Question: Some people say, “We have been sent to this world in order to be tested. Therefore, no clear signs that will harm this test can appear. For example, the sun will not rise in the west. It must be interpreted as the spread of Islam from the West. As for Dabbat-ul-ard, it must be interpreted not as a beast that will stamp the foreheads of humans with a seal as it was stated in ahadith, but as the AIDS virus. Not everybody can recognize Mahdi when he appears because he will not come accompanied by musical instruments. Even if all the ahadith about the signs of Doomsday, such as the coming of ‘Isa and Mahdi, are sound and authentic in terms of chains of reporters, they are contrary to the soul of the Qur’an. Hence, they must be interpreted by adapting them to the soul of the Qur’an.” On the one hand they say the ahadith are not credited even if they are sound and authentic in terms of chains of reporters, but on the other hand they say they must be interpreted in a different way. Is it not a contradiction?
Saying, “The ahadith are not credited even if they are sound and authentic in terms of chains of reporters,” means, “These statements were uttered by the Messenger of Allah, but he said them wrongly.” Disbelieving the well-known ahadith whose chains of reporters are sound and authentic may lead a person even to kufr [disbelief]. Secondly, is it that scholars of hadith could not understand that we were sent in order to be tested and the ahadith were in contradiction to the Qur’an (never!) but that today’s upstarts know them? They, in order to demolish the religion, are trying to interpret the Qur’anic verses and prophetic utterances incorrectly.
Why will the signs of Doomsday that were stated in hadith-i sharifs harm the test? Is a test harmed when an extraordinary event occurs, or when mujiza or karama is seen? It is written in religious books that about a thousand miracles of our master the Prophet were seen. Despite these, Abu Jahl, Abu Lahab, many other polytheists did not believe him. This means to say that such phenomena as mujiza and karama do not harm the trial. Moreover, it is not said that people must have faith when they appear. On the contrary, it is said the period of time allotted for the trial has come to an end, and believing from then on will no longer accepted.
It is purported in the Qur’an al-karim:
(On the day when some of the signs of your Lord come, believing then will be of no avail to a person who did not believe before, or who did not earn some good through his faith.) [Surat-ul-An’am 158]
Our master the Prophet explained three of the signs stated in this verse as follows:
(Doomsday will not come before the sun rises in the west. Then all people will believe, but their belief will be of no avail to them.) [Bukhari, Muslim]
(When these three things appear, believing then will be of no avail to a person who did not believe before or who did not earn some good through his faith: the sun’s rising in the west, Dajjal, and Dabbat-ul-ard.) [Tirmidhi]
Some people say that the sun’s rising in the west must be interpreted as Europeans’ converting to Islam. If so, when Europeans become Muslims, will they not benefit from faith?
It is logically and scientifically possible for the sun to rise in the west. No interpretation is needed. Allahu ta’ala may disrupt the Earth’s usual orbit and create a new orbit for it. When its path is changed, the sun is seen as having risen in the west.
Our master the Prophet said that hadith-i sharif in Arabia. Considering the geographical location of Arabia, the west to it is not Europe, but Africa. If it were given the meaning that people in Africa will become Muslims, at least it would be less wrong. Europe lies to the west of Turkey, and Turkey lies to the west of Asia. For each country, the country that lies to the west of it is different. The West’s converting to Islam means the whole world’s converting to Islam. There is not a country that is not in the west because the earth is spherical. It is obvious how illogical and nonsense this interpretation is.
The hadith-i sharif says, “Once the sun rises in the west, the door of repentance will be closed. Faith will be of no avail to a person who believes then.” Now, according to the nonsense interpretation, why will the door of repentance be closed when Africa or Europe or the whole world convert to Islam? [According to their interpretation] The door of repentance is closed, and faith is of no avail to person when he or she believes. Then how can they become Muslims? Surely a person who has provided a different interpretation for the former can also find one for this hadith-i sharif as well. However, the ahadith of our master the Prophet are not like crosswords or riddles. All of them, except mutashabihat, are as they were stated. They are not of the type, “If I say ‘an apple’, understand it as a banana. If I say ‘an old woman’, understand it as a girl.” Did our master the Prophet talk in riddles (never!)?
Likewise, people who say, “Salat is supplication. There is no such thing as namaz,” have sprung up. Making interpretations, they strive to demolish the religion.
It is incorrect to say that the beast mentioned in the Qur’an al-karim is the disease called AIDS.
(When that Word befalls them, [when the signs of Doomsday appear], We will bring forth for them a beast from the earth. That beast will tell them that humans did not firmly believe in Our âyât.) [Surat-un-Naml 82, Tafsir-i Qurtubi]
There are many hadith-i sharifs about Dabbat-ul-ard. Of the hadith-i sharifs written in the books Faraid-ul-fawaid, Mukhtasar-i Tadhkira-i Qurtubi, Magharib-uz-zaman and Al–Qawl Al-Mukhtasar fi Alamat Al-Mahdi Al-Muntazar, some are as follows:
(Dabbat-ul-ard has four feet like the feet of a camel and wings like a bird. Its head is like the head of an ox. Its ears are like the ears of an elephant. Its tail is like the tail of a ram.)
(Dabbat-ul-ard will touch a Believer with the staff of Musa. Then “He is destined for Paradise” will be written on his forehead, and his face will be illuminated. It will hit a disbeliever with the seal of Sulaiman. Then “He is destined for Hell” will be written on his forehead, and his face will blacken.)
(People will get away from this beast. Some people, being afraid of it, will begin to perform salat. The beast will come up to him and stamp his face, saying, “O the person, are you performing salat now?” Thus, Believers will be distinguished from disbelievers, and they will be recognized.)
Hadrat Mahdi will not come accompanied by musical instruments, but an angel from the sky will announce his coming, so the whole world will hear about it. Two hadith-i sharifs purport:
(There will be a cloud just above Mahdi’s head. An angel from the cloud will say, “This is Mahdi. Follow what he says.”) [Abu Nu’aym]
(Doomsday will not come until a person from my ahl-i bait rules over the world. He has a broad forehead and an aquiline nose. When the earth is filled with cruelty, he will fill it with justice. He will reign for seven years.) [Muslim] (Which one of those who introduce themselves as the Mahdi has filled the earth with justice?)
Hadrat Imam-i A’zam stated:
“We believe [without giving them a figurative sense] that Gog and Magog’s emerging, the sun’s rising in the west, Hadrat ‘Isa’s descent from the sky, the coming of the Dajjal, and all other signs before Doomsday will take place in due course in exactly the same way as they were stated in hadith-i sharifs” [Fiqh-i akbar].
To provide different meanings for the signs of Doomsday is contrary to the statement of Imam-i A’zam. None of the Islamic scholars did so. To attempt to interpret them differently despite these facts is another way of saying “We do not believe in them, but we cannot profess our disbelief openly.”