Back To The Future

Back to The Future

Travel into the past is probably impossible. However, is it possible to be back to the future?

     In 2009, the British physicist Stephen Hawking held a party for time travelers. The twist was he sent out the invites a year later. But miserably no guests showed up.

Travel into the past is probably impossible. Even if it were possible, Hawking and others have argued that you could never travel back before the moment your time machine was built.

But travel to the future?! That’s a different story.

Of course, we are all time travelers. As we are swept along in the current time. From past to future, at a rate of one hour per hour.

But, as with a river, the current flows at different speeds in different places. Science, as we know, allows for several methods to take the fast track into the future. Here’s a rundown.

Time & Einstein

Between 1905 and 1915, The German physicist Albert Einstein talked about the easiest and most practical way to get to the far future which is Speed – It’s really going fast.

According to his theory of special relativity, when you travel at speeds approaching the speed of light, time slows down for you relative to the outside world.

This is not just a conjecture or thought experiment – it’s been measured. Using twin atomic clocks (one flown in a jet aircraft, the other stationary on Earth) physicists have shown that a flying clock ticks slower, because of its speed.

In the case of the aircraft, the effect is minuscule. But If you were in a spaceship traveling at 90% of the speed of light, you’d experience time passing about 2.6 times slower than it was back on Earth.

And the closer you get to the speed of light, the more extreme the time-travel.

The highest speeds achieved through any human technology are probably the protons whizzing around the Large Hadron Collider at 99.9999991% of the speed of light. Using special relativity we can calculate one second for the proton is equivalent to 27,777,778 seconds, or about 11 months, for us.

But, Did Einstein stop at that point?

Actually No, He talked about another way to go to the future by gravity.

According to his theory of general relativity, the stronger the gravity you feel, the slower time moves.

As you get closer to the center of the Earth, for example, the strength of gravity increases. Time runs slower for your feet than your head.

Again, this effect has been measured. 

In 2010, physicists at the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) placed two atomic clocks on shelves. One 33 centimeters above the other, and measured the difference in their rate of ticking. The lower one ticked slower because it feels a slightly stronger gravity.

So, to travel to the far future, all we need is a region of extremely strong gravity, such as a black hole. The closer you get to the event horizon, the slower time moves. But it’s risky business, cross the boundary and you can never escape.

But what if we used these two methods together with Speed and Gravity to go to the future?

Has That Happened?!

Actually, yes and I know who is the first one who traveled by time with an amazingly high speed and gravityless from 1400 years ago before Einstein’s theories or even any experiments.

He is Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him in Israa and Miraj “The Miraculous Night Journey”, the first time traveler in the world.

The Israa and Miraj refer to two parts of a miraculous journey that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) took in one night from Makka to Jerusalem and then an ascension to the heavens.

Israa is an Arabic word referring to Prophet Muhammad’s miraculous night journey from Makka to Jerusalem – specifically, to the site of al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem – as referred to in Surah Al-Israa in the Quran.

It is believed to have been followed by Mi’raj, his ascension to heaven. According to some of the Hadith scholars this journey is believed to have taken place just over a year before Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) migrated from Makka to Madina.

Following is the translation of the first verse of chapter 17, Al-Israa, from the Quran that refers to this journey

Exalted is He who took His Servant [i.e., Prophet Muḥammad (ﷺ)] by night from al-Masjid al-Ḥarām to al-Masjid al-Aqṣā, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing [Qur’an 17:1) (1)

A Journey To Heavens

The Quran here only mentions that the Prophet (PBUH) was taken from the Kaaba to the mosque in Jerusalem. It also specifies that the purpose of the journey was such that Almighty God “Allah” might “show him some of His signs”. Beyond this, The Quran does not cover many details. However, according to Hadith reports, Gabriel took the Prophet at night from the Kaaba to the mosque in Jerusalem on a buraq. (**) On reaching Jerusalem the Prophet (PBUH) along with other Prophets (PBUT) offered Prayers. 

Gabriel then took him to the heavens and the Prophet met several great Prophets in different heavenly spheres.

Finally, he reached the highest point in the heavens and was graced with an experience of the Divine Presence. On that occasion, the Prophet (PBUH) received several directives including Prayers that became obligatory five times a day. 

Thereafter, the Prophet (PBUH) returned from the heavens to Jerusalem, and from there to the Holy Mosque in Makka. Numerous reports on the subject reveal that the Prophet (PBUH) was also enabled on this occasion to observe Heaven and Hell. 

It may be recalled that according to authentic reports when the Prophet (PBUH) narrated the incidents of this extraordinary journey the following day to the people in Makka, the unbelievers found the whole narration utterly amusing. 

Even the faith of some Muslims was shaken because of the highly extraordinary nature of the account.

The details of the event provided by the Hadith supplement the Quranic account which proves the honesty of the Prophet (PBUH). 

So, What was the nature of this journey? 

Did it take place when the Prophet (PBUH) was asleep or when he was awake? Did he undertake a journey in the physical sense or did he have a spiritual vision while remaining in his place? These questions, in our view, have been resolved by the text of the Quran itself. The opening statement: “Holy is He Who carried His servant by night from the Holy Mosque to the farther Mosque… ” (verse 1) itself indicates that it was an extraordinary event which took place by dint of the infinite power of God. 

For more explanation, to be able to perceive the kind of things mentioned in connection with the event, either in a dream or through intuition, is not so wondrous that it should be prefaced by the statement: “Holy is He Who carried His servant by night…”; a statement which amounts to proclaiming that God was free from every imperfection and flaw. Such a statement would make absolutely no sense if the purpose of it was merely to affirm that God had the power to enable man to have either vision in the course of a dream or to receive information intuitively. In our view, the words of the experience of a dream vision was an actual journey, and the observation in question was a visual observation. All was contingent upon God’s will that truths be revealed to the Prophet in this fashion.

Now, let us consider the matter carefully

The Quran tells us, in clear terms, that the Prophet (PBUH) went from Makkah to Jerusalem and then returned to Makkah during the night (obviously, without the use of anything resembling an aircraft clearly broke the time constraint and traveled by time), owing to God’s power.  And when it is clearly stated that it is God Who did something out of His power, any doubts about the possibility of these acts can be entertained only by those who do not believe God to be all-powerful.

The question now popped up in our minds,

Can We Travel One Day by Time?

Mmm, Actually the answer is clear and so simple. Yes, we will travel by time but every one of us will travel in his time which is an unknown time. Every one of us will travel by time but not by body and soul, we will travel by time by our souls only, and our bodies will be buried, 

We will also see The Almighty God “Allah” to be rewarded or punished for our deeds in this life.

Conclusion

Before your traveling by time and seeing your future, make good things in the present and think about your Goal and role in this life.

Make something that will make you proud when you meet Allah the Almighty.


References:

(1) Verse (17:1) of Qur’an (English Interpretation of Meaning).

(*) This is a reference to the event known as Mi’raj (Ascension) and Isra’ (Night Journey). According to most traditions – and especially the authentic ones – this event took place one year before Hijrah. Detailed reports about it are found in the works of Hadith and Sirah and have been narrated from as many as twenty-five Companions. The most exhaustive reports are those from Anas ibn Malik, Malik ibn Sa’sa’ah, and Abu Hurayrah. Some other details have been narrated by ‘Umar, ‘Ali, ‘Abd Allah ibn Mas’ud, ‘Abd Allah ibn Abbas, and ‘A’ishah among other Companions of the Prophet (PBUH).

(**) Buraq was the name of the heavenly steed on which the Prophet rode on his nocturnal journey from Makkah to Jerusalem, and then to the heavens (For this nocturnal journey q.v. Mi’raj.)

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