Imam Malik (rahmatullah ‘alayh) had great respect and love for Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and Madina Munawwarah. He once wanted to perform Nafl Hajj but feared that he might die whilst on his journey for Hajj. It was his deep-hearted desire to die in Madina Sharif.
In a dream, he saw Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and told him of his wish to die in Madina Sharif, and he asked Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) as to how long he would live. Rasulullah (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) showed his five fingers to Imam Malik (rahmatullah ‘alaihi).
Not understanding the meaning of this dream, Imam Malik (rahmatullah ‘alaih) wrote an anonymous letter to Shaykh Ibn Sirin (rahmatullah ‘alayh), who was the renowned and distinguished interpreter of dreams in his time.
On reading the dream, Ibn Sirin (rahmatullah ‘alayh) said that only Imam Malik (rahmatullah' alaih) could have had such a dream. He then gave the interpretation, saying that the dream referred to an Ayah (verse) of the Qur'an Sharif in which five things are mentioned —which are in the exclusive knowledge of Allah Ta'ala alone.
Allah Ta’ala states in the Qur'an Sharif:
“Indeed, Allah alone has the knowledge of the Hour. He sends down the rain, and knows what is in the wombs. No soul knows what it will earn for tomorrow, and no soul knows in what land it will die. Surely Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware.”
[Surah Luqman 31:34]
To briefly explain these five things as mentioned in this Ayah (verse):
THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE HOUR
- The exact year and time remain unknown to us.
- In the famous Hadith-e-Jibrl, where Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was questioned about Islam, Iman and Ihsan, he was also asked: “So inform me about the Hour (i.e. Qiyamah).”
Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) replied: “The one being questioned is not more knowledgeable than the one asking the question.” (meaning: neither do I know nor you know.)
- Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) conveyed many signs indicating the last day's proximity. These signs have been categorised as minor signs and major signs. All the minor signs have come to pass. Soon to follow are the major signs of Hazrat Mahdi, Dajjal, the descension of Hazrat ‘Isa (عليه السلام), etc.
HE SENDS DOWN THE RAIN
- Weather bureaus predict rainfall. However, this is EXPECTED rainfall.
Allah Ta'ala does not talk about expected rain but refers to the absolute and complete details of rain :
♦The exact time when the rainfall will commence.
♦The exact details of the land, city or farm which will receive this rain.
♦How much rain is going to fall, i.e. the exact amount.
♦Whether the rain will be beneficial or destructive.
If we had such detailed knowledge, we would be able to prepare ourselves for floods and damage.
- All the scientific instruments of the world cannot give us such details.
AND HE KNOWS THAT WHICH IS IN THE WOMBS
- Whether that child will be born or whether the mother-to-be will miscarry.
The most science can do is inform one as to whether the child will be a boy or a girl, which is not always 100%. Even if they advance to the level of 100 % certainty, then too, they cannot predict details such as :
♦The child's life span and the sustenance they will receive.
♦ Whether the child will be black or white, whether the child will live a life of health or ill health. Whether the child will be a doctor, Aalim, teacher, etc.
♦ Whether the child will be a blessing for the parents or a curse.
NO PERSON KNOWS WHAT HE WILL EARN TOMORROW
- The detailed knowledge of exactly what a person will be able to do.
- All we can do is plan. However, we should not trust those plans. Anything can happen, an accident, death, war, revolution, etc., which then changes those plans. All plans are subject to Allah Ta'ala's confirmation.
- This part of the Ayah (verse) also refers to wealth, i.e. exactly how much money a person will earn for that day.
AND NO PERSON KNOWS IN WHICH LAND HE WILL DIE
- Sulaiman (عليه السلام) was given the Kingdom of the world and the power to control and rule over everything —even the winds and the animals.
A simple man was once in the presence of Sulaiman (عليه السلام) when a stranger came before him. The stranger stared at the person in such a manner that he was overwhelmed with fear and anxiety. He quickly requested Sulaiman (عليه السلام) to send him to a distant land.
Sulaiman (عليه السلام) commanded the wind to take the man where he wanted to go.
The following day Sulaiman (عليه السلام) met the stranger who was Israil (‘alayhis salam) and asked him why he had created such fear in a Muslim by staring at him. Israil (عليه السلام) replied that he stared at the man in astonishment since Allah Ta'ala had commanded him to take the man's soul that very day in a certain distant land, and yet, he was in the Court of Sulaiman (عليه السلام). However, he found him where he was meant to die and took his soul at the appointed time.
- Many people remained all their lives in Madina Sharif or Makkah Sharif. Just before their death, they travel to another land where they pass away and are buried. And many people reside elsewhere, and Allah Ta'ala creates those means whereby they reach Makkah Mukarramah or Madina Munawwarah, pass away and are buried there.
May Allah Ta'ala give us the understanding and acceptance of Allah Ta'ala's Decree. Acceptance will create calm and peace in this journey of life. Otherwise, there is restlessness, apprehension, anxiety and worry about what is beyond a person's knowledge and capacity.
So many people debate and argue about the knowledge of the Hour, whereas it is Allah Ta'ala's secret. How many non-Muslims have given away all their belongings, etc., believing that the world will come to an end on a certain day, whereas that day came and went, and everything continued, as usual.
So many visit fortune tellers and others, seeking predictions of their futures, whether they will marry, have children, become rich, enjoy good health, etc. – Na ‘uzu Billah (We seek Allah Ta'ala's Protection). Reading palms, looking into crystal balls, reading tarot cards, etc., are all grave and serious sins which are Haram. No one can disclose these details to us because this is in the knowledge of Allah Ta'ala.
Others choose a graveyard or cemetery where they wish to be buried, and they purchase their graves —but it is not necessary that this will be the place of their burial. It may be a foreign land; it may even be the sea, or in some other way, whereby they may not be a burial at all.
 Sahih Bukhari
 Isra'il (عليه السلام) : The Angel of Death