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Thursday, 3 September 2009

LRTQ 2: Your Time or Mine? Reloaded...

(This post is a continuation of the previous, "Your Time or Mine - Prologue").

The Relativity of Time as found in the Quran.

If you ask any Malaysians the question, "What is relativity of time?", the most probable answer from the majority would be, "Not relevant", the safest answer for a question especially if one do not even understand it, and it cannot go wrong since it had been tested and proven effective in our court law some time back. Even my daughter, then, aged 9, could grasp the concept of "time is relevant". I use to tell her, "Why are you so slow?" and she would gaze at me, in disdain and answered back, "I'm not slow, you're too fast, relax Ummi". That is why I rarely tell my kid to shut up, I may miss out something interesting coming out of her smart-mouth.

Well, 14 centuries ago, (no, not my birthday, although I do feel that old just reading the local newspapers..wait...does jaded counts as feeling old?), it was revealed in the Quran, and I’m not surprised if it was in other books before it, some verses in reference to the relativity of time.

Here we are, dissecting Einstein’s brains and keeping it for research, when what he probably did was to research the the Books of God through time, who's to know? Of course the result showed that we only use a minute percentage of our brains. We don’t need scientists to tell us what we already know, haven’t you been driving on our roads lately?. We simply refuse to use our brains, why do you think it is unused? Some may even think that if they minimize the utilization of their brains, then they could get a better second hand value should they decide to sell it to science in time of desperate need. (well, since we only use a portion of it, why not sell the rest and keep what we’re using? We don’t use it anyway, why carry the load around? ).

The conclusion to which we are led by the findings of modern science is that time is not an absolute fact as supposed by materialists, but only a relative perception. Again, we don’t need the scientist to tell us this. We are fully aware that "time is relative". Just ask your colleagues why they are constantly late for work, and they’ll tell you that they're late because of some relative, either, sick, dying or dead, or possessed by the dead, of course in a more ostentatious manner that sounded like it was taken from a Bollywood or Tollywood movie plot).

Scientifically, the theory/hypothesis of “Relativity of Time” is an ongoing research and remain a hot debate topic. Ever since the creation of time machine in the films where imagination is beyond boundaries, (unlike the local movie and story books whereby they are bounded to love, love and more love theme. No love, no business), men have always imagine that time traveling will be a certainty sometime in the future, or should I say sometime in the past?

In his book, “A Brief History Of Time” , Stephen Hawking, wrote;

The explanation that is usually given as to why we don’t see broken cups gathering themselves together off the floor and jumping back onto the table is that it is forbidden by the second law of thermodynamics. This says that in any closed system, disorder, or entropy, always increases with time. In other words, it is a form of Murphy’s law: things always tend to go wrong! An intact cup on the table is a state of high order, but a broken cup on the floor is a disordered state. One can go readily from the cup on the table in the past to the broken cup on the floor in the future, but not the other way round.

The increase of disorder or entropy with time is one example of what is called an arrow of time, something that distinguishes the past from the future, giving a direction to time. There are at least three arrows of time, the direction of time in which disorder or entropy increases. Then, there is the psychological arrow to time. This is the direction in which we feel time passes, the direction in which we remember the past but not the future. Finally, there is the cosmological arrow of time. This is the direction of time in which the universe is expanding rather than contracting.”

It is possible to see in many verses of the Qur’an the scientifically proven fact that time is a psychological perception dependent on events, the setting, and conditions. For instance, a person’s entire life is a very short time as we are informed in the Qur’an in Surah 17, verse 52:

"On the Day when He calls you, and you will respond by His Grace, and you will think that you only stayed but a little while!”

A simple example of "psychological arrow of time" is when we claim to have "lost track of time". When our minds are preoccupied with things that excite us for instance, example when we are blogging or on Facebook, we tend to loose all track of time, namely the company's time. Or if we are dead tired and we doze off only to feel like we've just dozed off for about 10minutes, but had actually gone to slumber much much longer than that. I'm sure most of us feel work to take up too long of our time. just dawned to me, the comprehension of that saying, "We've been married for a long time". Actually it just feeeeeeeeeeeels very loooooong".

As for Hawking's bit about;

"This says that in any closed system, disorder, or entropy, always increases with time. ",
again, no need rocket scientist to tell us we are all insidiously decaying inside out. It's one of the beauty of aging,"It's when we finally manage to get our heads together, only to find that our body has fallen apart".

(Click on to decipher more surah from the Quran, and to not comprehend more crap from me)

Reiterating the psychological arrow of time, in the same Surah, verse 19:

*{Such [being their state], We raised them up [from sleep], that they might question each other. Said one of them: “How long have you stayed [here]?” They said: “We have stayed [perhaps] a day, or part of a day.” [At length] they [all] said: “Allah [alone] knows best how long you have stayed here…”}*

Then also in Surah 10, verse 45:

”And on the Day when He shall gather them together, it will be as if they have slept for only a moment of a day: they will recognize each other.”

Surah 23, verses 112 - 114:

“[112] Say, ‘How long have you stayed on earth in terms of years?’ [113] They said, ‘We remained for a day, or for part of a day. So ask those who kept count’ [114] He said, ‘ You have remained for very little, if you knew”

Then there are some other verses Allah states that time may flow at different paces in different settings, or perhaps what Hawking may have referred to as "cosmological arrow"; for example in Surah 22, verse 47:

“Yet, they ask you to hasten on the retribution! But God will not break His promise. Verily a day in the sight of your Lord is like a thousand years of your reckoning.”
and in In al Ma'arij verse 4 :

"The angels and the spirit ascend unto Him in a day the measure whereof is [as] fifty thousand years."

This surah kind of reminded me of the turtle that I observed for about half and hour,(to be able to stop fidgeting and observe something for half an hour is considered long in MY time) as I stood by one of the lovely beaches in Terengganu, once upon a time; err....the part whereby we are obviously in a slower pace than wherever it is God is. To be honest with you, the first thing I thought about when I saw the turtle, (after having spent 3 weeks in the Pantai Timur, on some government kursus, pissed at the sluggishness of getting my paper work done), was a riddle to bring back home to my friends in, well, I was in Kedah at the time. The riddle I thought of goes something like this;

Riddle : Why are turtles mostly found in the East Coast?
Answer : Because that is the only region where they can keep up with the human pace.

It's lame, I know. If you find this not amusing, it's most likely because you're probably from the East Coast. I'm guilty as charged, but I plead "transient insanity" due to sudden onset of magnanimous irritation from the sight of malaise-like pace around me. Okay,okay, I'm the nasty one. It's me, I get it. In the words that I use as a break up line, "It's not you, it's just me".

I mean, think about it, if angels are made of light, and we know that light moves at the speed of 299,792,458meters/second, most definitely faster than the speed taken by the neurons in our brain cells to come up with an excuse when we get caught on the FB, by our bosses, then basically, the other entities with a faster speed than the speed on earth looks upon us as though we are all in slow motion. It's like us humans watching the turtles move, feeling sorry for them in advance when we could see that they're heading for a steep slope ahead, and no source of water anywhere in sight. You get what I mean?

Then, in Surah 32, verse 5:

He rules [all] affairs from the heavens to the earth: in the end will [all affairs] ascend to Him in a day the measure of which is a thousand years of what you count.
Again, in the same Surah, verse 19:

Such [being their state], We raised them up [form sleep], that they might question each other. Said one of them: “How long have you stayed [here]?” They said: “We have stayed [perhaps] a day, or part of a day.” [At length] they [all] said: “Allah [alone] knows best how long you have stayed here…”

And then my eyes were set on this surah; Surah 2, verse 259 - :

Or [take] the similitude of one who passed by a hamlet, all in ruins to its roofs. He said: “How shall Allah bring it [ever] to life, after [this] its death?” But Allah caused him to die for a hundred years, then raised him up [again]. He said: “How long did your tarry [thus]?” He said: “[Perhaps] a day or part of a day.” He said: “Nay, you have tarried thus a hundred years; but look at your food and your drink; they show no signs of age; and look at your donkey. And that We may make of you a sign unto the people. Look further at the bones, how We bring them together and clothe them with flesh.” When this was shown clearly to him, he said: “I know that Allah has power over all things.”

If you can recall the famous story during ugama class , Allah had kept the Companions of the Cave, a group of believing people mentioned in the Qur’an, in a deep sleep for more than three centuries. When they awoke, these people thought that they had stayed in that state but a little while, and could not reckon how long they had slept. And this event took place not even in Roswell!! Finally! Some strange things happened and it was outside of America!!

In Surah 18, verses 11 - 12 :

Then We drew [a veil] over their ears, for a number of years, in the cave, [so that they heard not]. Then We raised them up that We might know which of the two parties would best calculate the time that they had tarried.

And we thought only the closets can bring us into Narnia. Apparently, caves can do the same, except you slumber away. Boy, I don’t mind climbing into one of these mysterious wormhole-like caves and have a good siesta, wake up just in time for my boss's funeral. Could it be a probable wormhole on earth, perhaps?. They can't be in coma state, because they did not wake up looking like Rosmah when she misses her botox appointment. (Rosmah my friend from Singapore lah).

Imagine if we could find one of those "wormholes" here on earth!! We could travel back in time, a kind of senescence in retrograde. Heck we can go back and make sure Samy Vellu wasn't even born (well, we were the leading producer of latex back then, which by the way, makes better condoms than polyuethane,) in the sense that, well, let me put it to you this way..if you're a Red Indian, it is more probable to name your son, "Broken Arrow" rather than "Broken Rubber"... Imagine great highways without toll !! Imagine cheating “time”!! Imagine, an endless possibility of more creative excuses to narrate to our bosses, and no longer in need of the cliche traffic jam excuse to be late for work!!

Imagine us being able to say to our bosses;

“Boss, sorry I’m late for work. Took the wrong wormhole and ended up not in the past, but in the late future. Damn signboards!! Must be one of the cronies who got the signage project. We need to kill cronyism!! ”

Aahh....endless possibilities, so much so, we can rewrite John Lennon's "Imagine". ..Imagine a true One Malaysia, Imagine there is no political party based on race,religion, vengeance of one out-casted politician etc. Imagine the first Orang Asli PM... Imagine there's no CIA...imagine there's no British Empire. Imagine Bush singing "Imagine"...oh heck! Better still, no need to imagine; let me post you Bush singing "Imagine"...

Of course, one cannot talk about time in the Quran without quoting the most famous verse:

Al Asr verse 1:

"By (the Token of) Time (through the Ages),[2] Verily Man is in loss,[3] Except such as have Faith, and do righteous deeds, and (join together) in the mutual teaching of Truth, and of Patience and Constancy."

Clearly God is telling us, should a human have not the traits He mentioned above, then he had wasted his time on earth. However time is perceived, or in what cosmological time frame we are in, one thing remain true, that there is no point to our existence if our aim in life is merely to exist, taking up cosmic space. It is even inexcusable, should our presence here on earth are imposing detrimental effects to our surroundings. Let's make a difference in our own ways. Let's start with "The Man in the Mirror".

Here's a quick update of post on LRTQ 2;

Do read the insights of Syed Akhbar Ali in the his post, "Places of worship" and "Churches and Temples" by Art Arun. Find out "What the Quran say about dogs"posted by Anas.

(Click no more, for the post ends here)
...Click here to find out how deep the rabbit hole goes.....

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