Fatwa on the Millennium


Kashf ‘an mujawazat hadha al-ummah al-alf (Fatwa on the millennium) is a portion of a more comprehensive genealogical work, Lubb al-Lulab fi Tahrir al-Ansab (The essence of constructing genealogies). It treats the Last Days in Sunni eschatology. The fatwa (legal opinion) was stimulated by a question brought to the author, al-Suyuti (1445−1505), regarding the resurrection of the Prophet Muhammad within a thousand years of his death. Al-Suyuti states that many people are interested in the question of the millennium. He dismisses this belief, saying that it is based on a batil (faulty) tradition. He bases his ruling on the testimony of many trustworthy hadith transmitters, or those who heard the Prophet speak. In Islamic eschatology, the Last Days occur at an unspecified time. The end of the world includes sequences familiar to Christians but differs by introducing the figure of al-Mahdi. The Prophet Muhammad takes no part in the final events. The belief is baseless too, al-Suyuti claims, because the signs of the Yawm al-Qiyamah (Day of Resurrection) are lacking or have been altered by historical events. This manuscript is bound with three other works: The Hidden Secrets to Clear Thinking; Untitled Outline in Verse of Islamic Obligations; and Memorandum on the Question Posed by the Jew about Divine Fate. As with other works bound in this volume, the manuscript includes a page of jottings not associated with the author or subject of the text. In this case they pertain to the medical properties of roosters, with prescriptions for use of blood or body parts as remedies for barrenness, impotence, and other afflictions.

Last updated: August 24, 2016