Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Prophecy of Transportation

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
نحمده ونصلى على رسوله الكريم

The prophecies of Prophet Muhammad صلوات الله وسلامه عليه not only concern events but significant changes and developments in human civilization and technological progress. For centuries after the death of the Prophet صلوات الله وسلامه عليه the mode of transportation (riding beasts) remained the same without any change. Then with the onset of the industrial revolution less than two centuries ago, human civilization was transformed significantly with the development of modern modes of transportation, i.e., automobiles, trains, aircraft, etc. An indication of this evolution in the modes of transportation is in the Quran:
وَالْخَيْلَ وَالْبِغَالَ وَالْحَمِيرَ لِتَرْكَبُوهَا وَزِينَةً ۚ وَيَخْلُقُ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ۞
And (He created) horses, mules, and donkeys for you to ride them and (as) adornment. And He creates what you know not.
(Sura 16:8)
The word yakhluqu “He creates” is an imperfect verb, in the tense known as madare used for both present and future. This is highly significant, as it literally means Allah continues to create and will create in the future other things which we are not at present acquainted with nor have knowledge of, for the purpose of riding and adornment. More specific prophecies regarding modern modes of transportation can be found in the authentic Hadith of the Prophet صلوات الله وسلامه عليه:
سَيَكُونُ فِي آخِرِ أُمَّتِي رِجَالٌ يَرْكَبُونَ عَلَى السُّرُوجِ ، كَأَشْبَاهِ الرّحالِ يَنْزِلُونَ عَلَى أَبْوَابِ الْمَسْجِدِ
“There will be, in last of my Umma, men who ride saddles that resemble dwellings. They will alight at the doors of the mosque.”
(Musnad Ahmad and Sahih Ibn Hibban)
سَيَكُونُ فِي آخِرِ هَذِهِ الأُمَّةِ رِجَالٌ يَرْكَبُونَ عَلَى الْمَيَاثِرِ ، حَتَّى يَأْتُوا أَبْوَابَ مَسَاجِدِهِمْ
“There will be in the last of this Umma men who ride on mayathir till they come to the doors of their mosques.”
(Mustadrak al-Hakim)
Mayathir, plural of mithara, mean coverings made of silk or brocade that are placed over seats or saddles. Clearly, these means of transport which resemble saddles or wagons that are driven without being pulled by beasts of burden is a reference to the automobile. Remarkably, the Prophetصلوات الله وسلامه عليه also predicted the end of the use of riding beasts like the horse and camel:
وَتَكُونَ الْفَرَسُ بِالدُّرَيْهِمَاتِ ‏‏.‏ قَالُوا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَمَا يُرْخِصُ الْفَرَسَ قَالَ‏ لاَ تُرْكَبُ لِحَرْبٍ أَبَدًا
“Horses will be sold for mere dirhams.” They said, “O Allah’s Apostle, why will horses be so cheap?” He said: “They will never be riden for war again.”
(Sunan Ibn Maja #4077)
وَلَتُتْرَكَنَّ الْقِلاَصُ فَلاَ يُسْعَى عَلَيْهَا
“He will abandon the young she-camel so no one will show any interest in her.”
(Sahih Muslim: Kitab al-Iman)
These two Hadith are regarding the time of the end, when the Antichrist and true Messiah appear respectively. In the Quran too is a prophecy that the highly sought after she camel will one day be abandoned:
وَإِذَا الْعِشَارُ عُطِّلَتْ
And when the full-term she-camels are abandoned
(Sura 81:4)
The abandoning of something as valuable as the full-term she-camel was unimaginable in the time of the Prophet صلوات الله وسلامه عليه. Only now, as modern modes of transportation have all but replaced the riding beast can these Islamic prophecies be appreciated and understood, and Allah knows best.

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