8- When the stars are put out.
77-The Emissaries, 8
At the time of the descent of the Quran, people believed that the light
of the stars would last forever. This at a time when the inner structure
of the stars was a mystery and the fact that the energy of the stars would,
one day, be exhausted was not known. The Quran’s prediction about
the end of the stars is a miraculous statement.
2- When the planets are scattered.
82-The Shattering, 2
While the verses speak of the putting out of stars, the planets, not
light sources, will scatter. The Arabic word for a star is “najm,” while
“kavkab” is a planet. Given the fact that the planets are dependent on
a central star, when this star is no more, the planets will necessarily
scatter. (There have been translators who translated both words as
stars without heeding the difference between them.) Planets are not
light sources, therefore their extinction is out of question. The Quran
displays its miraculous attribute in all its statements.
1- When the sun is rolled.
81-The Rolling, 1
The Arabic word “takwir” refers to the wrapping of the turban
around the head in a spiral form; it also means the rolling or winding
of a thing into a ball or round mass, or around something. The scene
describes how the end of the sun will come. Like all the other stars,
our sun also consumes hydrogen atoms by transforming them into
helium atoms and releasing energy in the form of radiation, heat and
light. The transformation of hydrogen into helium stops with the
exhaustion of the hydrogen. Even without the effect of other potential causes, the sun will have to come to an end for this reason. Before
their extinction, the stars, according to their sizes, pass through such
phases as red giant, white dwarf or black hole. In view of its magnitude, our sun must turn first into a red giant before dying.
The sun has been a subject of worship in the history of mankind.
People who did not believe in the end of the universe considered the
sun itself to be an immortal divinity and thought that the universe and
the earth would last eternally; there have been those who believed in
the transmigration of souls everlastingly. Having eventually been convinced by scientific discoveries that the world was doomed to die one
day, the minds that idolized the sun and the belief in the eternal reincarnation cycle lost their support. The belief in the Hereafter described
in the Quran and the end of the universe are interconnected as the
stages of a system. Taking cognizance of the fact that the end of the
universe will eventually come has reinforced the belief in the Hereafter.
7- And verily the Hour is coming, no doubt about it, and
that God will resurrect those who are dead.
22-The Pilgrimage, 7
The description of the end of the universe in the Quran relating to
the end of the sun and of the world is given in striking colors. What
the people at the Prophet’s time knew about astronomy could not
possibly have permitted them to describe such occurrences. Muslims
who lived at the time of the revelation of the Quran believed in all
these, not because of scientific deductions but because they had faith
in the fact that it was easy for God, the Creator of the heavens and the
earth, to destroy them. All the statements of the Quran about the disappearance of the stars, the sun and the earth are corroborated today
by scientific discoveries.
EARTHQUAKES WITH BOILING SEAS
4- When the earth will be shaken up.
56-The Inevitable, 4
When the Hour comes, the entire earth will be shaken by a terrible
earthquake. The Quran says that the tremor will cause mountains to
be pulverized, and men will run to and fro in panic. As for the sea, we
have the following indications:
6- When the seas boil.
81-The Rolling, 6
3- When the seas are suffered to burst forth.
82-The Shattering, 3
An earthquake will pulverize mountains, hot lava will burst forth from
many corners of the earth. Volcanoes will erupt and lava will rise from
the sea. It is unlikely that the depiction of the end of the world was an
exaggeration of natural disasters that Muhammad experienced in his lifetime. The area where Hazrat Muhammad صلى-الله-عليه-و-آله-وسلم
lived was not on a major earthquake
fault-line, and those who spent most of their lives in the middle of desert,
most likely, never witnessed the eruption of a volcano in mid-ocean!
5- When the wild beasts are summoned.
81-The Rolling, 5
The Quran draws our attention to the herding together of animals.
We know today that animals react to a tremor even before we, as
human beings, realize it. For instance, in the zoo in Seattle Woodland,
the odd movements of elephants and the restlessness of gorillas in
their cages were observed before the earthquake was felt by human
beings. This is a domain in which further research studies are being
conducted. In view of this statement of the Quran, we think that this
research should be intensified.
3- And when the earth is flattened out.
4- And when it throws out whatever it contains and is empty.
84-The Splitting, 3-4
The contents of the earth, the magma, the molten rock, will rise to
the surface as lava, as described in the verses quoted.
The Quran would like us to turn our attention to the most serious
event of earth history to come. Advanced science has demonstrated
that the end of the world and the universe is inevitable. No one can
assert any longer that the stars and the sun will shine forever, and that
the universe and the earth will abide to eternity.
18- Are they waiting until the Hour comes to them suddenly? Its signs have already appeared. How can they benefit then when it has come upon them?