Praise be to Allaah.
There are a number of ahaadeeth which indicate that the Qur’aan will be taken away at the end of time. Among these ahaadeeth are the following:
From ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood, who said: “Something will come and take the Qur’aan one night and not one aayah will be left, either in the Mus-haf or in the heart of any person, but it will be taken away.” (Narrated by al-Daarimi with a saheeh isnaad, no. 3209)
Al-Daarimi narrated with a different saheeh isnaad (no. 3207) that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood said: “Recite the Qur’aan much before it is taken away.” They said, “These Mus-hafs will be taken away! What about that which is (memorized) in men’s hearts?” He said: “Something will come and take it one night, and in the morning they will wake up without it. They will forget the phrase ‘laa ilaaha ill-Allaah’ and they will start to recite the sayings and poetry of the Jaahiliyyah. That is when the Word will be fulfilled against them.”
The phrase ‘That is when the Word will be fulfilled against them’ is a reference to the aayah (interpretation of the meaning):
“And when the Word (of torment) is fulfilled against them, We shall bring out from the earth a beast for them, to speak to them because mankind believed not with certainty in Our Ayaat (Verses of the Qur’aan and Prophet Muhammad)” [al-Naml 27:82].
Ibn Katheer said in his tafseer of this aayah:
This beast will emerge at the end of time when mankind becomes so corrupt that they neglect the commandments of Allaah and change the true religion. Allaah will bring forth for them a beast from the earth – it was said from Makkah, or from elsewhere – and it will speak to the people concerning that. Ibn ‘Abbaas, al-Hasan and al-Qutaadah said – and it was also narrated from ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib – (may Allaah be pleased with them all): it will speak to them, i.e., it will address them. ‘Ataa’ al-Khurasaani said – and it was narrated from ‘Ali and this was the view favourd by Ibn Jareer: it will speak to them and it will say to them, ‘mankind believed not with certainty in Our Ayaat’. There are some reservations about this interpretation, and Allaah knows best.
According to one report, Ibn ‘Abbaas said: the words tukallimuhum (to speak to them) means, it will wound them; according to another report he said: it will do both (i.e., speak to them and wound them). [The word Tukallim may mean either speak or wound. – Translator]. This is a good point with no contradictions, and Allaah knows best.
(Tafseer al-Qur’aan al-‘Azeem, 3/375-378)
Many ahaadeeth and reports have been narrated about the beast, such as the following:
It was reported that Hudhayfah ibn Usayd al-Ghiffaari said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) saw us from a room whilst we were talking about the Hour. He said: “The Hour will not come until you see ten signs: the rising of the sun from the west; the smoke; the beast; the emergence of Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj; the appearance of ‘Eesaa ibn Maryam (peace be upon him); the Dajjaal (“antichrist”); three landslides – one in the west, one in the east and one in the Arabian Peninsula; and fire which will emerge from the direction of ‘Aden and will drive – or gather – the people, stopping with them whenever they rest overnight or during the siesta hour.”
(Narrated by Imaam Ahmed, no. 46 – his version is his; also by Muslim, no 2901; Abu Dawood, no. 4311; al-Tirmidhi, no. 2183 - he said it is hasan saheeh; al-Nasaa’i, no. 1138; Ibn Maajah, no. 4055).
It was reported from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“There are three things which, when they appear, it will not benefit anyone to believe if he did not believe before: the Dajjaal, the beast and the rising of the sun from the west – or from the place where it sets.”
(Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, no. 3072; he said it is a saheeh hasan hadeeth).
It was reported from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“Hasten to do good deeds before six things come to pass: the rising of the sun from the place where it sets; the smoke; the Dajjaal; the beast; or personal calamities or general tribulations.”
(narrated by Muslim, no. 2947; Ibn Maajah, no. 4056, and others). There are many ahaadeeth which speak of the beast which will emerge at the end of time, but it would take too long to quote them all here. And Allaah is the Source of strength.
Further evidence that the Qur’aan will be taken away at the end of time is to be found in the report narrated by al-Tabaraani in al-Mu’jam al-Kabeer, no. 8698, according to which Ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) said:
“This Qur’aan will most certainly be taken away from amongst you.” He was asked: “O Abu ‘Abd al-Rahmaan, how will it be taken away when it is so deeply rooted in our hearts and is written in our mus-hafs?” He said: “Something will come to it at night, then there will be nothing left of it in people’s hearts or in the mus-haf, and the next morning the people will be like animals.” Then he recited the aayah (interpretation of the meaning): “And if We willed, We could surely, take away that which We have revealed to you (i.e. this Qur’aan). Then you would find no protector for you against Us in that respect” [al-Israa’ 17:86]. Ibn Hajar said in Fath al-Baari (13/16): its isnaad is saheeh but it is mawqoof. Al-Haythami said in Majma’ al-Zawaa’id, 7/329): its men are the men of saheeh, apart from Shaddaad ibn Ma’qil, who is thiqah. And it was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani.
This hadeeth is to be regarded as marfoo’, because it deals with something which is not subject to opinion or ijtihaad.
Imaam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Majmoo’ al-Fataawaa (3/198): “At the end of time, something will come to it at night in the mus-hafs and in people’s hearts, then there will not be left one word of it in people’s hearts or one letter of it in the Mus-haf.”
Allaah revealed the Qur’aan as a guidance to mankind and He guaranteed to protect it. It is the eternal miracle of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and it will remain, and people of earlier and later generations will learn from it and be guided by it, but at the end of time, just before the Hour comes, Allaah will take the souls of the believers, and there will be no one left on earth except the most evil of people. There will be no prayer, no fasting, no Hajj and no charity (zakaah). Then there will be no point in the Ka’bah being there or in the Qur’aan remaining among mankind, so Allaah will decree that the Ka’bah be destroyed at the hands of a kaafir from Ethiopia. Al-Bukhaari narrated in his Saheeh, no. 1519 that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The Ka’bah will be destroyed by Dhu’l-Suwayqatayn from Ethiopia.” And Allaah will take the Qur’aan away from the earth, and not one aayah of it will be left in the mus-hafs or in people’s hearts. Allaah will not permit His Book to remain on earth if it is not benefitting anyone and no one is acting in accordance with it. So this thing will come to pass.
This frightening event makes the sincere Muslim hasten to pay attention to the Book of Allaah, to learn it, memorize it, recite it and ponder its meanings, before the Book is taken away.
This is one of the tribulations that will happen at the end of time, concerning which our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“Hasten to do good deeds before tribulations come like patches of dark night, when a man will wake up as a believer and by evening he will be a kaafir, or in the evening he will be a believer and by morning he will be a kaafir, selling his religion for some worldly gains.” (narrated by Muslim, no. 169).
We ask Allaah to make us adhere firmly to His religion and to protect us from tribulations, both seen and unseen.