Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Time Travel and the Judgement Day?

My 12-year-old son, Osama, is a voracious reader. Recently he saw the movie "The Time Machine" and expressed a wish to read the original H.G.Wells book, so I got it for him. He just finished reading it yesterday.

I asked him how he liked it and he said it was fun to read although the ending was "weird" (I think kids in general these days expect happy endings and the book ends with the Time Traveler disappearing with his machine, never to return, and the narrator wondering, so to speak, "when he went" and what happened to him but having no way of finding out).

Now you're probably wondering why I think this is a subject for Ihsan? Well, the reason is that my son told me "Actually, I don't believe that it could be possible to travel through time." I said, "Why? The theory of relativity says that Time is a dimension like the three spatial ones so theoretically one could go backwards and forwards in it," and he said "But the Day of Judgement is the END of time, and since it has a definite end, I think you could not go backwards and forwards in it like an ordinary dimension."

I had never thought about the concept of the Judgement Day juxtaposed with the concept of time travel - in fact, it raises all kinds of questions that I guess I normally don't ask, as the concept of the Judgement Day is really difficult for me to comprehend, given the fact that Time is a dimension. So, thoughts on this?

6 comment(s):

  • Well I always read Day of Judgement as a return to Allah which is outside of time, not within our linear boundaries. Time travel would thus not apply to the DOJ. I've even read some (albeit not many) Muslims say that Islam does not touch on reincarnation because of this. It could be or it could not. Since the Day of Judgement is independent of all this then reincarnation could be.
    Then again what do I know...Just random thoughts. :)

    By Blogger whalesoundervish, at 12/08/2004 10:57:00 PM  

  • I am of the thinking that the universe is made up of an infinite amount of time lines and an infinite amount of time outcomes. I agree with the line of thinking that the DOJ is outside the realm of time. God is not restricted by our narrow worldview of such a thing. If it was so willed, God could very well start the DOJ in the past...being omnipotent and everything. I like the idea of time travel, but with the idea that one could travel inside and outside of whatever time line one chose. I also like the adventures that involve people travelling between different universes...like the TV show Sliders...and going back in time, but continuing life on a different time line...like the book 1632. Ah, sci-fi, on of the glorious gift of God. :D

    By Blogger Kelly, at 12/08/2004 11:45:00 PM  

  • I had very much the same thoughts as whalesoundervish about this. On earth we live in the linear past-to-future timestream (though even here, some cultures live more in a linear way while others live in something more like a timeless present). But when we die, we step out of that particular stream. So, it might be possible to step in and out more than once (i.e., reincarnation.) And here I'll really blow my cover and admit that I have what appear to be memories of living as an African Muslim, and that at eight or ten I knew details about those cultures that weren't known to the public in the west at that time. Scary to admit this here in public, but alhamdulillah, only Allah knows.

    By Blogger Karima, at 12/08/2004 11:53:00 PM  

  • Karima,

    Are you familiar with the research of Ian Stevenson? I read about him in a book called "Old Souls." You can find out more about him here:


    I have never had any experience leading me to believe in reincarnation. And I come from a family of ultra-rationalists. But Stevenson seems to be quite a serious person. And he's collected case studies that are difficult to explain in other ways.

    One thing Stevenson has found is that (as you may know) experiences like yours are not so uncommon. However, the willingness of parents, etc. to listen to such things varies greatly from culture to culture.

    That said, I remain a very great skeptic. Still... what we DO know about the world is so weird, while our ability to perceive it so limited, that I wouldn't be surprised by anything.

    Jon Schwarz

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/09/2004 02:43:00 AM  

  • I think we should remember that time is a creation of Allah. Allah creates DOJ, Allah creates time, why should He be bound by his own creation?

    By Blogger Danya, at 12/09/2004 06:51:00 PM  

  • Good point, Danya. Jon, thanks, I'll check it out.

    By Blogger Karima, at 12/10/2004 03:30:00 AM  

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