The Islamic approach towards dealing with any issue relating to faith and practice is direct. Thus this invariably involves looking at what the Qur’an has to say, how this was understood and applied by the Prophet, peace be on him, and the pious generations, who are considered our perennial role models in all matters of Deen (religion).
The eminent Muslim scholar, Sheikh `Abdel Khaliq Hasan Ash-Shareef, the renowned Da`iyah, states:
“The book you referred to is “Al-Fitan” by Abu `Abdullah Nu`aim bin Hammad. It is an example of replacing the truth with falsehood. It leads people astray instead of guiding them. May Allah forgive us and forgive its author!
I would like to show briefly that “Al-Fitan” was the cause that its author is classified as dishonest by scholars of Hadith, and so it is rejected and not taken as a reference.
The author of the book in hand mentions some authentic Hadiths about some aspects of the Unseen that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) referred to in some of his sayings. For example, a Hadith reported by Hudhaifah mentions that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) sat with them one day and related to them what will be in the future. Hudhaifah said: We remembered some of it and forgot the rest.
That is to say, some of those who heard the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) relating what will be remembered just some events, not all, and others forgot all what he had said. So there is no evidence that the vague book in question says the truth. We must ask ourselves why that book has appeared nowadays and not before. Also, why do the events related in the book stop at the era of the late President Sadat? Do the events of each era appear only after the death of the ruler? This seems like a well-established plan.
Reflecting on the Prophetic Hadiths that occur in the authentic books of Hadith and other approved books of tradition, we never find any Hadiths that support what is mentioned in that book, such as referring to a specific ruler by first name and title, and specifying everything, even the color of his eyes and complexion.
Rather, the Prophet’s Hadiths give people a general idea about the Unseen. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) told people to deal with what he mentioned as factual phenomena that may take place at any time, maybe in his time. He (peace and blessings be upon him) once said to Abu Hurairah that if Abu Hurairah himself lived until Prophet `Isa (Jesus the Christ, peace be upon him) was sent down again to this world, then he was to extend the greetings of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) to Prophet `Isa (peace be upon him). The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) also used to say about the Anti-Christ (Al-Dajjal): “If he appears in my life, I will protect you. But if he appears after me, then each one should protect himself.”
Generally speaking, the book in question includes manifest signs of falsehood and lies that none can attribute to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) except one who is unintelligent or ignorant of the Prophetic Hadiths and their methodology.
Hereby, I would like to mention some significant points:
1. Aspects of the Unseen are always disclosed in Islam in general terms without details.
2. Informing people of some aspects of the Unseen is a warning and exhortation for the Muslim nation in general. It is aimed at persuading the nation to stick firmly to its religion and beware of anti-Islamic schemes.
3. Knowing some aspects of the Unseen should not tempt people to stay idle; rather, it should encourage them to strive hard to protect themselves against harm. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “If the Last Hour comes while one of you (people) are holding a palm shoot to plant it, then let him plant it before the hour flares up.”
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) also said: “The Last Hour will not come before the Euphrates uncovers a mountain of gold, for which people will fight. Ninety-nine out of each one hundred will die, but every man amongst them will say that perhaps he will be the one who will be saved (and thus possess this gold).”
Some people interpret this Hadith to refer to the Gulf War that took place between Iraq and Kuwait. But this interpretation does not cope with the wording of the Hadith. Muslims should not interpret Qur’anic verses and Hadiths according to current issues.
4. Man should be correct in pursuing knowledge about aspects of the Unseen. That is to say, such kind of knowledge should be taken from books of trustworthy imams, exactly as the case with other Prophetic Hadiths.
5. We all agree about the necessity of the chain of transmitters for a Hadith to be considered authentic. So an authentic Hadith is that which is transmitted from the Prophet (peace be upon him) to us through an unbroken chain of narrators. However, the paper that was found in a library in Istanbul with a supposed Hadith in it has nothing like a chain of transmission, and all signs of falsehood appear in it.
6. Also, the word “Armageddon” was not mentioned except in Jewish books, like the Old Testament, which has been greatly distorted, as related in the Qur’an. Allah says: “Some of those who are Jews change words from their context” (An-Nisa’: 46); He also says: “…and purchase a small gain therewith.” (Al-Baqarah: 174) So I am not sure whether the author of the book in question aims at spreading the Jewish ideologies in an Islamic framework among Muslims!
7. Moreover, on what basis do some people claim to count the period of Muslims’ life on earth, while the Qur’an reads: “The hour drew nigh and the moon was rent in twain.” (Al-Qamar: 1) Also the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “My advent and the Hour’s are like this (or like these),” namely, the period between his era and the Hour is like the distance between those two fingers, i.e., very short.
In another Hadith the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) said: “I have been sent and the Hour (is at hand) as these two,” showing his two fingers and separating them.” He also said: “It may even come before (my death).”
So how can some people restrict the period of the Muslim nation on earth to one, two, or three thousand or any other number of years? They are basing their thinking either on Zionistic claims, which state that the whole period life on earth is seven thousand years, or they base it on false claims of the fortune-tellers who use the letters that are mentioned at the beginning of some Qur’anic surahs to reach this conclusion, according to a certain formula known by fortune-tellers.
8. In addition, many people regard the Palestinian issue and the enmity between Muslims and the Jews as an interpretation of the verses that are mentioned at the beginning of
Surat “Al-Isra’ ” that read: “And We decreed for the Children of Israel in the scripture: Ye verily will work corruption in the earth twice, and ye will become great tyrants.” (Al-Isra’: 4) Nevertheless, most of the exegetists of the Qur’an agree that the scripture mentioned in this verse refers to the Scripture that was revealed to Prophet Musa (Moses, peace be upon him), that is, the Torah. Also, the verses following the above say: “But if ye repeat (the crime) We shall repeat (the punishment)”. (Al-Isra’: 8) There is nothing in the verses that specify the number of times that they may repeat the crime, and none can know it. Instead of striving hard to demolish Zionism, people stay idle taking this verse as a pretext.
9. Islam teaches Muslims to be careful concerning their deeds. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) emphasized this point, saying: “Initiate good deeds.” The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) also said: “Be in this world as a stranger or a passer-by”; he reiterated it seven times. Reporting this Hadith Ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him and his father) said: “In the evening don’t expect that you will live till next morning, and in the morning don’t expect to live till the evening.”
So the Doomsday for each man is the day of his death, when his life ends and he is buried alone in a grave where he is reckoned for all his deeds.
10. The reason for the spread of such nonsense claims that are not based on legal evidence and that confuse the right with the wrong is the spread of ignorance. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) told people at his time about the spread of ignorance in the Muslim nation as an aspect of the Unseen.
Therefore, I advise all Muslims to learn the Glorious Qur’an and the Prophetic Sunnah from trustworthy imams and great scholars who are known for their honesty and trustworthy knowledge, so that they can know the truth of everything and do not ever fall prey to those who distort the image of Islam.”