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Readings from Miftah al-Ma`ani – 1

1. Since Allah cannot be tormented, the hadith has been declared by some scholars as one of the consimilar type (mutashaabih), which cannot be further explained. However, some have treated the word as a metaphor and should be understood as something that He disapproves. (Mulla `Ali Qari, Sharh Mishkat)

2. “Dahr” in Arabic covers the time which began from the moment of creation of the world and will last until its extinction (Mir`aatu al Mafaateeh). That is, men curse the Time out of their belief that good and bad are caused by the vicissitudes of Time. (Mulla `Ali Qari, Sharh Mishkat)

3. “Anaa al-Dahr,” that is “I, the Lord God of the universe, am the creator of Time, the cause of its vicissitudes, the Alterer, the Molder.” The unbelievers apart, even some of the uneducated believers, unable to blame Allah for evil things that happen to them, blame and curse the Time. (Mulla `Ali Qari, Sharh Mishkat)

Ibn Hazm and his followers believed that Al-Dahr is one of Allah’s Names; but Qadi `Iyad and other scholars have refuted him (Ibn Jawzi, Kashf al-Mushkil, and Zarqani in Sharh Muwatta’) – because the words of some narrations are, “I alter its night and day,” that is, night and day of the Dahr, which would mean He alters Himself, which is absurd.

Man’s cursing the Time torments Allah: Imam Shafe`ee commented that during pre-Islamic times, the Arabs often cursed the Time when a calamity befell them. They would say, ‘Time destroys us,’ meaning the nights and days, or would say, ‘they were struck by the vicissitudes of Time,’ or, ‘the Time extinguished them.’ In short, they blamed the turns of night and day for the happenings. Consequently, they blamed the Time for ruining them and doing things unwelcome. So the Prophet said, ‘Do not curse Time,’ because it is Allah who ruins them and does things to them. Your cursing of Time is like cursing Allah Himself who is the prime-mover of the happenings (that affront you).” – (Mulla `Ali Qari, Ahadith al-Qudsiyyah al Arba`eeniyyah)

Dahriyyah: This is a group of unbelieving people from among the philosophers, believers in transmigration of the soul, deniers of a Creator, believers in the idea that every sixty-three thousand years everything in creation returns to its original state (and the cycle restarts). They believe that the cycle of creation and annihilation goes on unendingly. It is they who said, ‘None but Time destroys us’ (24: 45)’” – (Mir`aatu al Mafaateeh)

Dahr is the root word of “Dahriyyah” which is applied to a freethinker or atheist, or, in our times to Naturalists, that is, those who attribute events to Nature’s actions. From this, we have Darwinian Theory which claimed that it was Natural Selection which was responsible for the appearance of newer species, culminating with Man. But, after a brief popularity, it seems to be packing up its bits and pieces for departure. The very concept of Natural Selection is being questioned. Lynn Margulis and Dorian Sagan attack the concept of Natural Selection in their work Acquiring Genome (Basic Book, USA, 2002):

“What does the selecting in natural selection? Just as many modern evolutionists permit themselves an unscientific vagueness about the role of natural selection in evolution, they also remain vague about the identity of the natural selector. It is all too easy to wave one’s arm and say, “the environment selects, the fittest survive.” What does “fit” really mean? What part of the environment selects? How far does the environment extend? Questions like these tend to be answered only in generalizations or in an ad hoc manner, case by case. A staunch resistance to any systematic effort to identify the agent, or agents, of natural selection takes place.”

Many realize that if there is a selection, the Selector is none else than God, but it is a term which is taboo in the scientific community (Au).

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