This Dunyā Not Exceeding 7000 Years?

Shaykh Mūsá Richardson

An answer to a question about a ḥadīth reported by “Tirmidhī”, but is it the famous Imām al-Tirmidhī that we know of?
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And from these [guidelines] is that the report contraḍīcts explicit passages of the Qurʾān, like the ḥadīth about the length of the dunyā, that it is 7000 years, and that we are in the seventh thousand. This is from the most obvious of lies, since had it been authentic, everyone would know that there can only remain 251 years!

Ibn al-Qayyim likely wrote this around the year 749

A Questioner Stated:

Al-Ḥākim & al-Tirmidhī ḥadīth concerning jahanamiyyūn (those who go to fire but are Muslim). They will be in it like the extent of this world from the time it was created until the time it ends which is 7000 years.’  And this is a sound ḥadīth.

1. Not only is al-Ḥākim’s chain weak due to an unknown narrator who took the ḥadīth from ʿIkrimah, the actual wording is: “When the Messenger of Allāh (may Allāh raise his rank and grant him peace) arrived in al-Madīnah, the Jews were saying that this worldly life will last 7000 years.”

This is attributed to Ibn ʿAbbās.  Unless the intended ḥadīth is another one in al-Ḥākim’s book which I could not find, this ḥadīth can not establish such a claim, since (if it were authentic) it is merely what the Jews were saying, with no mention of an approval from the Messenger of Allāh (may Allāh raise his rank and grant him peace).

2. I believe the “Tirmidhī” being referred to is al-Ḥakīm at-Tirmidhī, not the famous “Imām at-Tirmidhī”.  There is a big difference. Al-Ḥakīm at-Tirmidhī [d.320] had a book called “Nawādir al-Uṣūl” with lots of weak and fabricated narrations. The scholars of ḥadīth consider a ḥadīth only referenced to his book to be an indication of its weakness.  Al-Imām at-Tirmidhī (d.279) was a great imām of ḥadīth praised by the likes of Imām al-Bukhārī and the imāms of the third century.  He judged the authenticity of the vast majority of the ḥadīths he collected in his Jāmiʿ, commonly referred to as “Sunan at-Tirmidhī”.

I say this because I could not find the ḥadīth in Imām at-Tirhmithee’s book, yet I found it in al-Ḥakīm at-Tirmidhī’s book (2/36), without a chain. It is a long ḥadīth with obvious signs of being fabricated, attributed to Abū Hurayrah, from the Prophet (may Allāh raise his rank and grant him peace).  Al-ʿIrāqī declared the ḥadīth to be weak in al-Mughnī fī Haml al-Asfār.

3. Based on these two points, to judge the ḥadīth to be sound is an obvious error, and Allāh knows best.  Moreover, the ḥadīth has been identified by scholars as a fabrication.

4. Without going into further details about the other claims made, I will quote the words of Ibn Qayyim al-Jowziyyah from his book, al-Manār al-Muneef (pp.80-83), where he discussed a number of guidelines that can be used to identify lies attributed to the Prophet (may Allāh raise his rank and grant him peace):

 …And from these [guidelines] is that the report contraḍīcts explicit passages of the Qurʾān, like the ḥadīth about the length of the dunyā, that it is 7000 years, and that we are in the seventh thousand.  This is from the most obvious of lies, since had it been authentic, everyone would know that there can only remain 251 years! [Ibn al-Qayyim likely wrote this around the year 749]  How can this be so when Allāh has said (what means), “They ask you about the Hour, when will it come?  Say: ‘Knowledge of it is only with my Lord.  None can reveal its time other than Him.  Its affair is heavy throughout the heavens and earth.  It shall not come upon you except suddenly (without warning).’  They ask you about it as if you know about it!  Say: Its knowledge is only with Allāh.” [al-Aʿrāf, 7:187]  And Allāh has said, [what means], “Verily with Allāh is knowledge of the Hour.”

We can further verify the correctness of Ibn al-Qayyim’s argument, “…Everyone would know that there can only remain 251 years!” since we are now living 680 years after he said that.

I hope this helps clarify the falsehood of the claim in question, and Allāh knows best.

Originally From: This dunya not exceeding 7000 years??

Published: November 20, 2009
Edited: July 28, 2022

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