“The lifespan of this ummah will exceed a thousand years but it will not exceed one thousand and five hundred years.” Is this statement a hadith?

The Details of the Question

- Are these hadiths true? What are the sources of the hadiths? Are they sound? How should we understand them?
a) “The lifespan of this ummah will exceed a thousand years but it will not exceed one thousand and five hundred years.” (Suyuti, al-Kashfu an Mujawazati Hadhihil Ummah al-Alfu, al-Hawi lil Fatawi, 2/248; Tafsir Ruhul Bayan, Bursevi (Arabic) 4/262; Ahmad bin Hanbal, Kitabul-Ilal, p. 89)
b) Abu Musa narrated as follows: The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: “The elimination of my ummah will be through ta’n and ta’un.” They said: “O Messenger of Allah! We know ta’un (plague), but what is ta’n?” He answered: “Ta’n is the attack of your enemies (devils) from the jinn. However, there is martyrdom in both of them.” (Rudani, 1/347, H. no: 2344) Blessed are those who are killed in the way of Allah. The Lord and King of the Worlds says, “They are not dead, but you do not know.” However, some of them take the tree as a shelter, but the time of death has come; they cannot do anything. They groan and moan when it is cut with a saw.
c) Is it a hadith or a verse that there will be a group that cling to the truth until the Day of Judgment?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

a) Suyuti is the greatest hadith scholar of his time. His determination that the lifespan of this ummah will not exceed 1,500 years - not a direct hadith translation - is a conclusion derived from many hadiths. (see al-Hawi, lil-Fatawi, Beirut, 1424/2004, 2/103…)

- One of the numbers that Suyuti accepts as the basic criterion in this regard is the following hadith: “The life of the world is seven thousand years and the Prophet came in the last thousand years.” Suyuti, who cites the sources, states that the hadith narrations coming from Ibn Abbas regarding the issue as -narrated by some scholars – are sound. (see al-Hawi, 2/106)

- Then, since Suyuti lived in the 9th Hijri century and the apocalypse did not happen until that day, the remaining life of the world should be calculated as 900. Suyuti did just that. After the date he was found, he calculated the remaining time based on the timing of the events mentioned in the hadiths.

He included the hadiths that listed signs of the Apocalypse such as Dajjal, Jesus, Mahdi, the rising of the sun in the west, and based his conclusion on the numbers that took into account certain processes there.

- Finally, this conclusion is an estimation, but it is a strong estimation based on scientific evidence.

- The writer of Ruhul-Bayan mentions this issue in the tafsir of the chapter of al-Qamar and briefly points to the issue with statements that seem to be based on Suyuti’s findings. (see Ruhul-Bayan, Beirut, nd., 9/262)

Since the Hijri date, on which we wrote this information, shows the year 1436, approximately 500 years have passed since Suyuti, and the fact that the apocalypse has not happened until now confirms his scientific inferences in a way.

- That Badiuzzaman Said Nursi’s statement that Doomsday will strike around 1540 H in the calculations he deduced from the signs of the verses and hadiths and abjad values (see Kastamonu Lahikası, p. 27) also supports the determinations of Suyuti. No one but Allah can know the exact time of Doomsday with certainty. However, the inferences made by these two mujaddids from verses and hadiths reveal a strong scientific possibility called “zann ghalib”.

b) Ahmad b. Hanbal narrated this hadith from Abu Musa al-Ashari.

Our Prophet (pbuh) said:

“The elimination of my ummah will be with ta’n and taun.” They said,

“O Messenger of Allah! We know Ta’un (plague), but what is ta’n?” He answered as follows:

“Ta’n is the attack of your enemies from the jinn. However, there is martyrdom in both of them.” (Ahmad. b. Hanbal, Musnad, Muassasatu-Risala, 1421/ 2001, 32 /294, 520)

- Ibn Hajar states that this hadith is sound. (see Fathul-Bari, Beirut, 1379, 10/182)

Hakim includes the following narration expressing the same meaning: The Prophet (pbuh) prayed as follows:

“O Allah! Determine the destruction/elimination of my ummah as being killed in your way with ta’n and ta’un!” (Hakim, 2/102)

Hakim states that this narration is “sound” and Dhahabi (ibid) confirms him.

- Scholars understood the following from this hadith:

The Prophet (pbuh) wanted his ummah to die with the highest level of martyrdom. And it is to be killed in the way of Allah by the hands of people or jinn who are enemies (unbelievers). (see Ibn Hajar, 10/182)

This last narration also exists in Ibn Hanbal. Hafiz Haythami states that both of these narrations in Ibn Hanbal are sound. (see Majmauz-Zawaid, 2/311-312)

c) The answer to the question “Is it a hadith or a verse that there will be a group that cling to the truth until the Day of Judgment? is it is a “hadith”. (see Muslim, Imarah, 170)

- Badiuzzaman Said Nursi also point to this hadith and states the following:

“In the second hour of the tenth day in Ramadan, the following hadith came to my mind: A community from my ummah will always stand firm on the true path determined by the Quran and will fight spiritually against their opponents until the Day of Judgment.  Maybe I was reminded about it because I was thinking of how long the disciples of the Risale-i Nur would continue. The phrase ظَاهِرِينَ عَلَى الْحَقِ (shadda is taken into account), whose jafr reckoning is one thousand five hundred and six (1506), implies that they will continue their duty until this date obviously and apparently maybe highly probably, and in secrecy and in defeat until forty-two.” (See Kastamonu Lahikası, pp. 27-28)

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