Despite all the information available that we use to formulate our facts, opinions, academic knowledge, and religious principles, knowledge still has its limits for human beings.
One of Allah’s attributes is Al-Hakim (The Wise). The Angels said concerning Allah’s wisdom: “Glory to Thee, of knowledge we have none, save what Thou hast taught us. In Truth, it is Thou Perfect in knowledge and wisdom.” (Qur’an 2:32)
Allah, The Exalted, has conveyed to us, “Verily. The knowledge of the Hour is with Allah (alone)…” (Qur’an 31:34) Yet, Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) has given us a divine awareness into the language of prophecies. In a hadith translation of Sahih Bukhari as narrated by Salim bin Abdullah states: "My father said, I heard Allah’s Apostle stated, the period of your stay as compared to the previous nations is like the period equal to the time between the ‘Asr prayer and sunset." The people of the Torah were given the Torah, and they acted (upon it) till midday. Then, they were exhausted and were given one Qirat (of gold) each. And then, the people of the Gospel were given the Gospel, and they acted (upon it) till the ‘Asr prayer. Then, they were exhausted and were given one Qirat each. And then, we were given the Qur’an, and we acted (upon it) till sunset, and we were given two Qirats each. On that, the people of both the Scriptures said, "O our Lord! You have given them two Qirats and given us one Qirat, though we have worked more than they." Allah said, "Have I usurped some of your rights?" They said, “No." Allah said: "That is My blessing I bestow upon whomsoever I wish."
A similitude of this interpretation presents the favor of Allah, The Most High, to the people of the Torah. They had the lengthiest time to work and propagate the message. In the divine chronology of time, they worked to the time between Fajr to Zuhr.
The people of the Injil received the honor to propel the spirit of truth. They worked to the time between Zuhr to ‘Asr, and afterward, they became fatigued and abandon their labor.
The Muslims took up the divine challenge and the Prophet (pbuh) prophesied, that the Muslims will work to the time between ‘Asr until sunset (Maghrib), up till the time of judgment, the conclusion of things when the sun declines on this material world.
The statement of Allah, The Most High, had reminded us in the Qur’an that ‘Asr is the most important time of the day: “ Guard strictly your (habit of ) prayers, especially the middle prayer. And stand before Allah in a devout (frame of mind).” (Qur’an 2:238)
Most Qur’anic authorities recognize that this Ayah is relating to the mid-afternoon (‘Asr) prayer. The time of ‘Asr signifies the last stage of the day during the height of commercial enterprises and movement. This makes the offering of the Asr prayer the most difficult prayer to make of all the five prayers. This analogy is to the Ummah of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) who will have the most demanding task and given the shortest time to work. This also emphasized the seriousness of the time that we are living in, considering the divine chronology of time.
The language of prophecies indicates that the divine chronology of time of ‘Asr and the prophet’s Ummah will work until sunset (Maghrib), the time preceding Allah’s judgment. Allah Apostle said (pbuh): “The hour will not be established, till the sun rises from the West. And when it rises (from the West) and the people see it, they all will believe. And that is (the time) when no good will it do to a soul to believe then.” Then he recited the whole Ayah (6:158) “Are they waiting to see if the angels come to them, or thy Lord (Himself), or certain of the signs of thy Lord! The day that certain of the signs of thy Lord do come; no good will it do to a soul to believe in them then, if it believed not before nor earned righteousness through its faith. Say “Wait ye: we too are waiting.”
Everything in creation is subjugated to the Laws of Time, but there is no time on Allah. Our Holy Book reveals that everything will perish, except the Face (presence) of Allah. Human beings experience their realities in three-dimensional time: Length, width, and depth. Some philosophers introduce time as a fourth dimension, as they argue that time is the measurement of a conscious state of reality. If so, one can claim that these dimensions work in harmony to give rise to yet a higher dimension that only human beings can reach, and that is the dimension of spiritual consciousness.
Our Holy Prophet (pbuh) has warned us with absolute truthfulness about the time of today's realities, as narrated by Anas: “ I will narrate to you a Hadith and none other than I will tell you about it after. I heard Allah’s Apostle said: ‘ From among the portents of the Hour are (the following): “ 1. Religious knowledge will decrease (by the death of religious learned men). 2. Religious ignorance will prevail. 3. There will be a prevalence of open illegal sexual intercourse. 4. Women will increase in number and men will decrease in number so much so, 50 women will be looked after by one man.”
The Prophet (pbuh) said, “O follower of Muhammed! By Allah, if you know what I know, you would weep much and laugh little.”
Imam Ivan G. Nassar is a Cleveland base Islamic freelance writer. His research cover Islamic history, culture, and civilization. He has written other articles that have appeared in the following publications: The Cleveland Plain Dealer, The Muslim Journal, The Muslim Observer, The Sacred Journey, The Akron Reporters, The Cleveland Monitor, The Cleveland Call and Post, Al Jumuah Magazine and IslamiCity. He has also contributed a chapter to a book: Title ' Illuminations' [Expressions of Personal Spiritual Experience] and has contributed a chapter to a book title: ' Cleveland Stories' published by Kent State University.