Guest Author - Linda Heywood
What is time? Time is a single moment, maybe an hour, perhaps a day, possibly a week, sometimes a month, often a year or rarely a century. The only time there can be is now. The time it took me to type these few words is in the past, it is gone. What I write at the end of this article is the future and I may never finish. As I type, this very moment is now. Now, is as you read the words I am typing. There is only now.
Time as we know it only exists on Earth. The hours, weeks, months and years run on the same agenda even if communities follow a different calendar. Some communities on Earth use the moon to mark the passage of time; other communities use the sun.
Chapter 6, verse 96
At the crack of dawn, He causes the morning to emerge. He made the night still, and He rendered the sun and the moon to serve as calculation devices. Such is the design of the Almighty, the Omniscient.
Telling the time is one of man kind’s earliest discoveries. Sundials were invented in ancient times. The gnomon or indicator is an upright object that casts a shadow, but it is totally useless at night or when the sun does not shine.
Water was used as a timing device by many civilisations. From the Babylonians, to the Romans, to the Chinese dynasties, water clocks have been constructed. Eventually the invention of the minute hand led the way to mechanical clocks with winding mechanisms. Then the pendulum clock was invented followed by quarts clocks and digital clocks and watches. There are so many timing devices in the world used for telling the time, when all that matters is now.
God tells us that He exploded the universes into being with the Big Bang and created and calculated the provisions on earth in six days. Six days of God’s time is not six of our twenty four hour days. Time is a concept, time is an illusion and time is emergent, forever coming into existence. Time never stands still.
The duration of the Islamic calendar is marked by the moon. God tells us in the Quran that there are twelve months in a year and that it has been this way since the day earth was created. Four of the months are sacred. God also tells us that altering the Sacred Months is a sign of excessive disbelief (9:36-37). God is referring to the MONTHS when people can attend Hajj. The authorities in Saudi Arabia have limited it to one month in a year, cheating the people of their right to attend Hajj during the Sacred Months.
Chapter 2, verse 189
They ask you about the phases of the moon! Say, “They provide a timing device for the people, and determine the time of Hajj.” It is not righteous to beat about the bush; righteousness is attained by upholding the commandments and by being straightforward. You shall observe God that you may succeed.
Agriculture and farming depend on the sun, and the seasons, to determine when to sow and harvest crops and breed animals.
Chapter 10, verse 5
He is the One who rendered the sun radiant, and the moon a light, and He designed its phases that you may learn to count the years and to calculate. God did not create all this except for a specific purpose. He explains the revelations for people who know.
There are nearly seventy definitions of the word time in the dictionary. There is a time for everything, a time for birth and a time for death. A lifespan can be counted in years or maybe moments. Time can take forever if you are waiting or rush by when you are having fun, but time is only ever now. A moment is fleeting, as is a lifetime.
Chapter 63, verse 11
God never delays the appointed time of death for any soul. God is fully Cognizant of everything you do.