By Kazi Wadud Nawaz
04 September 2018
Time is one of the most illusory mysteries of the universe. No one knows what time really is. Modern physics at the present stage of development is also not in a position to define it accurately and explain the beginning of time either.
Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity has presented to us a universe that has been expanding ever-since its creation billions of years ago. According to Einstein the expanding universe is the phenomenon of time. Albert Einstein defined time “as something that we measure with clock. Time passes slowly within objects moving at speeds close to that of light and stops altogether at the speed of light. Time also slows near massive objects like earth; very dense stars called neutron stars and almost stop inside the super massive stars, the Black Holes. Time has a direction, it always moves towards the future. We see rains falling down from the sky, objects breaking up, people getting older, and people dying. We do not see a glass being unbroken, or anyone returning from the land of the dead. That could happen if Time ran backwards.”
Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics are two fundamental pillars of modern physics. Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity forms the foundation of our modern understanding of the force of gravity applicable in the macroscopic domain of space whereas Quantum Mechanics deals with the force of gravity within microscopic domain of atoms. Einstein’s theory of gravity is also a theory of space and time. The greatest paradox now reigning the domain of modern physics is ‘how to reconcile the two through a unified theory.’ “Space-time that we inhabit is a construction and not fundamental to nature, but emerges from a “Deeper Level of Reality” yet to be explored by the scientific community. In some way or the other, it consists of primitive building blocks-‘Atoms’ of space and takes on its familiar properties from how those building blocks are assembled” [“Why Space and Time might be an Illusion” by George Musser]. Modern physics has put forward a number of leading concepts like gravity, space and time, big-bang, expanding and contracting Universe, black-hole, re-organisation of space, forward and backward movement of time, accelerating and slowing down of time etc.
Modern physics no doubt has developed tremendously, but the development is too meagre to grasp all about this mysterious universe.
Subsequently some physicists like Michael Berry, Thomas Gold, and Stephen Hawking have proposed that time may reverse when the universe begins to contract.
Concept of time based on modern scientific theories bears close relevance to the Qur’anic concept of time. There are some verses in the Holy Qur’an which have given clear reference to all these phenomena. Einstein’s Theory of Relativity established the phenomenon of relativity of time and space in the first quarter of the previous century where as the Holy Qur’an about fourteen hundred years back through many of its verses, revealed the same truth. The big-bang has a clear reference in the verse Verse: 21:3o, that says: Have not “those who disbelieve” known that heavens and earth were of one piece, We parted them and, We made every living thing of water will not they believe” [Verse: 21:30]
The Verse 51:47 has a clear reference to the expansion of the universe. It says: “The Heavens, We have built with power and, We are expanding it” [Verse: 51:47]
The Holy Qur’an through the Verse: 55:26-27 proclaimed total time immunity for Allah, the Eternal Entity as below:
“All that is on earth will perish. But will abide (forever) the face of your Lord, full of Majesty, Bounty and Honour.”
From Qur’anic point of view time is the most vital divine attribute that encompasses the entire divine process of creation- its origin, development and decay or destruction. We are in the grip of time but time is not in our grips. Time belongs to Allah and Allah is in full control of time. Allah is totally immune to all impact of time, negative or positive whatsoever.
The following Hadith of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) has clearly articulated the Qur’anic concept of time:
“Allah said, ‘the son of Adam wrongs Me for he curses Ad-Dahr (time); though I am Ad-Dahr (time). In My Hands are all things, and I cause the revolution of day and night.” (Al-Bukhari)
The above Hadith clearly reveals how much importance does Allah attach to time! Time is the greatest divine blessing and most valuable asset for mankind. And for a Muslim time is the most powerful instrument for success of his life on the earth as well as here-after. Strictly avoiding abuse of time in any form and making proper use of it like all other divine blessings is part and parcel of the faith of a believer. Time is a divine thread that sequentially interweaves all events of the physical universe. So far as the impact of time on all creations of the universe including human life is concerned, the Holy Qur’an says:
“Do they seek for other than the Religion of Allah? - while all creatures in the heavens and on earth have, willingly or unwillingly, bowed down to His Will (accepted Islam),and to Him , shall they all be brought back.” [Verse: 3:83].
“To Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and earth: to Allah do all matters return” [verse: 3:109].
Say: My Lord has commanded Justice; and that you set your whole selves (to Him) at every time and place of prayer, and call upon Him, making your devotion sincere such as He created you in the beginning, so shall you return.” [Verse: 7:29]
“If We grant long life to any, We cause him to be reversed in nature: will they not then understand?” [Verse: 36:68]
From the above four verses it is clear that, Reversal of Nature of all Divine Signs with time is the General Law of Divine Creation. And Time is the Divine Vehicle which Allah drives Himself from beginning to end of the evolutionary process. He creates them with forward movement of Time in the beginning and ends it at the point of origin through reversal of Time.
Some Verses of the Holy Qur’an point to the modern scientific propositions that one Day the universe will start contracting resulting in reversal of Time that will mark the advent of the Day of Judgment.
‘The DAY that We roll up the Heavens like a scroll rolled up for Books (completed) even as We produced the First Creation so shall We produce a new one: a Promise We have Undertaken: Truly shall We fulfil it.” [Verses: 21:104-105]
It is Allah Who begins the creation; then repeats it; then shall you be brought back to Him.” [Verses: 30:10]
This Book Pronounces against you with Truth We have caused (all) you did to be recorded (in time). [Verse: 45:29]
And there is nothing hidden in the heavens, or the earth, but it is a clear record (in time). [Verse: 27:75]
The Day of Judgment and contraction of the universe has been compared in the above mentioned verses to the closing of a scroll. Qur’anic version of Rolling up the Scroll seems to be the allegorical reference of the scientific proposition of Reversal of Time and Re-structuring of space through re-arrangement of space-atoms. Reversal of Time and gravity will cause man to rise from his grave and again become alive. Every event will be replayed again as everything has been recorded in Time.
The Physics of the Day of Judgment” -By Dr. Humayun Khan
Why Space and Time Might be an Illusion by George Musser, NASA
Source: Daily Sun, Dhaka on 03.08.2018