"The time for the water of the Euphrates to drain and to display its treasure of gold is approaching. He who is present then must not take anything from it." Is there such a hadith? Will you explain how we should understand that hadith?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Abu Hurayra narrates:  

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,

"Doomsday will not strike before the Euphrates uncovers a mountain of gold. People will fight for it. Ninety-nine out of each one hundred will be killed. Every one of them will think, ‘I will probably win the fight.’" [Bukhari, Fitan 24; Muslim, Fitan 29, (2894); Abu Dawud, Malahim 13, (4313, 4314); Tirmidhi, Jannah 26, (2572, 2573)]

EXPLANATION:

1. In a version of the hadith in Bukhari, the following addition exists: "He who is present then must not take anything from it." Acting upon the phrase "must not take anything from it", Ibn Hajar states that this gold can be in the form of dinars (coins), lumps of gold or gold dust, and that all of them are possible.

2. In a narration the phrase “mountain of gold” and in another narration, the phrase "golden treasure (kanz)" is used. It is stated that ‘mountain’ expresses plenitude.

3. Ibnut-Tin explains the reason for the prohibition of taking anything from that treasure as "the treasure belonging to all Muslims. In that case, a person can take only his share from it." He continues as follows: "If anyone takes from it and increases his wealth, it will be of no use and he will regret. If a mountain of gold appears, gold will lose its value; therefore, it is not desired."

Ibn Hajar does not find this interpretation appropriate and states the following: "What he says is not clear in the hadith. What is clear is this: It is forbidden to take from it because mischief will occur and people will fight if people take from it." He also includes the following possibility: "The wisdom behind the prohibition to take from it is that it will occur at a time when it is needed very little or not needed at all." Ibn Hajar states that the first possibility overweighs and he shows the version of the hadith included in Muslim and accepted in Taysir as evidence. In addition, he supports this view with the following narration in Muslim:

"...The Euphrates will soon uncover a mountain of gold and when the people hear it, they will flock toward it. The people near the river will say, “If we allow these people to take out of it, they will take away all of it."

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) added:

"So, they will fight for it and ninety-nine out of one hundred will be killed."

Ibn Hajar states the following: "This shows that the reason Ibn Tin imagines is wrong. The reason for the prohibition is the result of taking from it: war..." There is no drawback to this incidence happening and the appearance of fire for gathering (mahshar). However, this cannot be a reason for its prohibition. Ibn Majah reports the following hadith from Thawban as marfu: "Three groups will fight near your treasury. Each one is a son of a caliph..." Ibn Majah includes the hadith in the chapter related to Mahdi. If the treasure mentioned here is the treasure mentioned in the hadith we are dealing with, this (being under the river) will occur when Mahdi emerges. This is definitely before the descent of Hz. Isa (Jesus) and the emergence of the fire.   

Many massacres occurred near the Euphrates up to now. The massacres of Iraq and Iran occurred recently. In 1958, a big massacre occurred near the Euphrates and the grandchildren of the Messenger of Allah were killed. However, it is probably not appropriate to deduce these two incidents from the hadith above.

It might imply a period when the water of the Euphrates will be very valuable like gold metaphorically; the revenues to be obtained from the dams on the Euphrates might be indicated with the word "gold". Besides, big gold and petrol areas to be found underground after the water of the Euphrates is drained might be indicated. In addition, it is possible to find such valuable elements after land subsidence. There is no doubt that a potential danger like dynamite exists in that region of the Islamic world. They are not things that have occurred up to now but the incidents that will occur in the future. The people who will witness those days will heartily say, "O Messenger of Allah! You have told the truth" and renew their belief.

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