CAIRO - As the world rattles with Mayan prophecies of the doomsday on Friday, December 21, a Malaysian deputy minister urged people not to follow those beliefs blindly as contradicting with the teachings of Islam.
"There is no reason for Muslims to believe in the Mayan prophecy, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Mashitah Ibrahim told the New Straits Times on Tuesday, December 18.
"It is haram (prohibited) for Muslims to believe in predictions."
Texts inscribed on stone tablets by the Maya civilization say that the doomsday will occur on December 21, 2012.
The myth is based on the Mayan calendar which marks the end of a 5,126 year old cycle around December 12, 2012.
A chorus of books and movies has sought to link the Mayan calendar to rumors of impending disasters ranging from rogue black holes and solar storms to the idea that the Earth's magnetic field could 'flip' on that date.
The disaster movie 2012, released last year, is based on the myth that the world will end with the Mayan calendar in 2012.
It sees a series of geological and astrological disasters plunging the world into chaos.
But archaeologists say there is no evidence the Maya ever made any such prophesy.
Mashitah noted that believing in such a prophecy could undermine one's faith.
"In Islam, it is an obligation for followers to believe in the end of the world, or qiamat, as it is referred to in the Quran, she said.
"But the Quran and Prophet Muhammad never taught us to forecast the date"
Even the Prophet was not told by God when qiamat would happen and he never tried to predict it.
Judgment Day Signs
The Malaysian deputy minister noted that Muslims are taught to identify signs of the Last Day to prepare themselves for the hereafter.
"The signs of qiamat and that it is nearing should be used by Muslims to strengthen their ibadah (worshipping) or good deeds, Mashitah said.
"The Prophet, in his hadith had said as qiamat nears, Muslims should increase their ibadah (worshipping). It was not to instill fear in the people.
"The Prophet had said that even when signs of qiamat are right in front of us, we should make use of the time to do ibadah as it would be the last opportunity to do so."
Throughout the history of the world, each civilization has believed in a catastrophic event that would befall them.
In Islam, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) mentioned a few signs of the Last Day.
The signs include; barefooted shepherds will compete in owning tall buildings, wine (intoxicants) will be consumed in great quantities and that Arabia will become a land of gardens and rivers.
Other signs include increasing earthquakes and bloodshed, women far outnumbering men and power will be in the hands of those who do not deserve it.
There are a number of other signs too that come right before the end of time like sunrise from the West and the discovery of talking animals.
Allah Almighty has kept that date a secret. Not a human, angel, or prophet has ever been privy to that knowledge.
Anyone who promulgates this false message of 2012 as being the end of our world is committing a grave disservice to their own souls as well as the greater community around them.