[Estimated reading time: 30-45 Minutes]
Below is an article titled ‘The Physics of the Day of Judgement‘ written by: Dr. M. Humayoun Khan. I was sent the article by a close family member many years ago and to this day I find myself revisiting paragraphs of it from time to time. It is a definitely a ‘worthy’ read for both Muslims and Non-Muslims alike. Its pretty successful in stirring the imagination and helps us better understand some of the mysteries pertaining to questions about the practicalities of the scenes of the day of judgement taking place. By no means is it hailing an utmost accurate explanation of what is to take place – only Almighty Allah knows the way events will play out towards the end of time, as they are hidden from our knowledge. But never the less, From its ‘Preface’ which sets about building the scene to its ‘End’, this is quite an interesting, engaging, insightful & very different article that delivers its content in a surprisingly palletable approach and deserves to be revisited by every reader out there. (I have reformatted the document and edited it where spelling mistakes were present for easier reading).
In the name of Allah The Beneficent, The Merciful
When we are dead and have become dust and bones, shall we then, indeed be raised again?
Al-Quran Sura 37 verse l6
We did not will ourselves into existence nor do we accept death willingly. Life seems almost endless especially when things are going well. As we rush through our daily business we hardly notice the irony, that all this must eventually end.
All major religions of the world ascribe to some form of belief in life after death. The Day of judgment is one of the fundamental beliefs of the Muslims, Christians, and Jews. Hindus also have their almost endless reincarnations followed by the final reunion with the supreme being.
Even if we believe firmly in “The day of Judgment,” anything that can enhance our belief is highly desirable. In this context, let us look at the story of Prophet Ibrahim (May peace and blessings be upon him) given in the Qur’an. (Sura ii verse 260). Prophet Ibrahim wanted to know how Allah gives life to the dead. He said that he believed that it is the truth but he would like to have some reassurance. Allah then showed him a miracle. If a great prophet like Ibrahim could wish for reassurance then surely simple folks like us are in need of a lot more. This is especially true in the present day world where many beliefs have been demolished by advances in science. Fortunately for the Muslims, scientific advancements have explained many of the obscure verses in the Qur’an and have given new meaning to others. The Qur’an, because of this, stands raised far above other religious books in its authority as being truly revealed.
There is only one version of the Qur’an. It is the only religious book that even the critics of Islam admit was never altered since its revelation to Prophet Mohammed (May peace and blessings be upon him) fourteen hundred years ago. There are many verses in the Qur’an that describe scientific facts that were discovered only in the last one hundred years. There is consistency in its description of various phenomenon. The verses accurately describe ideas that are in agreement with modern observations about the universe. According to the Qur’an, life originated in water and was created in numerous stages. There is mention of the orbits of sun and moon and possibility of numerous other worlds like the earth. There is also the impression of higher dimensions. Paradise and Hell appear to be beyond this universe in some other dimension.
In this article, I would like to propose that even at the present time with our limited knowledge, there are remarkable similarities between some theories of cosmology and the day of judgment described in the Qur’an.
I believe that in the future, science will reinforce these predictions. However this is not the only way the day of judgment could come and indeed the real knowledge is with Allah only.
Man thinks that We shall not assemble his bones Yes Truly! Yes, We are able to restore his very fingers!
Sura 75 verses 3 & 4
INTRODUCTION TO COSMOLOGY
To understand how the future of the universe is linked to the day of judgement we will need to know some cosmology. We will in the next few pages learn, how the universe began, what it is like now and what are the future possibilities in store for us.
Our solar system consists of earth and nine other planets that are moving in an orbit around a star we call the sun. The sun along with two hundred billion other stars, comprises our galaxy “The Milky Way,” which is similar to “The Andromeda” galaxy, that is shown on the cover of this article. The galaxies are roughly shaped like a disc, with the stars moving in circular orbits at various distances around a large central mass.
THE LIGHT YEARS
The vastness of the universe requires, that the distances be measured in “Light years.” Light year is the distance, traveled by light, in a year, at the speed of three hundred thousand kilometers per second. The distance from the earth to the sun is eight minutes at the speed of light. Compared to this the nearest star from earth other than our sun is four light years away.
Our galaxy, “The Milky Way,” is one hundred and fifty thousand light years across. This means that traveling at the speed of light, it will take one hundred and fifty thousand years to go from one side of it to the other. Average separation of the galaxies is about ten million light years. Many hundred billion such galaxies are part of the truly gigantic universe.
The creation of the heavens and the earth is definitely greater thing than the creation of mankind, but most of mankind knows not.
Al-Quran Sura 40 verse 57
THE RECEDING GALAXIES
When the light that is coming from galaxies other than our “Milky Way,” is analyzed, using an instrument called the spectroscope, we find that they are moving away from us at tremendous speeds. The more distant a galaxy is the greater is its speed of recession. This motion of the galaxies is due to the expansion of the universe. The universe began in a tremendous explosion called “The big bang” and is expanding since then. The universe is not just a sphere of galaxies rushing away from each other into unending emptiness of space. It is like a balloon with many dots on it, each representing a galaxy. The surface of this balloon, that is two dimensional, represents all the three dimensions of our space, and is expanding into a higher dimension, that is beyond our imagination.
THE FUTURE OF THE UNIVERSE
It is not known if the universe would expand for ever, or one day it would start contracting. In either case the future of all the inhabitants of the universe would be rather bleak. If the expansion continues then after billions of years all the energy of the sun and the stars will be exhausted and every thing will die a cold death. After a while only expanding emptiness will remain. Alternatively if there is enough mass then the gravity will one day stop the expansion and the contraction will begin. A contracting universe will eventually end in a very hot and compressed state called “The Big Crunch.” This will destroy all the life forms as we know.
Besides the above two depressing and purposeless scenarios of the future there is a third possibility. Some physicists feel that time may reverse when the universe starts contracting. This possibility, has a striking resemblance to the Quranic description of the day of judgment.
Now, let us turn our attention to the evolution of the universe. We will learn how this leads to the end that coincides with another beginning, that we call the day of judgment. The uncanny agreement of cosmology with the Quranic revelation will become self evident
THE PHYSICS OF THE DAY OF JUDGEMENT
For some, science has taken the place of the miracles in the twentieth century and religion is nothing more than an interesting cultural past time. The commonly overlooked fact is, that it is God who has made the laws of the universe upon which science and technology is based.
Physicists and cosmologists all over the world, are working towards a better understanding of the structure of the universe. However to the misguided mind, the universe has a purposeless existence. It is a universe with random design and aimless laws. From the Islamic point of view, the universe has been created for a purpose and it will exist till its purpose is fulfilled; then it will cease to exist.
There are numerous scientifically accurate facts in the Qur’an that was revealed fourteen hundred years ago. This is nothing other than a miracle for the believers. The scientific truths described in the Qur’an were discovered only in the last one hundred years. Maurice Bucaille the author of “The Bible The Qur’an And Science,” says “There is not a single scientific error in the Qur’an.” It should not come to us as a surprise that in the present day world that is obsessed with science, the truth of the day of judgment may become apparent because of the scientific knowledge given in the Qur’an.
We shall show them our signs on the horizons and within themselves until it will become apparent to them that it is the Truth. Is your lord nor sufficient since He is witness over all things?
Al-Quran Sura 41: verse 53
RESURRECTION: IS LIKE. REVIVAL OF BARREN LAND
And Allah it is Who sends the winds and they raise a cloud; Then We lead it to a dead land and revive the earth after its death. Such is the Resurrection.
Al-Quran Sura 35 verse 9
Raising of clouds and growth of plants following rain are not miracles but are due to various laws of physics and biochemistry. The Qur’anic verses suggest that revival after death is also based on some physical laws, that we are not aware of as yet. We believe that Allah is the creator of all the laws of the universe.
THE BIG BANG
The universe came into existence billions of years ago in a tremendous explosion called “The big bang.” This is mentioned in the Qur’an in the following verses:
have not “those who disbelieve ” known that heavens and earth were of one piece and We parted them and We made every living thing of water. Will they not then believe?
Al-Quran Sura 21 verse 30
The discovery of “The Big Bang” and of “The aquatic origin of life” was made by the non Muslims, (“those who disbelieve”). In the beginning all the matter and space (heavens) were at one point (one piece). Then every thing was separated in what the physicists describe as “The big bang.” The evidence for “The big bang” is so overwhelming that it is now considered a fact and not a theory.
THE EXPANSION OF THE UNIVERSE
The Universe has been expanding since its creation. This great discovery was made by Hubble, an astronomer, in the early part of this century. It was also predicted by the Einstein’s theory of “General Relativity.” The expansion of the universe is clearly mentioned in the following Qur’anic verses:
The heavens We have built with power and We are expanding it.
Al-Quran Sura 51 verse 47
THE CONTRACTION OF THE UNIVERSE AND REVERSAL OF TIME
Time is one of the most elusive mysteries of the universe. No one knows what time really is. Albert Einstein said that time is the thing that we measure with the clock. Time passes slowly at high speeds and stops- altogether at the speed of light. Time has a direction, it always moves towards the future. We see rain falling from the sky, objects breaking up, people getting older, and people dying. We never see a glass getting unbroken or any one coming back from the dead. Physicists like Michael Berty, Thomas Gold, and Steven Hawking have proposed that-time may reverse then the universe starts contracting. Verses in the Qur’an suggest that one day the universe will start contracting and then the day of judgment will begin.
The day when We shall roll up the heavens as a recorder rolls up a written scroll. As We began the first creation, We shall repeat it.
Al-Quran Sura 21 verse 104
In the above verses the contraction of the universe is compared to the closing of a scroll. That is when time may reverse. Reversal of time will cause man to rise back from his grave and again become alive. Every event will happen again as every thing, is recorded in time.
And there is nothing hidden in the heavens or the earth but it is a clear record ( in time)
Al-Quran Sura 27 verse 75.
As the history of earth runs backwards, nations will return one after another. All the good and evil deeds of the individual as well as the nations will become completely apparent as the time runs backwards. (time reversal)
And you will see each nation crouching each nation called to its record. (In time). And it will be said to them: This day you are repaid for what you used to do.
Al-Quran Sura 45 verse 28
Playing back of time will make people see what they had done before. They will have no control over their hands, feet, mouths, and eyes. All the wrong and right things that were done before will be repeated by them again. In this sense the hands, feet, etc., will become witness against them in front of all the angels and Allah. They will not be able to deny any of their wrong doings. (time reversal)
On the day when the their tongues and their hands and their feet testify against them as to what they used to do.
Al-Quran Sura 24: Verse 24
We warn you of doom at hand. A day when a man will look on that his own hand has sent before, and disbelievers will cry “Would that we were dust “
Al-Quran Sura 78 verse 40
Prophets will be returned into their time as time runs backwards
And the messengers are brought into their time appointed.
Al-Quran Sura 77 verse 11
NO FREE WlLL IN THE CONTRACTING UNIVERSE
Man is given free will to choose between right and wrong in the expanding universe. That is when all his deeds are recorded in time. In the contracting universe there will be no free will, and no one will have power to harm or do good to others.
A day when no soul has power at all over any other soul. The absolute command on that day is Allah ‘s
Al-Quran Sura 82 verse 19.
REVERSAL OF GRAVITY
Gravity is due to minute differences in time at different heights. Time passes at slightly faster rate at the top of a mountain as compared to sea level. This difference in time although imperceptible to us, can be measured with the aid of atomic clocks. If time reverses in the contracting phase of the universe then this time difference will also reverse. This will cause the gravity to reverse producing an earth quake of a magnitude never seen before.
When earth is shaken with her final earthquake
Al-Quran Sura 99: Earthquake (Gravity reversal)
When the trumpet is blown one blast. And the earth with the mountains shall be lifted and crushed with one crash.
Al-Quran Sura 69 (Reversal of gravity) Verse 13-14
(Breaking up of mountains, throwing out of molten lava) When the sky will be like molten copper and hills will be like flakes of wool.
Al-Quran Sura 70 verse 8
Despite reversal of gravity, mass of the earth will not disperse completely, as reversal of time will constantly direct all the matter to return to its previous position.
EARTH: “EMPTY FROM INSIDE”
The reversal of gravity will cause the earth to throw out all of its insides to become a gigantic empty ball.
And when earth is spread out.
And cast out all that was in her and is “empty”.
Al-Quran Sura 84 verses 3-4
THE CENTER SKY IN THE HOLLOW EARTH
As reversal of gravity change the earth into a hollow structure, the sky or heaven will also change so that it will be in the center of the hollow earth.
On the day when the earth will be changed to other than this earth, and the heavens also. And they will come forth unto Allah, The One The Almighty.
Al-Quran Sura 14 verse 48
The following verses describe the day of judgment in a comprehensive manner. The day of judgment will start with the final earthquake as gravity reverses. The reversal of gravity will cause the earth to throw out all that was inside it to become completely empty. The people will come back alive one after another, (in scattered groups) inside this hollow earth that will have sky towards its center. The history of nations will be played back as time passes backwards. Nations as well as people will then see what they had done before, and they will be judged accordingly.
1. When earth is shaken with her final earthquake.
2. And earth yields its burdens. (From within)
3. And man says what aileth her.
4. That day she will relate her chronicles. (History in time)
5. Because your Lord inspires her.
6. That day mankind will issue forth (from earth) in scattered groups to be shown their deeds.
(As time runs backward)
Al-Quran Sura 99 Earthquake.
To an inquiring mind it may occur now that reversal of time will lead to resurrection from the grave and then we should get younger, go through our childhood and regress into nothingness in our mothers wombs. This is what the time reversal theories would have us believe; again a purposeless exercise. Well not quite so. The great earthquake is not to scare us, it is part of the phenomenon that will make the higher dimensions, the beyond, accessible. That is where, is hell and the gardens of Eden. In the next few pages we will see how precisely God has designed the universe. Not only life is recreated, arrangements have been made for it to escape the collapsing universe, into the worlds that exist in the higher dimensions.
THE HIGHER DIMENSIONS
Mathematically there are infinite number of dimensions. However we live in only a three dimensional space. Every object in our daily lives, has a length, width, and height. The concept of dimensions more than our three is impossible to imagine. Near the sun the gravity is more intense and an extra curvature in the space in a higher dimension is present. This was first taken into account by Einstein to accurately calculate the orbit of the inner planet, Mercury.
There was a time when people believed that the earth is flat. They were afraid of the possibility of falling off the earth if they traveled too far. This cannot happen because the surface of the earth is curved and continuous like that of a ball. To get off the earth we just need to move in a dimension (direction) that is perpendicular to the surface. That is straight up, from any where we are.
We face a similar conceptual problem in understanding the higher dimensions. We may imagine that we can leave the universe only by traveling very far, and that is not true. Even if we travel billions of miles, we will still remain within the confines of our three dimensional space.
And we know that we cannot escape from Allah in the earth, nor can we escape by flight.
Al-Quran Sura 72 verse 12
The only way to go beyond the universe is by moving into a higher dimension in a direction that is perpendicular to our three dimensional space, from right where we are. However that is also not possible as our space is not continuous with the higher dimensions. For that to occur, our space will have to be literally torn apart first and then get connected to the higher dimensions. This may happen only in the center of black holes.
And heaven is opened and becomes as gates
Al-Quran Sura 78 verse 19
THE BLACK HOLES
The opening of gates in the sky is a concept similar to that of black holes. Such openings can be the gate ways to beyond the universe through the higher dimensions. Massive stars that collapse inward under their own weight can form the black holes. Gravity in such objects is so strong that even light cannot escape and they become completely invisible. Hence the name black holes. Physicists believe that space time may be ripped apart in the black holes, producing gateways to beyond this universe. However the mass of black holes also obstructs the opening it is supposed to produce.
In the contracting universe this problem will not exist. The reversal of gravity in the contracting phase will change all the heavenly bodies into massive hollow structures leaving empty skies towards the center, where even the reversed gravity of relatively lighter objects like earth, will have a run away effect. Thus the fabric of space time will be torn apart, forming portals or gateways to the higher dimensions in the center sky of the hollow earth.
And the heavens will split asunder For that day it will be frail
Al-Quran Sura 69 verse 16
ANGELS DESCEND THROUGH THE PORTALS IN THE CENTER SKY, NO ONE WILL BE LEFT BEHIND
A day when the heavens and the clouds will be rent asunder and the angels will be sent down a grand descent
Al-Quran Sura 25 verse 25
And think of the day when We remove the hills and you see the earth emerging and we gather them together So as to leave not one of them behind.
Al-Quran Sura 18 verse 47
The collapsing universe will be ultimately destroyed in a fireball which physicists call the “Big Crunch.” Every one will be gathered. Any one remaining behind will regress to nothingness, because time will be running backwards. The gathering and removal of humans to “The beyond ” would probably be accomplished by the angels of “the grand descent.”
In our final journey through the gates that will open in the center sky we would go across many planes or dimensions. The word “ride” is used in the Qur’an as if this journey will be accomplished by riding on “something.”
That you shall “ride” on from plane to plane
Al-Quran Sura 84 verse 19
WHEN WILL THE DAY OF JUDGMENT ARRIVE?
Men ask you of the Hour. Say the knowledge of it is with Allah only. What can convey to you it may be that the Hour is Near.
Al-Quran Sura 33 verse 63
They bid you to hasten on the doom And if a term had not been appointed, the doom would have definitely come on them. And it will come upon them suddenly when they perceive not.
Al-Quran Sura 29 verse 53
Superficially it seems that if we knew the rate at which the expansion of the universe is slowing down then we should be able to predict when the day of judgment will begin. However if time is related to the expansion of space, then we cannot observe the slowing of the expansion. This would be like trying to measure the speed of a car with a clock that is connected to its wheels. As the car slows down the clock will also slow down and speed would always appear the same.
The threatened hour is near. None beside Allah can disclose it. Are you surprised then at this statement?
Al-Quran Sura 53 verse 57,58,59
Even the most advanced civilization in the universe would always Observe that the universe is expanding at the same rate as it started with. This of course means that the day of judgment cannot be predicted by any one and may come at any time. Only God or the angels who are independent of our time will perceive the slowing of time in the universe as the day of judgment approaches. The concept of slowing of time and higher planes is implied in the following verses.
1. A questioner questioned concerning the doom to fall.
2. Upon the disbelieves, which none can repel.
3. From Allah, Lord of the Ascending Stairways.
4. As the angels and the Spirit ascend to Him in a day
The span of that is fifty thousand years.
Al-Quran Sura 70 verse 1-4
THE ASCENDING STAIRWAYS (DIMENSIONS)
The ascending stairways imply many levels, planes or dimensions, and Allah is the Creator of all the dimensions. As the day of judgment approaches, an observation made from outside our universe will suggest, that our time has slowed down as compared to some standard time that exists beyond our universe. The above verses do not say that human beings will make this observation. The observation that one day on earth has become like fifty thousand years appears to be made by Allah as the angels come back to him.
WAITING IN THE GRAVE FOR THE DAY OF JUDGMENT TO ARRIVE?
In the Qur’an the soul is compared to consciousness and death is compared to sleep. Once death overcomes us there is no perception of passage of time and next thing we would see will be the Day of Judgment.
And agony of death comes in truth. This is what you wished to avoid. And the trumpet is blown. This is the threatened Day.
Al-Quran Sura 50 verse 19-20
And on The Day when the Hour arrives the guilty will swear that they remained (dead) but for an hour, thus they were ever deceived. But to those to whom knowledge and faith are given will say: “The truth is that you have remained (dead) until the Day of Resurrection By Allah’s decree. This is the Day of Resurrection, But you used not to know.
Al-Quran Sura 30 verse 55-56
On that Day, when the real truth will become apparent to every one, those who disbelieved will be regretful and full of remorse. They would wish that they had never existed; but then, there would be no room for a second chance on the Day of judgment.
And to Allah belongs the Sovereignty of heavens and the earth On the Day when the Hour rises, Those who follow falsehood will be lost.
Al-Quran Sura 45 verse 27
With the tremendous scientific advancements of the twentieth century, we have placed our trust in science and technology to solve all our problems. Daled by the ability of technology to give quick results, our faith in Allah has become weak. Our actions are for worldly goals although a stronger belief in God and accountability in afterlife would have made better people out of us. We can see the results of this in the moral decay that is afflicting many societies all over the world.
Allah has sent guidance to human beings according to the conditions existing at that moment in-history. When Pharaohs ruled, magic was a very popular past time. Then Moses (Peace be on him: Pbuh) came with miracles from Allah and defeated the magicians of the Pharaohs court. The people at the time of Jesus (Pbuh) were deep into miracle mongering, and we can see that life of Jesus (Pbuh) is full of miracles. When Mohammad (Pbuh) came, Arabic language and poetry was at the height of its development. Qur’an with its clear message was revealed in the most eloquent poetry with a unique unmatched style. Qur’an is a miracle and guidance for all times, therefore it is only appropriate to believe, that it may be the source of the most exciting discovery of the age of science. Science with help from Qur’an may discover, what religion has maintained all along, that rising from the grave is going to happen. There are many theories about the future of the universe. Despite a great deal of knowledge scientists are unable to decide which one of these is really correct. The belief that the universe has a purpose and the knowledge given in the Qur’an, may be the best guide in search for the truth. Hopefully Muslims will play a major role in any such future discoveries.
Many verses in the Qur’an describe the day of judgment. We live in a universe that is expanding since its creation billions of years ago. Both the birth of the universe in the “Big Bang” and its expansion are described in the Qur’an. Scientists do not know if the expansion of the universe will continue for ever or one day it will start contracting. Qur’anic verses suggest that the universe will not expand for ever and that the day of judgment will begin with the contraction of the universe. Similar to some theories of cosmology it appears that time and gravity will reverse with the contraction of the universe. Reversal of time will bring about the resurrection from the graves. In this time reversed world we will see again all the good and evil that we did in our life. Reversal of gravity will change the structure of the earth so that it will be turned inside out and will transform into a giant hollow ball. This event is clearly described in the Qur’an in many verses. Reversal of gravity will be the cause of the final earthquake, mentioned in the Qur’an. The reversed gravity focused towards the earth’s hollow center will have a runaway affect on space.
The space in the center of the hollow earth will be literally torn apart to produce openings or gates to the higher dimensions that are beyond our universe. Through these openings we will be able to escape the collapsing universe. Every one will be taken away to escape the unrelenting effect of time reversal that could take us back to nothingness in our mothers wombs. In the higher dimensions we will face the judgment for our deeds and hell or heaven. From the Qu’ran it appears that the timing of the day of judgment will be never known and it may come at any time. However again I would like to add that the real knowledge of the day of the day of judgment is with Allah only.
I hope this article would serve as a source of warning as well as encouragement for the believers. As for the non believers I hope this would become a starting point for further investigation into the world of Islam.
Write your comments to the Author:
Dr. M. Humayoun. Khan
King Fahad National Guard Hospital
P.O. Box 22490
Riyadh Saudi Arabia
Please make copies and distribute.