Non-Linearity of End Times Concept in Islamic Aqeedah

Many belief systems rely on attracting followers by foreshadowing upcoming events and relish in being harbinger of eschatological happenings since humankind is naturally and ever-presently is interested in “knowing and/or predicting the future”.

Today, many charlatans are regarded as “futurologists” and we watch documentaries about them, how in their twisted lunacy and haze, they “predicted” about where the world is heading.

The world is actually headed into one simple direction, which is “judgement day” where the sole owner of that day is Allah(j.j)

We created not the heavens, the earth, and all between them, but for just ends. And the Hour is surely coming (when this will be manifest). So overlook (any human faults) with gracious forgiveness. (Al-Hijr 15/85)

There is an important detail about warning humans about the end times in Islamic aqeedah. By Holy Quran ayats and myriad number of hadiths of Prophet Muhammad(saw), we are presented with what will happen to world societies “before” end times rather than chronological assumption of the actual calendrical date of end times.

Thus, End times concept is deliberately non-linear in Islamic aqeedah, perhaps to shift the focus from “fortune telling of worldly events unfolding” to “deterioration of social values in any society.”, therefore one of main principles of Islamic aqeedah can be established, which is to preserve social order in society.

For instance in one hadith, Prophet Muhammad(saw) warns us about the abundance of high-rise buildings and commonness of fornication are symptoms of “end times”. Such loss of ethical values and being engulfed in “construction business frenzy” as if world would never end can occur in any society in any time period. Here, the main focus is in the “norm of social values” rather than an attempt to foreshadow world history in a futurologist manner.

The exact knowledge of “final hour of end times” belong to Allah(j.j) and has not been granted to any mortal.

They ask thee about the (final) Hour – when will be its appointed time? Say: “The knowledge thereof is with my Lord (alone): None but He can reveal as to when it will occur. Heavy were its burden through the heavens and the earth. Only, all of a sudden will it come to you.” They ask thee as if thou Wert eager in search thereof: Say: “The knowledge thereof is with Allah (alone), but most men know not.” (Al-Araf 7/187)

Unfortunately today, many humans are interested in every kind of presentation of picturesque details and panoramas of doomsday-esque catastrophes, cataclysmic occurances and end of the world mysteries.

Islamic aqeedah has rich eschatology but researchers should note that the primary focus is to warn mankind about what kind of loss of social and ethical values will lead to “doomsday” rather than paranormal and celestial happenings that would lay the foundations of an entertaining “catastrophe” movie.

Islamic aqeedah warns us about not to lose our focus, rather than burying ourselves in “eschatological literature”.

It is a duty for every Muslim, to help to build and establish a better society that we can live in.

Such society is needed regardless of chronological and “forward direction” in passage of time, it was needed yesterday, it will be needed tomorrow as well.

Baris Tarimcioglu/





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