In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
With Him Alone Is The Knowledge Of The Hour
The five Unseen aspects of knowledge are the matters that Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, has kept to Himself; enclosed within the realms of His Knowledge, and known by none.
Nowadays, some ignorant people are trying to delude others by claiming that such hidden secrets are unveiled, or at least some of them are. First of the five Unseen matters they discussed its disclosure is the Time or Day of Judgment.
Some of the fortunetellers in America and India tried to name the time of Doomsday. In America and a few years ago, some fortunetellers predicted and determined the timing of Doomsday and many believed what they claimed. On the specified day many people set off to the mountains deserting their houses, as if the mountains would protect them from Fate although the mounts would be blown up when the Last Hour befalls.
Such a behavior of the disbelievers has not changed since the beginning of creation, because it arises from falsehood, and the ways of falsehood are finite, being of human contrivance.
Those who climbed to the summits of the mountains, acted like Noahâ€™s son when the flood occurred, for he climbed to a mountaintop, and when Noah (peace be upon him) asked him to board the ark along with him â€“ being the only means of deliverance from the floods â€“ he said that he would take shelter from the floods up on the mountain as Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, relates to us through the noble Qurâ€™anic verses saying (what means):
â€œSo it (the ship) sailed with them amidst the waves like mountains, and NÃ»h (Noah) called out to his son, who had separated himself (apart), â€˜O my son! Embark with us and be not with the disbelievers. The son replied: â€˜I will betake myself to a mountain, it will save me from the water.â€™ NÃ»h (Noah) said: â€˜This day there is no saviour from the Decree of AllÃ¢h except him on whom He has mercy.â€™ And a wave came in between them, so he (the son) was among the drowned.â€ )HÃ»d, 11:42-43(
Thus, we see the logic of disbelief versus that of belief. The unbeliever assumes that there is someone who can rescue him from the Decree of Allah, whereas the believer knows for sure that there is no escape from it.
Those who believed the claims of the American fortunetellers about the time of Doomsday acted same as the unbelievers during the era of Noah (peace be upon him), when they thought that the mountains would protect them from the Fate of Allah. Then follows the faithful logic spoken in Noahâ€™s words related to us by the noble Qurâ€™anic verse saying (what means):
â€œThis day there is no saviour from the Decree of AllÃ¢h except him on whom He has mercy.â€ )HÃ»d, 11: 43(
The fortunetellers but lie
In India the fortunetellers have tens of times predicted the time of Doomsday, and none of their predictions was ever fulfilled. But what is going on newly nowadays among some people is the use of the Noble Qurâ€™an in an attempt to figure out the time of Doomsday. Some of them gave dates based on the beginnings of Surahs, and said that it would be on the year 2000! While others predicted that it would be on the year 2113, and many other superstitions mirroring nothing but falsehood.
Regarding this Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, says (what means):
â€œVerily, AllÃ¢h! With Him (Alone) is the knowledge of the Hour, He sends down the rain, and knows that which is in the wombs. No soul knows what it will earn tomorrow, and no soul knows in what land it will die. Verily, AllÃ¢h is AllÂKnower, AllÂAware (of things)â€ (LuqmÃ¢n, 31:34)
These are the five Unseen matters, which Allah, Blessed and Exalted be He, has kept to Himself alone, which we shall discuss in details throughout this chapter and the next one by the Will of Allah.
The question posed about the time of Doomsday is not new; rather it has been raised since the earliest times. The Prophets (peace be upon them all) were asked about the time of the Last Hour, and to this day people still wonder about its time, although manâ€™s connection with worldly life ends in a matter of few years. In this regard, the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said in a noble Hadith: â€œHe who dies, his Day of Judgment has befallen.â€ Because the deceased sees Paradise, Hellfire, the Angels, and the invisible becomes visible to him. But the question never ends. Allah, all praise and glory be to Him says (what means):
â€œThey ask you about the Hour (Day of Resurrection): â€˜When will be its appointed time?â€™ Say: â€˜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.â€™ They ask you as if you have a good knowledge of it. Say: â€˜The knowledge thereof is with AllÃ¢h (Alone) but most of mankind know not.â€™â€ (Al-Aâ€™rÃ¢f, 7: 187)
Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, says (part of the Qurâ€™anic verse saying what means) â€˜They ask you.â€™ The speech here is addressed to the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), but who are the questioners? Are they the nonbelievers? Of course not, since they do not believe in the Last Hour, how could they ask about it? Thus, the questioners must be from amongst those who believe in the Last Hour. They were the Jews, for they knew from their Book that Allah, be ever gloried His Majesty and Might, is the only One Who knows the time of the Last Hour, and none other.
They wanted to test the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) with that question, thinking that he would give them an answer and state to them its time, thus they could seize the answer and use it as the means of impugning Islam. But only those who introduce a worldly way are the ones who try to make people believe that they know everything to draw them to their false way, but he who conveys a heavenly way, does not feel any harm in not knowing things, for he is a witness to the Omniscience of Allah alone.
The Last Hour and the Jews
The Jews asked the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) about the soul, and about Dhul-Qarnain, and his answer came one with what they had in the TaurÃ¢h (Torah), except for one point which is the story of the People of the Cave, where Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, says (what means):
â€œAnd they stayed in their Cave three hundred (solar) years, and add nine (for lunar years).â€(Al-kahf, 18: 25)
The Jews said that they knew about the three hundred years, but the other nine years were not known to them; actually these extra nine years are due to the fact that Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, chronicles the history of His Universe by the lunar calendar, which is the most accurate calculation. Allah willed for the lunar calendar to be born and become the calendar of the nation of Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). The lunar year is 11â…“ days shorter than a solar year. Thus, the three hundred solar years is equivalent to three hundred and nine lunar years.
The question laid here (in these noble Qurâ€™anic verses) is about the Last Hour and when will it come to pass? The answer to this question is that the knowledge of the Hour is with Allah alone, and â€˜None can reveal its time but He. Heavy is its burden through the heavens and the earth,â€™ (Al-Aâ€˜rÃ¢f, 7: 187) â€“ meaning no one can disclose it save Him. For revelation lies in exposing things, and Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, will not reveal it until its time has come, meaning at the very time of its occurrence.
â€˜Heavy is its burden,â€™ signifies that the carried load is greater than the force lifting it; if the mass or weight is less than the lifting force it will not be heavy. For instance, if you carried an item weighing a kilo (or two), it would not be heavy, because the force of your arm is far greater than the weight it lifts up. But if you tried to carry one hundred kilos, the weight would be heavy and you would be unable to carry it.
The burden in the aforesaid example is physical, then how does Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, says (what means), â€˜Heavy is its burden through the heavenâ€™ (Al-Aâ€˜rÃ¢f, 7: 187)? How could the burden in the heavens be a physical one? We say that burdens can be physical, mental, and emotional. Exactly like asking a first-year engineering student to solve an exercise put to a student in his final year. He would not be able to solve it, and would say that it laid a burden on him; in other words, his mind was incapable of understanding it. A matter may also weigh down on your heart, as when you sit with someone you hate, you feel overburdened, and you say that the visit weighed heavy on your soul. That is spiritual burdens, which is the hardest kind of burdens.
Heavy is its burden through the heavens
The Truth, all praise and glory be to Him, says (what means), â€˜Heavy is its burden through the heavens,â€™ (Al-Aâ€˜rÃ¢f, 7: 187) and in the heavens are the angels, but they do not know the time of the Last Hour. Some angels are subjected to the service of humans. Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, made them prostrate themselves before Adam (peace be upon him), and made them serve mankind.
Those angels rejoice in the obedient servant, and are distressed by the disobedient servant. They anticipate the befalling of the Last Hour to see the reward of the obedient, and the punishment of the disobedient. The Last Hour thus weighs on them, for they see the sinner surrounded by the Blessings of Allah, and he only grows more disobedient to The Almighty, which fills them with rage, and they desire for him a speedy torture as a retribution for his sinning. On the other hand, they see the afflictions befalling the faithful in worldly life, so they wish to hasten the establishment of the Last Hour so that the faithful receives the reward of his obedience.
Thus, the Last Hour weighs heavily on the earth, owing to its horrifying events, and for being dreaded by each believer in its occurrence. It also weighs heavily in the heavens, because rage overwhelms the angels in anticipation of its occurrence.
The Last Hour will not come but abruptly, without notice; the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, â€œThe Last Hour will not be established till the sun rises from the West. So when its rises and all the people see it (rising from the West) they will all believe (embrace Islam) but that will be the time when: (As Almighty Allah says in His Noble Qurâ€™an what means,) â€˜No good will it do to a soul to believe then, if it believed not before, nor earned good (by deeds of righteousness) through its Faith.â€™ (Al-Anâ€˜Ã¢m, 6: 158) And the Last Hour will be established while two men spreading their garment between them but neither will they be able to bargain its sale with each other, nor fold it up; and the Last Hour will be established when a man has gone away with the milk of his she-camel but he will not be able to drink it; and the Last Hour will be established while a man is luting his trough (for holding water or feed for his livestock) but he will not be able to water (his animals) in it; and the Last Hour will be established when a person has raised his morsel (of food) to his mouth but he will not be able to eat it.â€
The Last Hour will come suddenly, impossible to be predicted by anyone, even before its occurrence by a few seconds and all people will indeed be stunned by it.
Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, says to His Messenger, may Allah bless him and grant him peace (in the Noble Qurâ€™an what means), â€˜They ask you as if you have a good knowledge of it.â€™ (Al-Aâ€˜rÃ¢f, 7: 187)For people thought that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) insistently and continuously asked his Lord about the time of the Last Hour.
The Blower of the Trumpet and the Last Hour
Allah, be ever gloried His Majesty and Might, has hidden the time of the Last Hour from all His creatures even the close angels. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, â€œWhen Allah, Blessed and Exalted be He, finished the creation of the Heavens and the Earth, He created the Trumpet and gave it to IsrÃ¢fÃ®l [Israfel, the angel who will sound the Trumpet on the Day of Judgment], ever since he is placing it on his mouth, his eyes fixedly staring at the Throne, waiting for the time he is ordered to blow the Trumpet.â€ Allah, The Exalted and Ever-Majestic, says in the Noble Qurâ€™an about the Day of Judgment (what means):
â€œAnd the Trumpet will be blown, and all who are in the heavens and all who are on the earth will swoon away, except him whom AllÃ¢h will. Then it will blown a second time and behold, they will be standing, looking on (waiting)â€ (Az-Zumar, 39: 68)
We thus learn that even IsrÃ¢fÃ®l, the angel assigned to blow the Trumpet announcing the beginning of the Day of Judgment, does not know the time of the Last Hour. Ever since IsrÃ¢fÃ®l was assigned this duty, he has been standing, his eyes frozen towards the Throne, waiting for the Divine Order to blow the Trumpet. If that is the state of IsrÃ¢fÃ®l, how can a fortuneteller or a charlatan, or a false interpreter of the Noble Qurâ€™an claim that the Last Hour will occur on such day or in such year!! Surely, all are only lies.
Portents of the approach of the Last Hour
The fact that Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, has concealed the time of the Last Hour does not mean that He has concealed the time tolling the bell of its approach. Allah, be ever gloried His Majesty and Might, says in the Noble Quâ€™ran (what means):
â€œVerily, the Hour is coming and My Will is to keep it hidden that every person may be rewarded for that which he strives.â€ (TÃ¢Â-HÃ¢, 20: 15)
Allah willed to keep the time of the Last Hour hidden but He did not hide everything about it; total concealment is with respect to its time only, but as for the approach of the Last Hour and its portents, whether the major or the minor, they were all disclosed to the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) informed us about the approach of the Last Hour, he said, â€œI have been sent and the Hour (is at hand) as these two (fingers),â€ pointing with his middle and index fingers, which indicates the imminence of the Last Hour, as all the minor portents of the Last Hour that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) foretold us have been fulfilled.
Almighty Allah says in His Noble Qurâ€™an (what means):
â€œThe Hour has drawn near, and the moon has been cleft asunder.â€ (Al-Qamar, 54: 1)
This noble verse either speaks about the splitting asunder of the moon during the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace); when the disbelievers called him to ask Allah, The Exalted and Ever-Majestic, to split the moon for them so that they could believe him, but when this miracle occurred, and Allah did cleave the moon asunder for them, they believed not. Or it is about the splitting of the moon upon the approach of the Hour, thus serving as a sign of the imminence of the Day of Judgment. Almighty Allah says in the Noble Qurâ€™an (what means):
â€œDraws near for mankind their reckoning, while they turn away in heedlessness.â€ (Al-AnbiyÃ¢â€™, 21: 1)
However, it means that the time of the Last Hour has drawn near, not that it would be tomorrow or after a couple of days, rather it signifies that its due time has approached, because its minor portents have occurred. We should also carefully mind the noble Qurâ€™anic verse saying (what means):
â€œThe angels and the RÃ»h [Jibrael (Gabriel)] ascend to Him in a Day the measure whereof is fifty thousand yearsâ€ (Al-Maâ€˜Ã¢rij, 70: 4)
This noble Qurâ€™anic verse instructs us that to Almighty Allah this Day is differently judged from ours, for we may see matters still faraway from happening, but for Allah they are imminent. Recite the noble Qurâ€™anic verse in which The Truth says (what means):
â€œVerily! They see it (the torment) afar off, But We see it (quite) near. The Day that the sky will be like the boiling filth of oil, (or molten copper or silver or lead, etc.).â€ (Al-Maâ€˜Ã¢rij, 70: 6-9)
We have tackled so far the first of the five Unseen matters, which is the Hour, and we have clarified that only Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, knows the time of its befalling, and none else has knowledge of it; so if any came and professed to know it, he is definitely a liar.
We shall now move on to the second of the five Unseen matters. The noble Qurâ€™anic verse says (what means):
â€œHe sends down the rain.â€(LuqmÃ¢n, 31: 34)
This issue has lately raised many controversies, as scientists have officially claimed that they are capable of sending down the rain after having discovered that clouds are positively or negatively charged; upon joining together rain falls. Further, they have discovered the chemical substances that cause the clouds to send down the rain if fertilized with them.
All these claims are nothing but lies uttered against Allah, all praise and glory be to Him. Rain falling from the sky is a highly complicated process that no human can ever bring it about however knowledgeable he may be. Even if the entire humanity gathered to make rain fall over a certain place, or prevent it from falling elsewhere, they could never and would never be able to.
The process of rainfall does not start with clouds, but ends with them. As aforesaid, it is a very huge process and it occurs with neither the interference nor the knowledge of man; it is by means of sunlight that water is vaporized from the sea.
Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, has made the seas constitute four-fifths of the total area of the earth, and made the land constitute one-fifth, so that the process of rainfall may take place. The greater the water area is, the easier and faster becomes the evaporation process, and the smaller the area, the lesser and slower the evaporation. For instance, if we spilled a glass of water over the floor, it would evaporate after a short while, but if we left the water in the glass for several days, the water would decrease by a small amount because the small surface area extremely slows down the evaporation process. Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, says (what means):
â€œSee you not that AllÃ¢h drives the clouds gently, then joins them together, then makes them into a heap of layers, and you see the rain comes forth from between them. And He sends down from the sky hail (like) mountains, (or there are in the heaven mountains of hail from where He sends down hail), and strike therewith whom He will, and averts it from whom He wills. The vivid flash of its (clouds) lightning nearly blinds the sight.â€(An-NÃ»r, 24: 43)
In this noble Qurâ€™anic verse, Allah, be ever gloried His Majesty and Might, reveals to us some of the secrets behind the process of rainfall. The vapor rising from the seas through sunrays ascends to the sky, forming by the Will of Allah, the clouds. High there are also found the cumulus clouds heavy with water, upon colliding against each other lightning flashes, and upon colliding against the mountains rain falls. Therefore, heavy rain falls over the mountain chains all over the world.
Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, says (in Surat An-NÃ»r what means), â€˜Strike therewith whom He will, and averts it from whom He wills.â€™ (An-NÃ»r, 24: 43) Thus, Almighty Allah binds the process of rainfall with His Will. To whoever professes that man can send down the rain we say, â€˜Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, has created in His Universe many deserts, if you can truly send down the rain, why do not you turn these deserts to rainy areas? Drive the rain to such places where it may come down and turn them into green valleys, verdant and pulsing with life.â€™
Mankind, with all the knowledge it has been given, cannot do that. Moreover, Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, has filled the land with rivers, and made their water running continuously, with heavy rain falling each year. If they can really send down the rain, why do not they make a small river in the middle of the desert? We do not ask for a big river like those that Almighty Allah has created, and we will not ask for several rivers, just a small one as a proof of their ability, but they will never be able to.
Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, has willed by His Omnipotence that years of drought strike some rainy regions, and that is for us to learn that rain does not fall by the earthly causes known to mankind, but by the Power of the Causer, all praise and glory be to Him.
We say to them that if they can send down the rain, why not prevent the seasons of drought over rainy areas, but they stand powerless. We also witness the catastrophes occurring in the drought-stricken regions, and the harm that is inflicted on plants, animals, and mankind; where plant dies, cattle perish, and people suffer from famine. No human power can put an end to the seasons of drought or cause rainfall.
It happened lately that the United States, the country that possesses the highest technology in the modern world, suffered from a season of drought and no human power was able to bring a water droplet. Moreover, heavy rains pour forth on certain parts of the world and flood them, but none can drive the clouds from these areas to others suffering drought.
We can see how helpless mankind is before the Power of Almighty Allah in sending down the rain. Humanity at large cannot drive a cloud from one place to another to make it rain there or move a single cloud from a place flooded by torrents of rain to another that is rainless.
Humanity at large is helpless
The entire humanity cannot control the wind but Allah sends it wherever He wills, for clouds are not self-driven but are pushed by the winds from one place to another. Winds do not submit to the will of humans, either in its motion, force or course.
Who can dare claim that one of the Unseen matters is revealed and man can send down the rain. These are simply lies stated against Allah, all praise and glory be to Him.
The process of rainfall is a prodigious cosmic process that happens only by the Will of Allah and man has no hand in it. Man is neither capable of controlling the evaporation process from the seas, nor the sunrays that cause evaporation, nor the vapor that raises to the sky then condenses to form the clouds, nor the winds that carry them to certain place, willed by The Almighty to be carried there.
But if there is a chemical process through which clouds are seeded to produce rain, it is an exceedingly minor process, liable to success or failure. If what the scientists claim is true, let them show us how they can control the action of evaporation from the seas or the action of forming the clouds or their movement around the earth. The One Who sends down the rain, is Allah, praise be to Him, a truth to last till the Day of Resurrection.
We have thus proved that only Allah knows the time of the Last Hour; its knowledge is even withheld from the closest angels to The Almighty, including the angel assigned to blow the Trumpet. Further, the process of sending down the rain totally submits to the Will of Allah alone, all praise and glory be to Him, and none can send down the rain but Him.
It remains for us to discuss the Qurâ€™anic statement of Allah, praise and glory to Him, (which means):
â€œAnd knows that which is in the wombs. No soul knows what it will earn tomorrow, and no soul knows in what land it will die.â€ (LuqmÃ¢n, 31: 34)
To prove that only Allah possesses this knowledge that only happens by His Might and Power, all praise and glory be to Him.