A Hadeeth Which Defines When the End of the World Happens? [The World Will Only Exist for 7000 Years?]

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful…

Some years ago, I was asked about a claim that this dunyaa (worldly life) could not last beyond the year 1500 H., due to the following “hadeeth”:

Al haakim & at-Tirmidhee hadeeth concerning jahanamiyyoon (those who go to fire but are Muslim). ‘They will be in it like the extent of this world from the time it was created until the time it ends which is 7000 years.’ And this is a sound hadeeth.

The following was my response:

1. Not only is al-Haakim’s chain weak due to a majhool narrator (someone whose reliability had not been established) who took the hadeeth from ‘Ikrimah, the actual wording is:

“When the Messenger of Allaah (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace) arrived in al-Madeenah, the Jews were saying that this worldly life will last 7000 years.”

This is attributed to Ibn ‘Abbaas. Unless the intended hadeeth is another one in al-Haakim’s book which I could not find, this hadeeth can not establish such a claim, since (if it were authentic) it is merely what the Jews were saying, with no mention of an approval from the Messenger of Allaah (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace).

2. I believe the “Tirmidhee” being referred to is al-Hakeem at-Tirmithee, not the famous “Imaam at-Tirmithee”. There is a big difference. al-Hakeem at-Tirmithee [d.320] had a book called “Nawaadir al-Usool” with lots of weak and fabricated narrations. The scholars of hadeeth consider a hadeeth referenced exclusively to this book to be an indication of its weakness. Al-Imaam at-Tirmithee (d.279) was a great imaam of hadeeth praised by the likes of Imaam al-Bukhaaree and the imaams of the third century. He judged the authenticity of the vast majority of the hadeeths he collected in his Jaami’, commonly referred to as “Sunan at-Tirmithee”.

I say this because I could not find the hadeeth in Imaam at-Tirhmithee’s book, yet I found it in al-Hakeem at-Tirmithee’s book (2/36), without a chain. It is a long hadeeth with obvious signs of being fabricated, attributed to Aboo Hurayrah, from the Prophet (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace). Al-‘Iraaqee declared the hadeeth to be weak in al-Mughnee fee Haml al-Asfaar.

3. Based on these two points, to judge the hadeeth to be “sound” is an obvious error, and Allaah knows best. Moreover, the hadeeth has been identified by the scholars as a fabrication.

4. Without going into further details about the other claims made, I will quote the words of Ibn Qayyim al-Jowziyyah from his book, al-Manaar al-Muneef (pp.80-83), where he discussed a number of guidelines that can be used to identify lies attributed to the Prophet (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace):

…And from these [guidelines] is that the report contradicts explicit passages of the Qur’aan, like the hadeeth about the length of the dunyaa, that it is 7000 years, and that we are in the seventh thousand. This is from the most obvious of lies, since had it been authentic, everyone would know that there can only remain 251 years! [Ibn al-Qayyim likely wrote this around the year 749] How can this be so when Allaah has said (what means), “They ask you about the Hour, when will it come? Say: ‘Knowledge of it is only with my Lord. None can reveal its time other than Him. Its affair is heavy throughout the heavens and earth. It shall not come upon you except suddenly (without warning).’ They ask you about it as if you know about it! Say: Its knowledge is only with Allaah.” [al-A’raaf 7:187] And Allaah has said, [what means], “Verily with Allaah is knowledge of the Hour.” 

We can further testify to the correctness of Ibn al-Qayyim’s argument, “…Everyone would know that there can only remain 251 years!” since we are now living 680+ years after he said that!

I hope this helps clarify the falsehood of the claim in question, and Allaah knows best.

Written by: Moosaa Richardson

ST Archives – Nov. 12, 2009

3 thoughts on “A Hadeeth Which Defines When the End of the World Happens? [The World Will Only Exist for 7000 Years?]

  1. Assalaam alaikum,

    this might be slightly offtopic, but since you studied (or are studying) the sciences of hadeeth and this topic is linked to the sciences of hadeeth I was wondering whether the story of Said bn Aamir is authentic? I couldn’t really find something on the internet beside someone mentioning the story can be found in al-hilyah.

    Ahsanallaahu ilayk.

  2. As-Salaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullah. A had more of a question as to if you have read the book, “Signs of the Last Day” by: Imaam Ibn Kathir (Rahimullah). Are the Hadith that the Imam used in the book pointing towards the signs of the Last Day authentically attributed to the Messenger of Allah {salallahu alayhi wasalam}. I keep hearing people say there r mistakes with certain hadith that the Imam ibn Kathir (Rha) used in his tafsir of Qur’an so I can’t help but to contemplate & question if some narrations mentioned in the book may not be authentic, fabricated or weak hadith. Please reply 2my question? JAzakhala Khaiyran.

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