The relativity of time revealed in the Qur'an

The relativity of time, discovered by 20th-century science, was revealed 1,400 years ago in the Qur’an.

For example, Allah emphasizes in several verses that the life of this world is very brief. Our Lord has informed us that the average human life span is as brief as “an hour of a single day”:

On the Day He calls you, you will respond by praising Him and think that you have only tarried a very short time. (Surat al-Isra’, 52)

On the day We gather them together—when it will seem if they had tarried no more than an hour of a single day—they will recognize one another. . . (Surah Yunus, 45)

In some verses, Allah reveals that time is much shorter than people imagine:

He will ask, “How many years did you tarry on the Earth?” They will say, “We tarried there for a day or part of a day. Ask those able to count!” He will say, “You tarried there for only a little while, if you did but know!” (Surat al-Muminun, 112-114)

In other verses of the Qur’an, it is revealed that time passes at different speeds in different dimensions. For example, it is stated that one day in the Sight of Allah is equal to one thousand human years. (Surat al-Hajj, 47)

Other verses on this subject read as follows:

The Angels and the Spirit ascend to Him in a day whose length is fifty thousand years. (Surat al-Ma‘arij, 4)

He directs the whole affair from Heaven to Earth. Then it will again ascend to Him on a Day whose length is a thousand years by the way you measure. (Surat as-Sajda, 5)

The Companions of the Cave, a group of believers to whom Allah refers in the Qur’an, were kept in a profound slumber for around 300 years. When Allah later woke them, these people thought that a very short period of time had elapsed, and were unable to estimate for how long they had slept:

So We sealed their ears with sleep in the cave for a number of years. Then We woke them up again so that we might see which of the two groups would better calculate the time they had stayed there. (Surat al-Kahf, 11-12)

That was the situation when we woke them up so they could question one another. One of them asked, “How long have you been here?” They replied, “We have been here for a day or part of a day.” They said, “Your Lord knows best how long you have been here.” . . . (Surat al-Kahf, 19)

In the following verse, Allah also reveals an important proof of the fact that time is essentially a psychological perception:

Or the one who passed by a town which had fallen into ruin? He asked, “How can Allah restore this to life when it has died?” Allah caused him to die a hundred years then brought him back to life. Then He asked, “How long have you been here?” He replied, “I have been here a day or part of a day.” He said, “Not so! You have been here a hundred years. Look at your food and drink—it has not gone bad—and look at your donkey so We can make you a Sign for all mankind. Look at the bones—how We raise them up and clothe them in flesh.” When it had become clear to him, he said, “Now I know that Allah has power over all things.” (Surat al-Baqara, 259)

These verses reveal that time is relative rather than absolute. It varies according to perception and the observer, and that fact was revealed 1,400 years ago in the Qur’an.


2010-07-24 13:54:25

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