Time in Philosophy, Physics and the Quran

By A Taha, PhD

London, United Kingdom

11 August 2016

What is Time?

Philosophers and mathematicians like Zeno (490 – c. 430 BC), Plato (428 – 348 BC), Spinoza (1632 – 1677), Hegel (1770 – 1831), and about a century ago McTaggart (1866 – 1925) gave a radical answer to the question: What is time? They said it does not exist! That is to say we can see a clock, but we cannot see time.


One of the “Time Does Not Exist” arguments: If time doesn’t exist, then why do so many things constantly keep changing? [1]

Time is what we intend to measure with the clock; then what are we measuring? The most popular answer is that we are not measuring an object or substance. Thus some physicists argue that time is a “common currency”, making the world easier to describe but having no independent existence. Yet, everybody agrees that human life happens in this order: birth, school, work and death. No other order.


Typical Human Life Sequence: Birth, School, Work, Death [2]

The agreement on time order for so many events is part of the reason that most philosophers and scientists believe physical time is objective and they agree that time does exist and is real fundamentally. They just cannot agree on what it is.

Both Galileo (1564 –1642) and Isaac Newton (1642-1726) and many philosophers and scientists up until the 20th century thought that time is a parameter and it was the same for everyone everywhere. This is the basis for “timelines”. But, according to Albert Einstein (1879-1955) relativity theory, although time is global and occurs everywhere it is not universal; it isn’t the same for everybody.


Earth Evolution Timeline [2a]


In classical physics time is same for everyone everywhere, yet we use the notion of time zones: time in USA is registered differently in clocks at the same time in different locations. The convenience of the use of time zones has no impact on the fundamental ”sameness” of time in classic physics [3]

Time “Relational” Theories define time in terms of relationships among objects, in particular their changes. These theories imply that at every time something is happening—such as the passage of differently shaped clouds or a tree leaf changing its colour. In short, no change implies no time.


Fall Leaves Change Color: The season of autumn which follows summer is also called “Fall”, because all the leaves change colors and eventually fall to the ground during the onset of winter [4]

Time “Substantive Theories, on the other hand, propose time exists independently to be substance-like; more like a medium pervading all of space-time and less like an external container. Also, some of these theories describe space-time as being like a container for events. The container exists with or without events in it. These theories allow “empty time” in which nothing changes.


Hermann Minkowski (1864 –1909) Space-Time Geometry: Minkowski Space-time is the mathematical construct where Albert Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity formulates its most clarity [5]

 Later, around 1915, Einstein’s general theory of relativity implied it is possible for space-time to exist while empty of events. The above mentioned “empty time” is permissible according to Einstein’s general theory of relativity which is not allowed by Time Relational Theories.

Time Many Definitions

There are, through human history and to date, many definitions for “time” ranging from “nothing”;” just an illusion” and “does not actually exist” to time is in everything being integral part of the universe’s “space-time” itself. Hereunder are brief sets of time definitions: In general and In physical science.

In general:

Time is indefinite, unlimited duration in which things are considered as happening in the past, present, or future; every moment there has ever been or ever will be.

Or time is the period between two events or during which something exists, happens, or acts; measured or measurable interval any period in the history of humanity or of the universe.

Or time is a precise instant, second, minute, hour, day, week, month, or year, determined by clock or calendar.

Other definitions include the “arrow of time” in which individuals remember the past but not the future, and the future being different from the past. That is to say unbroken eggs become omelettes but omelettes do not become unbroken eggs.


Past Simple Timeline [6]

All these practically one-way processes illustrate the arrow of time. The term “arrow of time” was coined in 1927 by the English physicist Arthur Eddington (1882-1944) who considered this arrow of time as universal in the sense that it is the same arrow for everyone, unlike time which can be different for everyone.


Arrow of Time: Some highlights of cosmic history are noted along this arrow of time, from the beginning of the Universe to the present, including several major epochs diagonally across the top [7]

In physical science:

Time is defined as a measurement, or as what the clock face reads and it is measured in units of seconds.

In classical, non-relativistic physics time is considered a fundamental quantity (like length, mass, and charge) which can be combined mathematically with other physical quantities to derive other concepts such as motion, kinetic energy and time-dependent fields.


Development of Physical Units [8]

 Einstein’s theory of relativity measures time as a function of the speed of light.


Time measurements as a function of the Speed of Light “c” [9]

Time Calendars

With such diversity of definitions for time, many philosophers and scientists take the position that it is therefore an arbitrary convention that there are twenty-four hours in a day instead of ten, that no week fails to contain a Thursday that a second lasts as long as it does. Humans chose the origin of our coordinate system for time to be associated with the birth of Jesus on Christian (solar) calendars or the beginning of the year when Prophet Muhammad emigrated from Mecca to Medina on Islamic (lunar) calendars.


Both Christian and Muslim calendars use 12 months for every year [10]

Quran specifies, in Ayah (9.36) – see approximate English translation under Citations from the Quran below –, the number of months as twelve. Both Christian and Muslim calendars use 12 months for every year.


Quran Ayah (9.36)

The Christian calendar year is longer by 10 days. Quran acknowledges both calendars (solar and lunar) and allows for the 10 days difference in Ayah (18.25) in which the 300 years stay in the cave was “increased by nine” lunar years. The lunar months were also used by the Arabs before Prophet Muhammad.


Quran Ayah (12.35)

Time Measurement Unit

Humans use the word time as a numerical representation of what point in a day it is. Time is displayed in hours, followed by minutes, and then seconds. In a single day there are 24 hours or 1,440 minutes or 86,400 seconds.


Words of wisdom on the gift of Time [11]

Today, time measurement unit is a “second”. One second is equal to 1/86,400 of a mean solar day. This is derived from the notion that there are 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, and 24 hours in a mean solar day. This definition is limited in accuracy because of irregularities in the earth’s orbit around the sun.


The eccentricity of the earth’s orbit (orbit changing) has influence in the radiation received from the sun, as depicted in this figure [12]

To improve accuracy of measurement a “global atomic cloak” is used against which all other clocks and watches should be monitored.


The world’s first atomic clock, taken in 1949 [13]

Here one second is the time that elapses during 9,192,631,770 cycles of the radiation produced by the transition between two levels of the “cesium 133” atom. This is the Standard International (SI) unit of time.


Atomic Clock Wristwatch (The Bathys Cesium 133) claimed in 2014 to be accurate to 1 second in 1000 years [14]

The second is sub-divided: one second is made of 1000 milliseconds. In one millisecond an EM (Electro Magnetic) field propagates through a vacuum over distance of approximately 300 kilometers. The one second is also divided into 1,000,000 microseconds (1 millionth of a second) or 1,000,000,000 nanoseconds (1 billionth of a second) or 1,000,000,000,000 picoseconds (1 trillionth of a second).

Quran Ayahs (27.38-39) speaks of over 1,000 miles journey that took place in less than an eye blink (the average time it takes for a complete human eye blink is about 300 milliseconds) and the Quran also speaks of events that take much shorter time down to no time (t=0), see later below.

Past, Present, and Future

There are basically two views regarding the nature of time.

First, “Conventional View” is that in daily life we divide time into three parts: past, present, and future; reality is associated with the present moment and the past slipped out of existence whereas the future is still unformed.


Symbolic signage of “Past, Present and Future” [15]

Second, “Block Universe View” is that time is laid out in its entirety with all past and future events located together with no special moment as the present or any process that would systematically turn future events into the present, then past, events. British physicist Julian Barbour (born 1937) argued that there are individual moments, but they are not ordered; there is only a “heap of moments”. The moments exist; but the time that connects them does not. In short; time does not pass or flow.


Potential representation of “Heap of Moments” notion in this image titled: “A Time for Everything” [16]

Modern conception of time is based on Einstein‘s theory of relativity (1905), in which rates of time run differently depending on relative motion, and space and time are merged into “space-time”, where we live on a “world-line” rather than a “time-line”. The world-line of an object is the path of that object in 4-dimensional space-time, tracing the history of its location in space at each instant in time. In other words, the path on which every event in your lifetime is located, from birth to death. That is every particle in the universe, has own world-line which is their fixed, permanent path in space-time.


Special Relativity World Line: Two-dimensional space depicted in three-dimensional space-time. The past and future light cones are absolute; the present is a relative concept different for observers in relative motion [17]

Albert Einstein (1879-1955) concluded (in 1952) that the past, present, and future all exist simultaneously (Block Universe View). Einstein said “The distinction between the past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion“.

Quran frequently calls mankind not to regard humanity past as merely “tales of the ancients” or as historical footnotes that are irrelevant, see for example Ayah (83.13);


Quran Ayah (83.13)

When the Quran speaks of Moses and Aaron, other previous prophets, men and women that have already walked the earth before us it raises their stories, as living truths, out of their historical time. This is expressed in the key word “remember” in many Ayahs, such as (7.69, 7.74, 7.205, 19.16, 19.51, 38.48, and 88.21). The Quran uses direct expressions that encourage the elimination of time past by pulling these events to the forefront for immediate attention in the present. And that these past events also remain valid and relevant in the future. In these Ayahs, the Quran seems to ask us to look at time, in-line with the Block Universe View, as heap of moments systematically organized and connected (by their virtues rather than by time).


Quran Ayah (88.21)

Quran also brings status from then future (which, say now; 20-21st century) to the Arabs present (in the 6th century) who were really not in a position to fully understand Ayah (21.30) as we may understand it now. This Ayah (21.30) (approximate translation “Do not the unbelievers see that the space and matter were joined together and we ripped them apart?”) appears to refer to the unbelievers of now (including the many atheists among astrophysics scientists who are enabled by God to see or comprehend what they currently research) and not the 6th century unbelievers.


Quran Ayah (21.30)

Time and the Big Bang

One popular theory of cosmology is called the Big Bang. According to the Big Bang theory, the universe was formed about 13.8 billion (or: 13,800,000,000) years ago, in what is called a “gravitational singularity“.


History of the Universe [18]

The singularity was small, dense, and very hot. According to this theory, all of the matter that we know today, including all galaxies, came out of this single point. This theory stipulates the universe once had an infinitesimal size and an almost infinite temperature and gravitational field strength. It has been expanding and cooling ever since. When it cooled below 10,000,000,000 degrees Kelvin, individual particles could form into atomic nuclei. When it cooled below 10,000 degrees Kelvin, individual electrons and atomic nuclei could form into atoms. Later, as the expansion continued, the atoms clumped into stars and galaxies, eventually producing the universe of today.


This diagram shows the progressives stages of the evolution of the universe: Particle Energy, Time, Temperature and Visible Matter Density are schematically given at stages [19]

 Stephen Hawking (born 1932) stated that time began with the Big Bang, and that questions about what happened before the Big Bang are meaningless. The Big Bang itself resulted from an extremely dense “singularity” event out of which matter, space and time came out intimately linked together.


A model representing the Inflationary Period before Standard Big Bang Theory: Such models suggest an extraordinary inflationary phase in the era 10^-36 seconds to 10^-32 seconds. More expansion is presumed to have occurred in this instant than in the entire period (14 billion years?) since. The inflationary epoch may have expanded the universe by 10^20 or 10^30 in this incredibly brief time [20]

The singularity from which our universe emerged is an event before matter, space and time. Hence, the Big Bang theory does not speak to what happened at or before the initial Big Bang event. It is a theory only of the aftermath of that event.

Scientists have come to some agreement on descriptions of events that happened 10^ -35 seconds after the Big Bang, but generally agree that descriptions about what happened before one Planck time (5 × 10^ -44 seconds) after the Big Bang will likely remain pure speculation. Current established physical theories are believed to fail at this Planck time.

Quran explain the creation of the universe accurately and in astounding precision. Quran address God creations in many Ayahs. The Arabic expression “kun fa yakun” in Ayahs (3.47 and 40.68) does not mention time at all because such God creation event is “beyond time”, that such event happens at t=0.


Quran Ayah (3.47)



Quran Ayah (40.68)

In the aftermath “matter and space” were joined as one and then were separated. This is accurately described in Quran Ayah (21.30).

The universe in its very early stages was still in the form of hot gases. This is also accurately described in Quran Ayah (41.11) in which rather than gas the word “smoke” is used which imply association with extreme heat.



Quran Ayah (41.11)

 The Six Days

Quran states that the universe was created in six days. The Quran refers to the six days in many Ayahs, such as (7.54, 10.3, 11.7, 25.59, 32.4, 50.38 and 57.4). In several Ayahs, such as (7.54 and 11.7) the six days are mentioned with God’s Throne and thus Muslims interpret the six days to be days at God’s Throne, not Earth days.


Quran Ayah (7.4)

Big Bang theory stipulates the universe age is about 13.8 billion years; that is Earth years. And, the energy at the Big Bang event slowed down the flow of time of up-to 10^12 (one million-million) times. A rough estimate would be one minute at Big Bang event corresponds to one million-million Earth minutes; or six days at Big Bang event corresponds to six million-million Earth days (or 16.427 billion Earth years).

Big Bang theory stipulates time to be continuously slowing down in proportion to the expansion of the universe; approximately described: ever since the Big Bang event the size of the universe doubles as the passage of time half. In other words, as the universe grows, the rate at which it doubles in size slows down. Hereunder is “refined” theoretically postulated sequence;

  • Throne Day 1 (6) corresponds to 8.00 billion Earth years.
  • Throne Day 2 (6) corresponds to 4.00 billion Earth years.
  • Throne Day 3 (6) corresponds to 2.00 billion Earth years.
  • Throne Day 4 (6) corresponds to 1.00 billion Earth years.
  • Throne Day 5 (6) corresponds to 0.50 billion Earth years.
  • Throne Day 6 (6) corresponds to 0.25 billion Earth years.

Total is 15 billion 750 million Earth years.

This figure is more than the famous estimate of 13.8 billion years which gives rise to a speculation: Could this figure mean the universe’s “time” as a constituency of space-time amounts to 15.75 billion years? That is to say the remainder of the universe time is only about 2 billion years (15.75 billion (total) – 13.80 billion (elapsed) = 1.95 billion years) remaining of the universe life. This speculation stems from the Arabic word “fee” as used in the Quran above mentioned Ayahs which means “in” and not “during” six days.


Past, present and potential scenarios of the universe future destiny and life span. This illustration shows three possible futures for the Universe, depending on the behavior of dark energy, by showing how the scale of the Universe may change with time [21]

Time and Earth Creation

Quran states that Earth was created in two days. Quran refers to the two days in Ayah (41.9). The two days represents 1/3 of the Universe’s six days in Ayahs (7.54 and 11.7) which makes it 4.6 billion Earth years (13.8/3 = 4.6); a figure that tally with most current estimates based on geological and other data.


A list of Important Dates in Earth History is provided that contains the dates of the events shown on a clock. This schematic shows if 4.6 billion years is pretended to be only 60 minutes then modern man has only lived on Earth for a tiny fraction of the last second, as shown on the top [22]

Ayah (41.10) that follows (41.9) is fascinating to say the least. This Ayah (41.10) says God ordained (or: calculated/measured/appointed) Earth provisions (or: means of sustenance) in four days which is twice Earth’s two days and 2/3 of the Universe’s six days. The four days correspond to 9.2 billion Earth years which is nearly twice the age of the Solar System itself. How can this be?


Quran Ayah (41.9)


Quran Ayah (41.10)



The surface of the Earth provides a place for the human beings, animals , plants to live as the life evolved from bacteria and virus 4 billion years ago [23

The nebular hypothesis (a theory originally developed by Immanuel Kan in 1755 and subsequently developed by a variety of scientific disciplines including astronomy, physics, geology, and planetary science) is the most widely accepted model in the field of cosmogony to explain the formation and evolution of the solar system. It suggests that the solar system formed from “nebulous material”. That is the formation of the solar system began much more than 4.6 billion years ago with the gravitational collapse of a small part of a “giant molecular cloud”. Most of the collapsing mass collected in the center, forming the Sun, while the rest flattened into a protoplanetary disk out of which Earth, the other planets, moons, asteroids, and other small Solar System bodies formed. In other words, previous generations of stars lived and died, injecting heavy elements into the interstellar medium out of which the solar system formed. The solar system could have been formed in “an Orion nebula” like star-forming region where the most massive stars are formed. After formation they then lived their lives, died, and exploded in supernova.


NASA Orion Nebula – Great Nebula in Orion [24]

That supernova triggered the formation of our solar system. This would mean that all matter that makes up our solar system and planets, including Earth, was once ejected by supernova explosions long time ago before the formation of Earth itself. This makes Quran Ayah (41.10) fascinatingly comprehensible and in harmony with Ayah (41.19).

Time and Solar System, Milky Way, other Galaxies

Our sun (800,000 miles in diameter), the nearest star, is a million times the size of Earth (8,000 miles in diameter).  It looks small because it is 93 million miles away from Earth. A 747 jet flies at about 600 miles per hour would take 17 years to fly from Earth to the sun. But, it only takes 8 minutes for the sun light to reach Earth.

It takes 5 light-hours (meaning the distance light travels in 5 hours) for light to get out to Pluto from Earth.  Much of the solar system is still unknown. Currently, the furthest known objects, such as Comet West have aphelia around 1.4 light years (meaning the distance light travels in 1.4 years) from the sun.


Artist’s impression of Earth’s solar system [25]

Our star, the sun, and its planets are just one small part of the Milky Way galaxy. The Milky Way galaxy is a huge disk of stars, so big that even at the speed of light; it would take 100,000 years to travel across it.

The location of RS Puppis within the Milky Way (artist’s impre

Artist’s impression of the Milky Way This artist’s impression shows the location of the Cepheid star RS Pup in our Galaxy. From ESO NTT observations of the echoes on several nebular features, the distance of RS Pup was found to be 6,500 light-years, with an uncertainty of 90 light-years. RS Pup is distant by about a quarter of the distance between the Sun and the Centre of the Milky Way. RS Pup is located within the Galactic plane, in a very populated region of our Galaxy [26] .

When astronomers look out into the universe, they notice that the objects they see are not distributed willy-nilly. Rather, the force of gravity tends to bring galaxies together into giant agglomerations such as clusters, superclusters, sheets, and walls.


NGC 4414, a typical spiral galaxy in the constellation Coma Berenices, is about 55,000 light-years in diameter and approximately 60 million light-years away from Earth [27]

Our home galaxy the “Milky Way” galaxy is part of a super-cluster named “Virgo Super cluster” which is made up of more than 1,300 galaxies.

The Coma Supercluster is another interesting supercluster to note because it sits at the center of the “Northern Great Wall”, a staggeringly enormous “filament of galaxies” 500 million light years across and 300 million light years wide.


Coma cluster [28]

The largest supercluster in our vicinity is the Horologium Supercluster, which stretches across half a billion light years.


Horologium Super-cluster [29]

Horologium supercluster [29]

Time Dilation

Einstein’s theory of relativity suggests the occurrence of time dilation under two conditions;

In conjunction with speed;

Einstein’s theory of “special relativity” says that time slows down or speeds up depending on how fast you move relative to something else. Example on this is a person inside a spaceship approaching the speed of light (say, at about 450 million miles per hour), would age much slower than his twin on Earth.


Time Dilation: moving clocks tick slower [30]

That is the faster a spacecraft moves the slower time ticks inside it. Fast moving aircraft have travelled few fractions of a second into the future thus confirming bodies moving at high velocities experience a time that ticks slower than the time measured at zero velocity.


Measurable time dilation is negligible on a train moving past a platform at 60 km/hr, but increases dramatically if that train acquires the capacity to approach the speed of light [31]

Also, the clock on International Space Station (ISS) travelling in orbit (at bout 400km altitude) around Earth at a speed of roughly 17,000 miles per hour ticks just a little bit slower than clocks on Earth do.


International Space Station [32]


International Space Station inside [33]

In conjunction with gravity,

Einstein’s theory of “general relativity” says time is slower in fields of greater gravitation. Example is a person living at the top of a skyscraper would have clocked more seconds of life than someone living at the bottom floor. This effect is minuscule but grows with increasing distances. This phenomenon is called “gravitational time dilation” and has also been confirmed through tests of general relativity. GPS satellites travelling in orbit (at about 20,000 km altitude which is 50 times higher than ISS) around Earth at a speed of roughly 9,000 miles per hour (about half ISS speed) ticks just a little bit faster than clocks on Earth do (an extra 38 microseconds each day compared to an object on the surface of the earth). The reason is influence of time dilation due to reduced gravity at higher altitude surpass influence of time contraction due to its speed which is slower than ISS speed.


GPS Satellite Constellation: BeiDou System is a global navigation satellite system developed and operated by the Chinese government [34]

Below are examples from the Quran on time relativity and dilations;

50,000 Earth years

Muslim physicists use Quran Ayah (70.4) to check Einstein’s theory of special relativity;


Quran Ayahs (70.4)

This theory postulates a relationship between two relative times and high speeds “outside gravitational fields” by the following formula;

t-speed formula

Relativity theory time-speed formula

Where v is the velocity of angels and c is constant (equals to speed of light). The substituting of ∆to = 1 day being the time experienced by angels and ∆t = 16.4 million days (or: more exactly 50,000 lunar years x12 lunar months/lunar year x 27.321661 days/lunar month) as the time as measured by humans in above formula gives the ratio v/c as 99.99999999999981%. In other words, according to theory of special relativity time is relative and the angles (and the spirit which many Muslims believe this is a reference to Gabriel) do indeed travel at or very close to speed of light (~ 300,000 km/s), and that time does dilate.

1,000 Earth years

Quran Ayahs (3.133, 57.21) imply the size of Paradise is as big as the universe. Muslims believe the size of Hell is also massive; far more massive than Earth. Quran Ayah (22.47) approximate translation is “They challenge you to bring retribution, and God never fails to fulfil His prophecy. A day of your Lord is like a thousand years of your count” which implies said one day is relevant to the place of retribution: Hell.

Muslim physicists say this Quran Ayah (22.47) also confirms time relativity, time dilation and it correlates with Einstein’s theory of general relativity which stipulates that time is slower in fields of greater gravitation;


Quran Ayah (22.47)

In this context, 1 day in Hell that is equivalent to 1,000 Earth years implies the enormous crushing power of Hell’s gravitation fields far beyond human imagination.

300 Earth years

Quran tells the story of “sleepers of the cave” which is about a group of pious youth. They fled the persecution by their people for their belief and, along with their dog, sought refuge inside a cave where sleep befalls them for 300 years after which God awaked them. They thought they must have slept a day or so.


Quran Ayah (18.19)

Quran Ayahs (18.19, 18.25) say they then sent out one of them to bring some fresh food. When he reaches town, he discovers the vast changes that have occurred (over the 300 years he is not aware of). His paper-money is found to be centuries old. The story implies their time in the cave slowed down while time marched on in the outside world, pointing to another type of gravitational time dilation.

100 Earth years

Quran tells the story of a man (possibly a prophet) who came to a hamlet in ruins where he wonders with the question of how God could possibly bring this place back to life after its death. Quran Ayah (2.259) says upon his question God make him die then resurrect him 100 years later.


Quran Ayah (2.259)

God then asks him how long he slept. He answers one day or so. God tells him you slept for 100 years and tells him to look at his food and drink being still as is with no decay while his donkey had been reduced to bones. Muslim physicists speculate that “the food and drink” were perhaps bubbled inside separate gravitational field the magnitude of gravitational force in it being much higher than that of the donkey thus greatly reduced the speed of its march forward in time.

Within a blink of an eye

Quran tells the story of Prophet Solomon when he asked his sub-ordinates to bring to him in Jerusalem the throne of queen Sheba of Yemen, a journey of over 1,000 miles away. Quran Ayahs (27.38-40) say it was transported to him within a blink of an eye. Muslim physicists say this story confirm two things: first; matter can be transported at very high speed or close to light speed and second; God has bestowed power to one of his creatures to be fast enough to achieve time dilation.


Quran Ayah (27. 40)



Over 1,000 miles Journey within an eye blink [35]

Time Travel

Some scientists say since “time dilation” is proven it should enable “time travel”. That is you could do a lap around the galaxy and return to Earth in the future.

As measured by an Earth-based clock, it takes 100,000 years for light to travel across our Milky Way galaxy, but if you took the same trip in a spaceship traveling at very near the speed of light, the trip might last only 25 years, as judged by your own clock in the spaceship.


Our solar system is located in the outer reaches of the Milky Way Galaxy, which is a spiral galaxy [36]

 The problem against such journey is, according to present-day laws of physics, nothing can travel as fast as the speed of light – let alone a spaceship. Scientists say even the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the strongest particle accelerator in the word, can’t make “protons” move that fast.


Large Hadron Collider: At 17 miles (27km) across, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the world’s largest particle accelerator and the biggest machine in the world [37]

Physicists say the proposal of time travel is backed by scientific theory, but also agree that is not enough to make it realistically possible and thus not all scientists believe that time travel is possible.

Some scientists say any time travel attempt would be fatal to any human who chooses to undertake it, it is impossible no matter the travel method, humans cannot withstand time travel at all and traveling at nearly the speed of light would be lethal.

Using gravity would also be deadly. To experience time dilation, one could stand on a neutron star, but the forces a person would experience would rip him apart first.


Neutron Star: The currently popular analogy to describe the density of matter within a neutron star is that it’s like compressing the entire human population into a sugar cube [38]

 Furthermore, time travel that changes either the future or the past is generally considered to be impossible. You cannot use high speed travel in order to visit the future of the world after your death or to visit the past to kill your grandad to prevent your birth and thus renders your journey start impossible in the first place.

In 2010, Stephen Hawking (born 1942) gave a lecture titled “How to build a time machine”. He spoke of “weird and wonderful tools” and “methods” all of which are of course theoretical. He spoke of finding or building a “wormhole“. In 1935, Nathan Rosen and Einstein suggested the existence of wormholes which is still theoretical as no wormhole has ever been discovered.


Wormholes have never been proven to exist, these theoretical passageways through space-time are predicted by Einstein’s general theory of relativity [39]

Scientists say concepts like wormholes (and Closed Time-like Curves (CTC)) might be possible means of time travel. Theoretically wormholes exist within the “quantum foam” in the sub-atomic world. They are tiny tunnels (billion-trillion-trillionths of a centimetre across) acting as shortcuts through space and time constantly form, disappear, and reform within this quantum world and they link two separate places and two different times.


Closed Time-like Curves [40]


Time-Travel Wormhole: In physics, the concept of time travel has been often used to examine the consequences of physical theories such as special relativity, general relativity and quantum mechanics [41]

Some scientists think it may be possible to capture a wormhole and enlarge it many trillions of times to make it big enough for a human or even a spaceship to enter. But, such a wormhole won’t last long enough to be of any use as a time machine.


Artist’s depiction of a hypothetical Wormhole Induction Propelled Spacecraft, based loosely on the 1994 warp drive paper of Miguel Alcubierre [42]


A model of how Wormholes could work to facilitate time travel [43]

So, alternatively, given enough power and advanced technology, perhaps a giant wormhole could even be constructed in space such that one end could be here near Earth, and the other far, far away, near some distant planet!


An artist’s impression of a supermassive black hole devouring matter from an accretion disc [44]

Hawking conceded that black holes are more practical than wormholes, but , he says, it’s pretty dangerous as they are a long way away and it doesn’t even take us very far into the future.


This artist’s concept depicts a supermassive black hole at the centre of a galaxy [45]

 Quran confirms time dilation (see above). Quran Ayahs (70. 3-4) speaks of (maarej), which Muslim scientist say these are kin to the concept of wormholes, which angles may use in their travel.


Quran Ayahs (70.3)

Also, Quran Ayahs (15.14-15) refer to “doors” (or “gates”) in the universe (that contract interstellar distances into walking distances) which the unbelievers, if allowed to pass through it, would still unbelievers and say we have been subjected to magic spell.


Quran Ayahs (15.14)


Quran Ayahs (15.15)

Quran implies time travel expressively: Quran Ayah (5.110) says Prophet Jesus resurrects the dead by God permission; an action that defies the time travel paradox that says a person cannot be made to time-travel to the future to a time beyond his own death.


Quran Ayah (5.110)

Another theory, the “string theory” holds that the Universe is made up of vibrating, sub-atomic “superstrings” that exert a gravitational pull so strong they are capable of warping space-time.


String Theory of Space: These ‘strings’ are minute, vibrating structures that sit in these “ten-dimensions” of space-time, and make up all forms of matter and are the cause of the laws of physics as we know them [46]

Some Astrophysical scientists like Richard Gott (born 1947) of Princeton University say such cosmic strings would “warp” space-time around them such that the approach of two such strings parallel to each other will bend space-time so vigorously and in such a particular configuration that might make time travel possible – in theory. Richard Gott conceded the cosmic strings exist only in theory and admitted “This is a project a super civilisation might attempt”.

Quran implies the existence of invisible columns (or: invisible super strings) in the universe. Quran Ayah (13.2) says God raised the skies (the universe) “without columns which we are able see”; this implies the possibility of the existence of universal columns (or: universal super strings) which we cannot see.


Quran Ayah (13.2)


Many philosophers and scientists consider most of the stories employing time travel in popular culture are logically incoherent. They argue one cannot “change” the past to be different from what it was, since the past (like the present and the future) only occurs once.


Actor Rod-Taylor in Time Machine 1960 film [47]

To overcome this difficulty some cosmologists believe there is more than one universe in existence and this allows for every possible version of an event to take place.  For example, a man who goes back in time to murder his own grandad can get away with it, because in the universe next door the granddad lives to have the son who becomes the murderer’s father.


Multiverse Theory Universe: On the surface of each layer are the galaxies and nebulae in each universe [48]


Wormhole is a theoretical ‘tunnel’ or shortcut, predicted by Einstein’s theory of relativity, that links two places in space-time where negative energy pulls space and time into the mouth of a tunnel, emerging in another universe. Wormholes are hypothetical, but have been used in several movies in 1980s and 1990s (From Stephen Hawking’s Article “How to build a time machine” on 27 April 2010 [49]

Newly discovered particles called “tachyons”, which occur in some nuclear reactions, are believed to travel faster than light and can never travel at the speed of light, only faster. This behaviour supports the idea of the speed of light being a barrier and hence “tachyons” behave in just the opposite way from matter. No one has actually observed a “tachyon” and this raises a speculation that they may exist in a different dimension of time-space.

Quran first Ayah (1.2) approximate translation is “All praise belongs to God, Lord of the Worlds “.  Science is gradually moving, currently through quantum physics, to an understanding called the “Many Worlds Theory”, which appears to be in line with this specific Ayah.


Quran Ayah (1.2)

Over 900 years ago, in his commentary on Quran Ayah (1.2), Muslim philosopher Fakhr al-Din al-Razi (1149 -1209) criticized the idea of the Earth’s centrality within the universe.  He raised the question of whether the term “worlds” in Quran Ayah (1.2) refers to “multiple worlds within this single universe or cosmos, or to many other universes or a multiverse beyond this known universe.”

Quran Ayahs (55.33 and 71.15) imply multiple universes and barriers that lie between them.


Quran Ayah (55.33)



Quran Ayah (71.15)



Depiction of a multiverse of seven “bubble” universes, which are separate space-time continua, each having different physical laws, physical constants, and perhaps even different numbers of dimensions or topologies [50]


Multiverse Theory Universe [51]


Another visualization concept of Multiverse Parallel Universe [52]

Once science comprehends multiverse is the true reality, then most of current scientific hypotheses on time travel are imminently realised to have become based on the false reality that existence is made of a single universe.

Quran and Science

The Quran is valid in all times and hence in harmony with science verifiable discoveries at every century.   None of these discoveries contradict the Quran. Muslim scientists study the Cosmos and advances in the fields of Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Medicine, Astronomy and Biology. Historically, they made many impressive inventions like the magnetic compass, the astrolabe, and the clock pendulum and introduced Algebra, the Arabic numerals and the concept of Zero. Muslim scholars believe the study of the universe is among the highest forms of worship of God and whatever science discovers it only increases human’s knowledge of God creations. Before the Quran, the Arabs had virtually no contributions to science.

 Citations from the Quran

A number of Quran Ayahs have been cited in this Article. Each of the cited Ayahs is preceded by a numerical code within two brackets; for example: (9.36) refers to Ayah Number 36 in Surah number 9. Ideally, the readers who know Arabic would refer directly to the original Quran in Arabic. Quran translation to any other language has always been difficult, even though many attempts have already been made. In 1982-84, a Quran Complex was established by Saudi Arabia government, named after King Fahd. This Quran Complex outlines Quran translation difficulties into English, considers all translations to be translations to the “meanings” or “interpretations” of the Quran and denotes own Quran translations as “Translations of the Meanings of the Quran”. A list of well-known sources of other translations of the Quran is given at the bottom of this Article under Citations from the Quran.

There are several well-known Quran translations to English which can be found on the internet or published in the form of books such as the following 10 translations; (1) Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought, Amman, Jordan, 2008, (2) Quran Complex which was established in 1982-84 by the Saudi Arabia government, named after King Fahd, (3) Dr  Mohammad Ghali (born in 1920) who was a Professor of Linguistics and Islamic Studies, Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt, (4) Mohammad Muhsin Khan (born in 1927). He is a contemporary author of Pashtun origin who completed this translation with Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din al-Hilali, (5) M H Shakir: There is controversy on the real identity of the translator who may be Egyptian judge Muhammad Habib Shakir (1866-1939) or likely Mohammedali Habib Shakir the son of Habib Esmail of The House of Habib in Pakistan, (6) Yusuf Ali (1872-1953) who was a British-Indian Islamic scholar. He died in London and is buried in England at the Muslim cemetery at Brookwood, Surrey (near Woking), not far from the burial place of Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall (1875 –1936) who was a Western Islamic scholar (a convert from Christianity) also noted for his translation of the Qur’an (1930) from Arabic to English, see below, (7) Muhammad Pickthall (1875-1936); he was a Western; a convert from Christianity, (8)       Sahih International; in 1989 three American converts to Islam joined together to form “Saheeh International” and published their translation in 1997, (9) Dr Rashad Khalifa (1935-1990), who promoted a strict monotheism and was a prominent Quranist. His translation is considered as simple with clear presentation and ease of use. But, he is also known for his controversial research claiming the Quran is mathematically and statistically coded to number 19. Some Quranic Muslims criticised Rashad Khalifa as grossly misinterpreted the sign of number 19 in the Quran: He came to the point of seeing number 19 everywhere and believing that every aspect of the Quran was coded with it. (10) Muhammad Asad (1900–1992); was a Jewish-born Austro-Hungarian journalist, traveller, linguist, diplomat and Islamic scholar.

Referenced Quran Ayahs

Approximate translations to English of Quran Ayahs cited in this Article;

(1.2)         Praise be to God, Lord of the Worlds.

(2.259)      consider the one who passed by a ghost town (fallen into utter ruin) and wondered (exclaimed), “How can God revive this after it had died?” God then put him to death for a hundred years, and then resurrected him. He said, “How long have you stayed here?” He said, “I have been here a day, or part of the day.” He said, “No! You have been here a hundred years. Yet, look at your food and drink; they did not spoil. Look at your donkey – we thus render you a lesson for the people. Now, note how we construct the bones, and then cover them with flesh.” When he realized what had happened, he said, “Now I know that God is Omnipotent.

(3.47)        She (Mary) said, “My Lord, how can I have a son, when no man has touched me?” He said, “God thus creates whatever He wills. To have anything done, He says to it: “Be and it is”.

(3.133)      you should eagerly race towards forgiveness from your Lord and a Paradise whose width encompasses the heavens and the earth; it awaits the righteous.

(5.110)      God will say: O Jesus, son of Mary, remember My blessings upon you and your mother. I supported you with the Holy Spirit, to enable you to speak to the people from the crib, as well as an adult. I taught you the scripture, wisdom, the Torah, and the Gospel. Recall that you created from clay the shape of a bird by My leave (permission), then blew into it, and it became a live bird by My leave (permission). You healed the blind and the leprous by My leave (permission), and revived the dead by My leave (permission). Recall that I protected you from the Children of Israel who wanted to hurt you, despite the profound miracles you had shown them. The disbelievers among them said, `This is obviously magic.’

(7.54)        Your Lord is the one God, who created the heavens and the earth in six days, then mounted He the Throne (assumed all authority). The night overtakes the day, as it pursues it persistently, and the sun, the moon, and the stars are committed to serve by His command. Absolutely, He controls all creation and all commands. Most Exalted is God, Lord of the Worlds.

(7.69)        is it too much of a wonder that a message should come to you from your Lord, through a man like you, to warn you? Recall (remember) that He made you inheritors after the people of Noah, and multiplied your number. Remember God’s blessings that you may succeed.

(7.74)        And remember (recall) that He made you inheritors after Aad, and established you on earth, building mansions (castles) in its valleys (plains), and carving homes from its mountains. You shall remember God’s blessings, and do not roam the earth corrupting.

(7.205)      You shall remember your Lord within yourself, publicly, privately, and quietly, day and night; do not be unaware (one of the neglectful).

(9.36)        The count of the months with God is twelve months by God’s ordinance in the day that He created the heavens and the earth. Four of them are sacred. This is the perfect religion; you shall not wrong your souls (by fighting) during the Sacred Months. However, you may declare all-out war against the idol worshipers (even during the Sacred Months), when they declare all-out war against you, and know that GOD is on the side of the righteous.

(10.3)        your Lord is God Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days, then He established Himself upon the Throne (then assumed all authority), directing all things. There is no intercessor (with Him) save after His permission. Such is God your Lord. You shall worship Him. Would you not take heed?

(11.7)       He is the One who created the heavens and the earth in six days – and His Throne was upon the water [and His (earthly) domain was completely covered with water] – in order to test you, to distinguish those among you who work righteousness. Yet, when you say, “You will be resurrected after death,” those who disbelieve would say, “This is clearly witchcraft.”

(13.2)        God is the One who raised the heavens without visible columns (pillars that you can see), then (then mounted the Throne) assumed all authority. He committed the sun and the moon, each running (in its orbit) for a predetermined period. He controls all things, and explains the revelations, that you may attain certainty about meeting your Lord.

(15.14)      And even if We opened unto them a gate into the sky and they kept mounting through it,

(15.15)      they would say “Our eyes have been deceived. We have been bewitched.”

(18.19)      when we resurrected (awakened) them, that they might question one another (they ask each other), “How long have you been here?” “We have been here one day or part of the day,” they answered. “Your Lord knows best how long we stayed here, so let us send one of us with this your paper-money to the city. Let him fetch the cleanest food, and buy some for us. Let him keep a low profile, and attract no attention (let no one know of you).

(18.25)      they stayed in their cave three hundred years, increased by nine.

(19.16)      Remember (Mention) in the scripture Mary. She isolated herself from her family, into an eastern location.

(19.51)      Remember (Mention) in the scripture Moses. He was devoted, and he was a messenger prophet.

(21.30)      Do the unbelievers not realize that the heaven and the earth used to be one solid mass that we parted them (exploded into existence)? And from water we made all living things. Would they believe?

(22.47)      they challenge you to bring retribution, and God never fails to fulfil His prophecy. A day of your Lord is like a thousand of your years.

(25.59)      He is the One who created the heavens and the earth, and everything between them, in six days, then He mounted the Throne (assumed all authority). The Most Gracious; ask about Him those who are well founded in knowledge.

(27.38)      He said: O chiefs! Which of you will bring me her throne before they come unto me, surrendering (arrive here as submitters?).

(27:39)      A stalwart of the jinn said: “I can bring it to you before you stand up. I am powerful enough to do this.”

(27:40)      the one who possessed knowledge from the book said, “I can bring it to you before your eye lid returns to you (in the blink of your eye). When he saw it settled in front of him, he said, “This is a blessing from my Lord, whereby He tests me, to show whether I am appreciative or unappreciative. Whoever is appreciative is appreciative for his own good, and if one turns unappreciative, then my Lord is in no need for him, Most Honorable.”

(32.4)        God is the One who created the heavens and the earth, and everything between them in six days, and then He mounted the Throne (assumed all authority). You have none beside Him as Lord, nor do you have an intercessor. Would you not take heed?

(38.48)      Remember: Ismail, Elisha and Thu-al-Kefl; among the most righteous.

(40.68)      He is the only One who controls life and death. To have anything done, He says to it “Be and it is”.

(41:9)        Say, “You disbelieve in the One who created the earth in two days, and you set up idols to rank with Him, though He is Lord of the universe.”

(41:10)      He placed on it stabilizers (mountains), made it productive, and He calculated its provisions in four days, to satisfy the needs of all its inhabitants.

(41:11)      Then He turned to the sky, when it was still smoke, and said to it, and to the earth, “Come into existence, willingly or unwillingly.” They said, “We come willingly.”

(50.38)      We have created the heavens and the earth, and everything between them in six days, and no fatigue touched us.

(55.33)      O you jinn and humans, if you can penetrate the outer limits of the heavens and the earth, go ahead and penetrate. You cannot penetrate without authorization (power).

(57.4)       He is the One who created the heavens and the earth in six days, then He mounted the Throne (assumed all authority). He knows everything that enters into the earth, and everything that comes out of it, and everything that comes down from the sky, and everything that climbs into it. He is with you wherever you may be. God is Seer of everything you do

(57.21)      Therefore, you shall race towards forgiveness from your Lord, and a Paradise whose width encompasses (whereof the breadth is as the breadth of) the heaven and the earth. It awaits those who believed in God and His messengers. Such is GOD’s grace that He bestows upon whomever He wills. God is Possessor of Infinite Grace

(70:3)        From God; Lord of the Ascending Pathways (Possessor of the highest Heights).

(70:4)        (Whereby) the angels (with their reports) and the Spirit ascend unto Him in a Day (climb to Him in a Day) that equals fifty thousand years.

(71.15)      Do you not realize that God created seven universes in layers?

(83.13)      when our revelations are recited to him, he says, “Tales from the past!”

(88.21)      you shall remind, for your mission is to deliver this reminder (for you are reminder).

Notes (on sources from Internet)

Quran Ayahs in Original Arabic

Quran Ayahs (1.2, 3.47, 9.36, 12.35, 15.14, 15.15, 21.30, 40.68, 41.9, 41.10, 55.33, 70.3, 70.4, 71.15, 83.13, 88.21): [sahih-bukhari.com]; Quran Ayahs (2.259, 7.4, 18.19, 22.47): [quran.com]; Quran Ayah (27. 40): [theonlyquran.com]; Quran Ayah (5.110): (sunnahstudent.com); and Quran Ayah (13.2): (speed-light.info).

Images, Illustrations and Diagrams

These are available in a diverse collection of internet web sites such as the following for each [1] (ifunny.com); [2] (httpkritterbox.com); [2a]

(maggiesscienceconnection.weebly.com); [3] (clipartbest.com); [4] (b-inet.com); [5] (ridiculousmind.com); [6] (englishexercises.org); [7] (cfa.harvard.edu); [8] (hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu); [9] (slideplayer.com (slide15)); [10] (printablecalendartemplates.com); [11] (uk.pinterest.com); [12] (homepage.ufp.pt); [13] (blog.onlineclock.net); [14] (hodinkee.com); [15] (aauw-wa.aauw.net); [16] (merrilewis.wordpress.com); [17] (en.wikipedia.org); [18] (kheper.net); [19] (alicematters.web.cern.ch) ; [20] (hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu); [21] (chandra.si.edu); [22] (uky.edu); [23] (wonderwhizkids.com); [24] (asterisk.apod.com); [2] (forums.arabsbook.com); [26] (cdn.spacetelescope.org); [27] (upload.wikimedia.org ); [28] (web.hallym.ac.kr); [29] (atlasoftheuniverse.com); [30] (blog.onlineclock.net); [31] (phys.org); [32] (spaceflightinsider.com); [33] (sliceofscifi.com); [34] (molexpn.com); [35] (imninalu.net); [36] (photos170.bloguez.com); [37] (dailymail.co.uk); [38] (universetoday.com); [39] (galacticconnection.com); [40] (nature.com); [41] (306physics.wikispaces.com); [42] (upload.wikimedia.org); [43] (forums.boxofficetheory.com); [44] (upload.wikimedia.org); [45] (phys.org); [46] (hellogiggles.com); [47] (timidmonster.com); [48] (sciencephoto.com); [49] (dailymail.co.uk); [50] (upload.wikimedia.org}; [51] (philosophy.talons43.ca); and [52] (blogs.discovermagazine.com).


Large number of documents, essays, scientific papers and other publications has been consulted during the compilation of this Article. Many of these are also available on a host of web sites, such as but not limited to: andersoninstitute.com, ws5.com, simple.wikipedia.org, space.com, iep.utm.edu, techtarget.com, physics.nist.gov, physics.about.com, gizmodo.com, plato.stanford.edu, brianbosakwebsite.s3-website-us-west-2.amazonaws.com, dailymail.co.uk, theweek.co.uk, nasa.gov, wired.com, mic.com, speed-light.info, miraclesofthequran.com, quora.com, mustaqim.co.uk, islamicity.org, al-furqan.blogspot.co.uk, quran-islam.org, missionislam.com, islamfrominside.com, answering-christianity.com, timetravelaccordingtoislam.blogspot.co.uk, convergencestride.com, en.wikipedia.org, islam.about.com, islam1.org, bbc.co.uk, irfi.org, and izquotes.com.


By A Taha, PhD

London, United Kingdom

11 August 2016


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