By Kazi Wadud Nawaz
07 September 2016
The Holy Qur’an has discussed elaborately on modus operandi of time and its functional strategy in divine governance. Functional strategies identified by the Holy Qur’an are as follows:
A. Appointing a Fixed Term to All Events of Divine Creations
Entire three dimensional universe continues expanding (post Big-Bang phenomenon) with forward movement of time until it starts contracting with reversal of time (pre-Big Crunch Scenario). All events and scenarios are being recorded in time just to be played back on the reversal phase.
The Existence and movement of the sun, moon, the stars and the Milky Way in their respective orbit are just time-Bound.
Ultimate longevity of all life process is also time bound. Individual and collective longevity of Adam and its progeny on earth is time-bound [Qur’an:3:145].
According to the Holy Quran Rise and fall of nations as historical realities are also time-bound.
Withdrawal of divine command from human body during death and sleep is also time –bound [Qur’an:39:42].
And so is the respite granted to the Satan by Allah to meet the divine challenge is also time-bound.
Respite granted by Allah to the wrong-doers, the followers of the Satan prior to divine punishment is time-bound.
The material and spiritual life of a Muslim is regulated by a fixed time-schedule prescribed by Allah (SWT) in the holy Qur’an. His prayers, Siyam, religious festivals, Hajj-are all time-bound.
The Holy Qur’an was revealed for the first time on the auspicious night of Lylatul-Qad’r. The Day of Judgment that is the day of profit and loss (profit for the believers and loss for the non-believers) [Qur’an: 64:9-10] is also time-bound.
It’s a day that will mark completion of one phase of evolutionary process of the three-dimensional universe and opening up of the next phase of divine creation in higher dimension. The whole drama is being staged according to the term appointed within a fixed time –frame best known to Allah.
“We created not the skies, the earth, and all between them, merely in idle sport: We created them not except for just ends: but most of `them do not know. Verily the day of sorting out is the time appointed for all of them.” [Verses 44:38-40].
The above three verses have linked up the time-specific Day of Judgment with divine purpose of creation. The provision of the Day of Judgment has been made by Allah to make mankind comprehend the real meaning and hidden purpose of creation of the universe.
B. Time as the Prime-Mover of Evolutionary Process
“Has there not been over Man a long period of Time, when he was nothing (not even) mentioned?” [Verse: 76:1]
“Verily We have created Man in to toil and Struggle” [verse: 90:4].
“O you man! Verily you are ever toiling on towards your Lord painfully toiling, but you shall meet Him”.[Verse:84:6]
The Holy Qur’an in the above mentioned Verses has disclosed a historical truth in connection with the evolutionary process of mankind. A pretty long time must have passed before appearance of the man on the stage of history which confirms that man is the product of historical evolution not in the sense of Darwinian Theory of evolution based on the process of natural selection and doctrine of Survival of the fittest with forward movement of time but in the sense of Qur’anic concept of development that upholds infinite possibility of development. The Qur’anic concept of development holds immense potential of evolution from lower to higher in conformity with “Divine Will and Purpose”. In course of this evolutionary process man has been struggling hard against the Satan, the symbol of evils to prove his worth and retain his spiritual superiority as Allah’s caliph on earth.
“It is Allah Who begins the creation; then repeats it; then shall you be brought back to Him.” [Qur’an: 30:10].
It is evident that this universe as a divine phenomenon is not an end in itself but a single link of an infinite chain of events passing sequentially towards the future, phase by phase as function of time as per divine will. Evolutionary process of divine creation unfurls with forward movement of time while its reversal with rolling up of the scroll that is space and time will result in ultimate termination of one phase and opening up a new phase in the evolutionary process of all natural events.
Time is both a Pen and an Erasure in the hands of Allah. It writes up different events in the infinite space during its forward movement to be brushed off at the time of reversal of time and gravity on the Day of Judgment-the master plan of which is well-documented in the Record Perspicuous. [Qur’an: 34:3]. Time as an attribute of Allah encompasses all and every stage of the evolutionary process of divine creation.
C. Relativity of Time in the Holy Qur’an
The Holy Quran upholds the Concept of Relativity of Time. The nature and functional behaviour of time in three dimensional universe compared to that of the universe of higher dimensions, is different – but both are at the disposal of Allah (SWT). A single moment of higher dimensional universe during the Day of Judgment or during or prior to the evolutionary process of divine creation is equivalent to billions of years of the terrestrial time. [Qur’an:32:4-5, 22:47].
The events described in the verse [Qur’an: 2:259] and the stories of Ashab e Kahf described in the verse [Qur’an18:19-25], all are divine demonstration of relativity of time and the relevant change of its functional behaviour due to divine intervention.
The incidence of “Meraj” as described in the verse [Qur’an:17:1], is another practical demonstration of the change of functional behaviour of space and time due to divine intervention. All signs or attributes of Allah in three and higher dimensional universe (Six Heavens) collectively constitute the spiritual embodiment of the eternal entity. Time is one of the attributes or signs of Allah that regulate the entire evolutionary process of life and the universe – its origin, development, death and destruction.
D. Spiritual Perspective and Time-Management Strategy for Muslim Community
Different people from different civilisation and culture consider value of time from different point of view mostly in terms of their material benefits-some as money, some as gold in defiance of its spiritual perspective. But the Holy Qur’an gives stress both on its material as well as spiritual values.
The time management strategy from Islamic point of view involves an integrated and balanced approach towards organising material and spiritual aspects of human life. Different Hadiths have clearly articulated the Qur’anic concept of time that clearly reveals how much importance does Allah Attach to time! These have identified priority areas of time management in worldly life of a Muslim. The priority areas are: Youth, wealth, leisure time and Divine the short span of life.
The life of a Muslim is essentially bound up with the sequence of 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 in life on the earth as well as hereafter. 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.
Many Qur’anic verses have clearly declared that the success of human life does not lie in abundance of worldly resources, power and privileges. Running madly after wealth and amenities in life in violation of moral bindings will prove futile when he comes face to face with the reality in hereafter and be held responsible for moral transgression on the Day of Judgment. The ultimate success for the people with faith comes when they perform regular worship, righteous deeds and sincerely engage in mutual adjoining of the truth with patience and constancy. To be more specific only the believers that strive hard and make proper utilisation of precious time in worldly life will achieve success in this world as well as in Hereafter.
a. By the Time ,verily Man is in loss ,except such as have faith and do righteous deeds, and (join together)in mutual enjoining of Truth , and of patience and constancy[verses:103:1-3].
b. “The Mutual rivalry for piling up (the good things of the world) diverts you until you visit the graves. But nay, you soon shall know (the reality). [Verses: 102:1-2-3]
c. Nay (behold) you prefer life of this world. But here-after is better and more enduring. [Verses: 87:16-17]
d. O you man! Verily you are ever toiling on towards your Lord painfully toiling, but you shall meet Him. [Verse: 84:6]
e. Haidith: 1: “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)
f. Hadith:2: The Holy Prophet (pbuh) said “ Take advantage of five matters before five other matters: your youth before you become old; your health before you fall sick; your wealth before you become poor ;your free time before you become pre-occupied and your life before your death.”(Narrated by Ibn Abbas in Mustadrak of Hakim and Musnad Imam Ahmed Sahih
Source: The Daily Sun, Dhaka on 20.7.2018