years after the sunrises from the west, then the Hour will begin.

This means that the sun should have been rising from the west for more than twenty years! He says that the Dajjaal will appear after one hundred years, and the Messiah Eesa ibn Maryam will come down and kill him, and he will remain after that for forty years, but here we are in the last century according to what he says, and the Dajjaal has not appeared and the Messiah Eesa ibn Maryam has not yet come down. He says that several of the major signs such as the Dajjaal, the descent of Eesa and the rising of the sun from the west will happen more than two hundred years before the Hour begins. All of these things indicate that this view is false, and that knowledge of the Hour should be referred to Allaah, and Allaah commands us: "People ask you concerning the Hour, say: The knowledge of it is with Allaah only. What do you know? It may be that the Hour is near!" (Q33 [al-Ahzaab]: 63). And Allaah knows best.



This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited


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