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Al-Qur'an and Eschatology: Surah of Divine Sovereignty

~ We begin with the Blessed Name of the Incomparable One, the One and Only ~

Surah al-Mulk is the 67th Chapter of the Qur'an

In this Chapter of the Qur'an there are few categorical question made by the Qur'an to the reader, i.e. to all and any member of humanity for whom the Qur'an or the Final Divine Communication is revealed.

From Eschatological analysis, these questions and the subject matters of those questions are consistent with the Eschatological Signs prophesied by the Last Prophet, Muhammad Mustafa (s). These are incidents that will occur towards the final stages of time before history ends and time as we know it folds.

First of these questions is the 16the Sign of the Surah.

Do you feel secured that He Who is in Heaven will not cause the earth to swallow you, shaking it to pieces and overwhelm you? 67:16

Rapid increase of earth quake / seismic activities across the globe and sinking of earths of various parts of the world are now commonly acknowledged physical and scientifically observed phenomena. This is just the beginning. What is mentioned in the Qur'an as a rhetorical question exposes and confirms some of the eschatological signs also communicated through the hadith literature.

The Hour will not be established until ... earthquakes will be very frequent. (Bukhari)

There are two great incidents before the Day of Judgment ... and then years of earthquakes. (Narrated by Umm Salama (r.a.)
Among the major signs before the establishment of the Final Hour is great sinking of earths, one in the east, one in the Arabian peninsula and one in the west.

In other places of the Qur'an we also find reference to earthquake and shaking of the earth as Signs of end times.

As next rhetorical question we read in the same Surah:

Or do you feel secure that He who [holds authority] in the heaven would not send against you a storm of stones / a sandy whirlwind? Then you would know how was My warning. 67:17

There among the Signs prior to end of history we possibly can expect such incidents of storm of stones or massive sandy whirlwind / super tornadoes in unprecedented scale and damage.

The next question is a very important one from the perspective of seeking protection in the akhiruzzaman or the later ages of history. There may be situation and temptations to place our hope and plan upon illusions, materialism, upon anything other than Allah in the disguise of this strategy or that strategy. Yes effort and strategy are important to stay safe, but may that never overshadow the tawakkul Allah or trust in God.

Those who are interested in Eschatology often get caught up in feeble planning while ignoring the truth: la hawla wa la quwwata illa biLlah, there is no power / might and transformation except with / by Allah. Planning is necessary but before that there need this firm conviction upon the truth that protection can come only from Allah and specially in the age of trial and tribulation of later time this must be kept in mind and heart and soul in even greater magnitude.

This is very much spoken in the next Sign of the Surah:

Who is it that will defend you like an entire army, if not the Merciful? Truly, the ungrateful deniers of truth are in nothing but delusion. 67:20

Another great challenge of the later age will be corruption of food system, a destruction and corruption of agriculture. In the name of genetic modification and industrial scale corruption of organic life forms we will end up with GM crops that are devoid of Divine blessings and are cancerous. These GM crops are designed to help drive profit of few corporations but will destroy organic and native seeds. This coupled with geo-engineering and destruction of natural environment is bound to cause the natural blessings of Sustenance to withdraw. Thus we read in the eschatological literature about famine and ecological disaster in terms of withdrawal of rain, drying up of fresh water sources and massive drought. Human beings in their sheer arrogance and stupidity are already destroying fresh water sources by polluting them in mass scale, by dumping industrial toxic in them and by dumping sewage into the very source of life.

On this subject the next question is posed:

Who will provide for you if He withholds His sustenance? Yet they persist in arrogance and in rebellion. 67:21

The Surah ends with a similar question, now directly on the very substance that makes life possible on earth, the very precious substance called water.

Think: if all the water that you have were to sink down into the earth, who would give you running water in its place? 67:30

Then finally just before the final rhetorical question we are given some quick but decisive snap shot that fast forward us towards the end of history and what we must face before the One True Sovereign King, the Divine One.

Say: It is He Who has brought you into being and give you ears and eyes and hearts. Yet you are seldom thankful. It was He Who placed you on the earth, and before Him you shall all be assembled.

They Ask: 'When will this promise be fulfilled, if what you say be true?'

Say: "Allah alone has knowledge of that. My mission is to warn you plainly."

But when they see it drawing near, the faces of the deniers of truth will be gloom and sorry and a voice will declare: "This is the doom which you have challenged." 67:23-27

We seek refuge in the Lord of Mercy, except Whom there is no refuge. May Allah / Elohim / Hashem / G-D save us from the trials and tribulations of the later age, may Allah help us to recognize truth as truth and deception as deception.  Amen.

SIDENOTE: On the Significance of Surah Mulk (also known as Surah Tabaruk)

The Messenger of Allah (s) said, “I wish that “Blessed is the Dominion” would be in the heart of every believer.” (Al-Hakim in Al-Mustadrak 1/253 and Qurtabi in his commentary 17/205.)

“It is a protector; a rescuer; saving from the chastisement of the grave.” (At-Tirmidhi and Al-Hakim.)

“Surah Tabaruk protects from the punishment of the grave.” (Ibn Mardawaya.)

“There is a Surah in the book of Allah it is but thirty passages which intercedes for a man on the day of judgement so that he taken out of the fire and entered into paradise; it is Surah the Blessed.” (Abu Dawud 1400, At-Tirmidhi 2891 and Ibn Majah 3876.)

“There is a Surah from the Book of Allah; it is only thirty passages; it intercedes for its reader until he is forgiven. Tabarak alldhi biyadihi l-Mulku." (Sura Mulk). (Narrated by Imam Ahmed, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nisai, Ibn Majah, Ibn Daris and Al-Hakim, authenticated by Ibn Mardaway and Al-Bayhaqi in Sha’ub Al-Iman.)



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Technology of the Heart: Al-Qur'an and Eschatology: Surah of Divine Sovereignty
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