May 18, 2024
volcanic activity global
This is the second part of the series "End Times Prophecies of the Qur'an". In this section, we are going to delve into one of the Qur'anic prophecies relat

This is the second part of the series “End Times Prophecies of the Qur’an“. In this section, we are going to delve into one of the Qur’anic prophecies related to geology and oceanography. Allah Almighty said:


وَإِذَا الْبِحَارُ سُجِّرَتْ

And the oceans would be set on fire.” [Qur’an, 81:6]

This short verse from Surah al-Takwir carries an ocean of information within it. The Surah describes major events of the Day of Judgement. Even the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said, “One who wishes to visualize the Qiyamah (Day of Judgement) with his own eyes, he should recite Surah Al-Takwir.

[Jami Al-Tirmidhi: H#3333]

Three literal meanings have been described by al-Mugfassiron (Interpreters of the Qur’an) of this very Ayah. Interestingly, all of these three meanings refer to three phases of the oceans happening at the end times. We shall discuss these three meanings in detail.

Rise of Sea Levels

One of the meanings of the Arabic phrase Sujjirat refers to the overflow or rise of oceans. Imam Abū Abdullāh Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad ibn Abī Bakr al-Anṣārī al-Qurṭubī (1214 – 29 April 1273 CE) says in his Tafsir of the said Ayah:


وإذا البحار سجرت أي ملئت من الماء ; والعرب تقول : سجرت الحوض أسجره سجرا : إذا ملأته ، وهو مسجور والمسجور والساجر في اللغة : الملآن . وروى الربيع بن خثيم : سجرت : فاضت وملئت . وقاله الكلبي ومقاتل والحسن والضحاك . قال ابن أبي زمنين : سجرت : حقيقته ملئت ، فيفيض بعضها إلى بعض فتصير شيئا واحدا . وهو معنى قول الحسن . وقيل : أرسل عذبها على مالحها ومالحها على عذبها ، حتى امتلأت . عن الضحاك ومجاهد : أي فجرت فصارت بحرا واحدا . القشيري : وذلك بأن يرفع الله الحاجز الذي ذكره في قوله تعالى : بينهما برزخ لا يبغيان ، فإذا رفع ذلك البرزخ تفجرت مياه البحار ، فعمت الأرض كلها ، وصارت البحار بحرا واحدا


When the seas overflow with water; and the Arabs say: ‘The basin overflowed,’ meaning, ‘It was filled.’ And the filled basin is termed ‘overflowed,’ and ‘filled’ and ‘overfilled’ in the language means ‘filled.’ Rabi’ ibn Khuthaym narrated: ‘Overflowed’ means ‘gushed forth and filled.’ Al-Kalbi, Muqatil, Al-Hasan, and Ad-Dahhak also said the same. Ibn Abi Zamaneen said: ‘Overflowed’ means its reality is ‘filled,’ so some of it spills over to the other until it becomes one thing. This is the meaning of what Al-Hasan said. It is also said: ‘He sent its sweet water over its salty water, and its salty water over its sweet water until it became full.’ This is from Ad-Dahhak and Mujahid: meaning it gushed forth and became one sea. Al-Qushayri said: ‘And that is when Allah lifts the barrier mentioned in His saying: ‘Between them is a barrier, so neither of them transgresses.’ So when that barrier is lifted, the waters of the seas gush forth, covering the entire earth, and the seas become one sea.”

It is a fact that sea levels are increasing, and the rate of sea level rise has accelerated in recent decades. There are several causes of the rise in sea levels, primarily driven by human-induced climate change. Here are the main factors contributing to rising sea levels:

  1. Melting of Glaciers and Ice Sheets: One of the primary contributors to sea level rise is the melting of glaciers and ice sheets, particularly in Greenland and Antarctica. As global temperatures increase due to greenhouse gas emissions, glaciers, and ice sheets are melting at an accelerated rate, adding freshwater to the oceans and causing sea levels to rise.
  2. Thermal Expansion of Sea Water: As the Earth’s atmosphere warms, so do the oceans. Warmer water takes up more space, causing the thermal expansion of seawater. This thermal expansion contributes to rising sea levels globally and is a significant driver of sea level rise.
  3. Loss of Ice from Greenland and Antarctica: The loss of ice from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets due to the melting and calving of icebergs is a significant contributor to sea level rise. Both Greenland and Antarctica have experienced accelerated ice loss in recent decades, contributing to rising sea levels.
  4. Land Subsidence: In some regions, land subsidence, or the sinking of land, can exacerbate the effects of sea level rise. Land subsidence can be caused by natural processes such as tectonic activity or human activities such as groundwater extraction and the extraction of oil and gas.
  5. Changes in Land Ice Mass: In addition to glaciers and ice sheets, changes in land ice mass from other sources, such as mountain glaciers and ice caps, also contribute to rising sea levels. The loss of ice from these smaller sources adds additional freshwater to the oceans, contributing to sea level rise.

Overall, the combination of these factors, driven primarily by human-induced climate change, is causing sea levels to rise globally. Rising sea levels have significant implications for coastal communities, ecosystems, and infrastructure, including increased coastal flooding, erosion, and saltwater intrusion into freshwater sources. Addressing the root causes of sea level rise requires concerted global efforts to mitigate climate change, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and adapt to the impacts of rising sea levels.

So the rise in sea level will accelerate at the end times according to the Qur’anic prophecy described in Surah al-Takwie(81:6). Ultimately the oceans will cover the lands resulting in the fusion of all the oceans forming a single sea around the Earth.

Rise in Global Temperature

The second meaning of the Arabic phrase Sujjirat refers to the rise in sea temperatures resulting in global warming. It has been observed by geologists that overall, sea temperatures have been increasing in recent decades. This phenomenon is primarily attributed to human-induced climate change, which is driven by the emission of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O) into the atmosphere. Here are some of the main causes of increasing sea temperatures:

  1. Greenhouse Gas Emissions: The burning of fossil fuels for energy, industrial processes, transportation, and deforestation releases large quantities of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. These gases trap heat from the sun, leading to a warming of the Earth’s surface, including the oceans.
  2. Ocean Absorption of Heat: The oceans act as a massive heat sink, absorbing more than 90% of the excess heat trapped by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This process of ocean heat absorption contributes to the warming of sea temperatures globally.
  3. Changes in Land Use and Land Cover: Human activities such as deforestation, urbanization, and agricultural expansion can alter land use and land cover, leading to changes in the amount of heat absorbed by the Earth’s surface. These changes can indirectly influence sea temperatures by affecting regional climate patterns and ocean circulation.
  4. Solar Radiation: Variations in solar radiation, including changes in the sun’s output and changes in Earth’s orbit and axial tilt, can influence global climate patterns and sea temperatures over long timescales. However, the current observed increase in sea temperatures is primarily driven by human-induced factors rather than natural variations in solar radiation.
  5. Ocean Circulation Changes: Changes in ocean circulation patterns, such as the weakening of ocean currents like the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), can affect the distribution of heat within the oceans and influence sea temperatures regionally and globally.

Overall, the increasing sea temperatures observed in recent decades are primarily driven by human-induced climate change, with greenhouse gas emissions being the primary contributor. Rising sea temperatures have significant implications for marine ecosystems, including coral reefs, fisheries, and ocean biodiversity, as well as for coastal communities and economies dependent on marine resources. Addressing the root causes of increasing sea temperatures requires concerted global efforts to mitigate climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Volcanos Everywhere

The third possible meaning of the aforementioned Ayah from Surah aAl-Takwir (81:6) is the same that has been adopted in the translation above. This translation has been adopted by a majority of al-Mufassiroon.

And the oceans would be set on fire.

This meaning has been attributed to Imam Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) and Abdullah ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him), as Imam al-Qurtubi mentioned.

When we reflect on this Ayah from a geologist’s viewpoint, it predicts increased volcanic activity around the globe. The melting of glaciers and changes in mass distribution on Earth’s surface can potentially influence tectonic activity and volcanic eruptions, although the direct causal relationships are complex and not fully understood. Here are some ways in which changes in mass distribution could potentially affect tectonic and volcanic processes:

  1. Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA): The melting of large ice sheets and glaciers can lead to a phenomenon known as glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA). As the weight of the ice is removed, the Earth’s crust beneath the former ice sheets slowly rebounds over time. This process can cause vertical movements of the Earth’s crust, which may in turn influence tectonic processes such as the movement of tectonic plates and the occurrence of earthquakes.
  2. Indirect Effects on Tectonic Activity: Changes in mass distribution resulting from glacial melting can also have indirect effects on tectonic activity. For example, changes in the distribution of surface water due to glacial meltwater runoff can affect stress patterns in the Earth’s crust and potentially trigger earthquakes in regions with active faults.
  3. Volcanic Activity: The redistribution of mass on Earth’s surface, including changes in the distribution of water and ice, can potentially influence volcanic activity. Changes in surface loading due to glacial melting or changes in water levels in reservoirs can affect the stress state of volcanic systems, potentially triggering volcanic unrest or eruptions. However, the specific mechanisms linking changes in mass distribution to volcanic activity are still under investigation.

Overall, while there is evidence to suggest that changes in mass distribution associated with glacial melting can potentially influence tectonic and volcanic processes, the relationships are complex and multifaceted. Further research is needed to better understand the connections between changes in Earth’s surface mass distribution and geophysical processes such as tectonics and volcanic activity.

Wakening of Dormant Volcanos

Geologists monitor and assess the activity of dormant volcanoes for signs of potential reawakening or unrest. While dormant volcanoes are not currently erupting, they have the potential to become active again in the future, posing hazards to nearby populations and environments. Geologists employ various monitoring techniques to detect changes in volcanic activity and assess the likelihood of future eruptions. These techniques may include:

  1. Seismic Monitoring: Geologists use seismometers to detect and record seismic activity, including earthquakes and volcanic tremors, associated with volcanic activity. An increase in seismicity near a dormant volcano may indicate magma movement beneath the surface, signaling a potential reawakening of the volcano.
  2. Gas Monitoring: Changes in gas emissions, such as the release of sulfur dioxide (SO2), carbon dioxide (CO2), and other volcanic gases, can provide clues about volcanic activity and magma movement beneath the surface. Monitoring gas emissions helps geologists assess the level of volcanic unrest and the likelihood of future eruptions.
  3. Ground Deformation Monitoring: Geodetic techniques, such as GPS measurements and satellite radar interferometry (InSAR), are used to monitor changes in ground deformation, including inflation or deflation of the volcano’s surface. These changes may indicate the movement of magma within the volcano’s plumbing system, providing insight into the volcano’s potential for reawakening.
  4. Geological Mapping and Field Surveys: Geologists conduct field surveys and geological mapping to assess the geological history and past eruptive behavior of dormant volcanoes. Understanding the volcano’s eruptive history and geological characteristics helps geologists evaluate its potential hazards and eruption scenarios.
  5. Remote Sensing: Remote sensing techniques, such as thermal imaging and satellite observations, are used to monitor changes in temperature and surface features associated with volcanic activity. These observations can provide valuable data for assessing volcanic unrest and potential hazards.

Based on these monitoring techniques and data analysis, geologists can issue warnings and advisories to local authorities and communities about the potential reawakening of dormant volcanoes and the associated hazards. Public awareness and preparedness are essential for mitigating the risks posed by dormant volcanoes and ensuring the safety of nearby populations.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has prophecied several events of volcanos reawakening at the end of times, in Hejaz (Saudi Arabia) and Eden (Yemen).

Hudhaifa b. Usaid al-Ghifari (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

Allah’s Apostle (ﷺ) was in an apartment and we were beneath that when he peeped in and said to us: What are you discussing? We said: (We are discussing about the Last) Hour. Thereupon he said: The Last Hour would not come until the ten signs appear: land-sliding in the east, and land-sliding in the west, and land-sliding in the peninsula of Arabia, the smoke, the Dajjal, the beast of the earth, Gog and Magog, the rising of the sun from the west and the fire which would emit from the Crater of Aden.

[Sahih Muslim: H#2901b]

Abu Huraira (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said:

The Last Hour would not come until fire emits from the earth of Hijaz which would illuminate the necks of the camels of the Bosra (Levant).

[Sahih Muslim: H#2902]

Ḥarrah Rahāṭ, known in Arabic as حَرَّة رَهَاط, stands as a vast volcanic lava field located within the Hejazi region of Saudi Arabia. This geological feature has garnered historical significance due to its volcanic activity, with notable eruptions documented throughout history.

Harrah, Hejaz Saudi Arabia

In 1256 CE, Ḥarrah Rahāṭ witnessed a significant eruption characterized by the expulsion of a sizable lava flow estimated at 0.5 cubic kilometers (0.12 cubic miles). This eruption originated from six aligned scoria cones, showcasing the volcanic activity’s concentrated nature. The lava flow from this eruption traveled an impressive distance of 23 kilometers (14 miles), reaching within a mere 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) of the revered Islamic holy city of Medina. This eruption stands out as the most recent recorded activity of Ḥarrah Rahāṭ.

Prior to the eruption in 1256 CE, Ḥarrah Rahāṭ experienced earlier volcanic events, including one in 641 CE. During this earlier eruption, finger-like lava flows were observed extending eastward from the area affected by the 1256 CE eruption. These historical eruptions serve as evidence of the volcanic activity’s sporadic nature over the centuries.

Ḥarrah Rahāṭ holds distinction as the largest lava field in Saudi Arabia, underscoring its geological significance within the region. The expanse of this lava field serves as a testament to the dynamic geological processes that have shaped the landscape of the Arabian Peninsula over millennia.

Adjacent to Ḥarrah Rahāṭ lies the Al Wahbah crater, another notable geological feature in the vicinity. This crater, formed by volcanic activity, stands as a prominent landmark within the region, further highlighting the geological diversity and significance of the Hejazi region in Saudi Arabia.

Overall, Ḥarrah Rahāṭṭ remains an important site for geological study and exploration, offering valuable insights into the volcanic history and processes of the Arabian Peninsula. Its historical eruptions and expansive lava flows serve as reminders of the region’s dynamic geological past and its ongoing interaction with volcanic activity.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) mentioned only the volcanos of the Arabian Peninsula. The predicted volcanic activity will prevail on the globe all around, including lands and oceans.

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