In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful…
In his explanation of Soorah an-Najm (pp.256-257), Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have Mercy on him) stated:
While we are in the fifteenth century and there have been fourteen centuries since the revelation of the Quran, Allaah has still mentioned the Hour (the Day of Judgment) as being close. From this, we can deduce that the entire lifespan of this worldly life is very long and far-reaching.
However, do we agree with those who falsely claim that the history of this world is such-and-such number of years?
The response: We do not accept their position. We do not believe them, nor do we declare them to be liars.
Sometimes they claim to have discovered some animal fossils or rocks that are such-and-such millions of years old. We do not believe these things nor reject them as lies, since they do not know the unseen matters of the past. They are merely making estimations based on modern observations of how things are influenced (i.e. what causes things to erode, decay, decompose, etc.). But who can tell us for sure that the modern things that influence matter (causing erosion and decomposition) are the exact same things that influenced matter in the past? We do not know!
The climate could have changed from warmer to cooler, or from cooler to warmer. Wind and rain conditions [could have changed as well], and other conditions.
Our stance on the claims we read and hear about from the scientific findings of those people is that we do not affirm nor deny them.
However, we must consider anyone who claims information about the future to be a liar, since he is claiming knowledge of the ghayb (unseen matters). Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, has said:
قل لا يعلم من في السماوات والأرض الغيب إلا الله
“Say: No one in the heavens or on earth knows the ghayb (unseen matters), other than Allaah.” [Soorah An-Naml, verse 65]
Based on this,
“The Aazifah (Near Event) has drawn close”
[Soorah an-Najm: verse 57]
This means that the Day of Judgment has drawn close. However, can we define its closeness (with a specific amount of time)? This is impossible. Anyone who claims that he knows when the Hour (the Last Day) will occur is someone who has rejected Allaah and His Messenger.
As for (his rejection of) Allaah, then Allaah, the Exalted, has said:
يسألك الناس عن الساعة قل إنما علمها عند الله وما يدريك لعل الساعة تكون قريبا
“They ask you about the Hour. Say: Knowledge of it is only with Allaah, and what will allow you to know that the Hour may be established soon?” [Soorah Al-Ahzaab, verse 63]
As for (his rejection of) the Messenger –may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace-, then Jibreel asked him about the Hour, and the Prophet –may Allaah raise his rank and gran thim peace- replied:
ما المسؤول عنها بأعلم من السائل
“The one being asked knows no more than the questioner.” [Agreed upon]
This means: Just as you do not know, I am like you (unaware of its appointed time).
So regarding anyone who claims that the Hour will be established after one million years, or 100,000 years, or more or less, we are required to consider him a liar and say: He is a kaafir (disbeliever), since he has rejected Allaah and His Messenger.
Translation by: Moosaa Richardson