For Muslims, the Day of Judgment is an inevitable reality. Everything comes to an end, even celestial bodies.
Many of the events taking place on the Day of Judgment are mentioned throughout the Qur’an.
More recent research is beginning to reveal some of the science behind the verses in the Qur’an pertaining to the Day of Judgment.
In Surah 75 of the Holy Qur’an, entitled Al-Qiyamah, or The Resurrection, specific mention is made about the sun and the moon. Allah says, “So when vision is dazzled, and the moon darkens, and the sun and the moon are joined, Man will say on that Day, “Where is the [place of] escape?” (Qur’an 75:7-10).
The joining of the sun and the moon can imply a solar eclipse. But astronomers expect that there will be no more total solar eclipses on earth in a few hundreds of millions of years, while partial solar eclipses will be no more than a transit celestial event.
The sun is expanding and heading toward the end of its life. Like living organisms, the sun also has a beginning and an end, and a stage during its lifetime that can be considered its ‘prime’.
The sun is currently living its most stable stage. Stars the size of the sun have a stable life of approximately eight billion years, after which they head towards their demise. Being 4.5 billion years old, the sun is more than halfway through its stable lifetime.
After the completion of its half-life, the sun will expand outwards and become a red giant star. It will become so large that its diameter will reach Earth’s orbit. After its expansion, it will condense to become a ‘white dwarf’—a small, very dense star that is typically the size of a planet.
A white dwarf is formed when a low-mass star has exhausted all its central nuclear fuel and lost its outer layers as a planetary nebula.
This process is referred to as gravitational collapse and it tends to draw matter inward toward the center of mass. This theory offers a possibility that the “togetherness of the moon and the sun” could be a result of the gravitational collapse of the sun.
Research has found that the moon is moving 3.78 cm away from Earth every year, and could eventually edge its way out of our planet’s gravitational pull to be consumed by the sun.
Simultaneously, when the sun becomes a red giant star, the moon will fall under its influence before Earth since the diameter of the lunar orbit around the earth at that time will be 40% wider than its current orbit.
“And with Him are the keys of the unseen; none knows them except Him. And He knows what is on the land and in the sea. Not a leaf falls but that He knows it. And no grain is there within the darknesses of the earth and no moist or dry [thing] but that it is [written] in a clear record.” (Qur’an 6:59).
This article is from Science’s archive and we’ve originally published it on an earlier date.