Black holes: A manifestation of Allah’s name of Al-Hafiz

Updated 16 October 2014

Black holes: A manifestation of Allah’s name of Al-Hafiz

SURAH At-Tariq refers to a ‘piercing star’: “(I swear) by Heaven and the Tariq! And what will convey to you what the Tariq is? The Star Piercing (the darkness)!” (Qur’an, 86:1-3)
The term used in the verse is ‘althaqibu,’ meaning piercing, opening a hole, penetrating and passing through, from the root ‘thaqaba,’ meaning ‘hole.’ The word used in scientific publications when black holes are being described is ‘puncture.’ There is a considerable wisdom in the use of this word to describe the features of black holes in the Qur’an. The fact that this property of stars is mentioned in the Qur’an is important evidence that the Qur’an is indeed the very word of Allah.

The black holes
The 20th century saw a great many new discoveries regarding celestial phenomena in the universe. One of these entities, which has only recently been encountered, is the black hole. These are formed when a star which has consumed all its fuel collapses in on itself, eventually turning into a black hole with infinite density and zero volume and an immensely powerful magnetic field. We are unable to see black holes even with the most powerful telescope, because their gravitational pull is so strong that light is unable to escape from them. However, such a collapsed star can be perceived by means of the effect it has on the surrounding area. In Surah Al-Waqi’a, Allah draws attention to this matter in this way, by swearing upon the position of stars: “Nay I swear by the places of the stars — and that is indeed a mighty oath if you only knew.” (Qur’an, 56:75-76)
Light cannot escape from a black hole because it is such a high concentration of mass in a small space. The enormous gravitational field captures the photons and even the fastest particles. For example, the final stage of a typical star, three times the mass of the Sun, ends after its burning out and its implosion as a black hole of only 20 km (12.5 miles) in diameter! Black holes are “black,” i.e. veiled from direct observation. As well as depictions of the Day of Judgment, the verse below may also be pointing to this scientific discovery about black holes: “When the stars are extinguished.” (Qur’an, 77:8) This fact may be referred to in the verse about stars, and this is another important item of information demonstrating that the Qur’an is the word of Allah.
Almighty Allah provided information about “black holes” in the Qur’an as well as other celestial bodies at a time when mankind knew nothing about celestial bodies.

Information from black holes
Stephen Hawking, the world-famous British physicist, has said that a black hole begins producing nuclear energy when it forms, and that the radiation that forms can provide information about what is inside the black hole.
Stephen Hawking’s obtaining such information is most interesting because this theory is a clear manifestation of Almighty Allah’s title of Al-Hafiz (The Preserver), “He Who preserves all things in detail,” and this has been scientifically proved by the renowned physicist.
In the sight of Allah, everything has taken place and finished in a moment. Since the beginning of time, everything has taken place in this single moment. In the sight of Allah, all information pertaining to this moment is kept in a “Book.” This “Main Book,” or as the Qur’an calls it, “The Mother of the Book,” holds every bit of information about everything: “Certainly there is no hidden thing in either heaven or earth which is not in a Clear Book.” (Qur’an, 27:75)
The Book will be set in place and you will see the evildoers fearful of what is in it. They will say, “Alas for us! What is this Book which does not pass over any action, small or great, without recording it?”
“They will find there everything they did and your Lord will not wrong anyone at all.” (Qur’an, 18:49) Allah has created everything, living or non-living, which has existed since the beginning of the universe and all events which have happened. Consequently, Allah is cognizant of them all. To put it in another way, “They all exist in the memory of Allah.” In this sense, the Mother of the Book is a manifestation of Allah’s attribute, the Al-Hafiz.
One of the miraculous features of the Qur’an proving that it is the word of Allah is these verses referring to black holes. Thanks to the way that the verses of the Qur’an may bear several meanings, it is highly probable that many more miracles of the Qur’an will emerge in the years to come. (Allah alone knows the truth of all things.)
As the word of Almighty and Omniscient Allah, the Qur’an contains much information that people do not understand, or which they as yet lack the knowledge to understand. This information comes to light by means of technological and scientific advances taking place at a time and level of our Lord’s choosing, thus confirming the miraculous nature of the Qur’an.

Destined to eternity
At this point, we come upon a striking fact; because the memory of Allah is infinite, nothing existent in Him becomes lost. In other words, no living being created by Allah vanishes, no flower fades, no drink finishes, no period comes to an end, and no food is consumed. Every moment Allah creates and every exact detail of everything are created in eternity and it is “destined to eternity.”
This explanation may be put in the following way: Eternity has begun for a being or an event by the time it is created. For instance, when a flower is created, it is, in reality, destined not to disappear. That this being ceases to become a part of one’s sensations and is erased from one’s memory does not actually mean that it has vanished or died. Its state in the Sight of Allah is what actually matters. Furthermore, all states of this being, be it its creation, all moments throughout its life or death, exist in the Memory of Allah.
Upon all that is created, Allah bestows eternity. In other words, existing things have attained eternity by the time they are created. To have a thorough grasp of this notion, however, one needs to reflect on all beings and events individually.
But, before proceeding with this subject, it would be useful to stress the following fact; what has been stated so far, together with the following, is no doubt the most important information one can ever acquire in one’s lifetime.
Most probably, many people are hearing and reflecting on these facts about timelessness for the first time in their lives. However, here is something important to keep in mind: Allah, in the Qur’an, draws our attention to the fact that “only those who sincerely turn to Allah” take heed. In other words, only those who truly seek the guidance of our Lord and endeavor to appreciate His infinite might and His greatness will heed these explanations and have a grasp of these facts.

The writer has authored more than 300 books translated in 73 languages on politics, religion and science.

The beauty of prayer in Islam

Updated 23 September 2016

The beauty of prayer in Islam

GOING deeper into our spiritual state during prayers (salah) requires that we have a presence of heart and are mindful of the words being said during the prayers.
Our prayer will feel shorter, yet when we look at how much time we actually spent, we will think, “Did I just spend 10 minutes?” or even 15 and 20 minutes.
A person who began applying this said he wished the prayer would never end.
A feeling that Ibn Al-Qayyim describes as “what the competitors compete for… it is nourishment for the soul and the delight of the eyes,” and he also said, “If this feeling leaves the heart, it is as though it is a body with no soul.”

The love of Allah
Some people’s relationship with Allah is limited to following orders and leaving prohibitions, so that one does not enter hell. Of course, we must follow orders and leave prohibitions, but it needs to be done out of more than fear and hope; it should also be done out of love for Allah. Allah says in the Qur’an: “… Allah will bring forth [in place of them] a people He will love and who will love Him.” (Qur’an, 5:54)
We often find that when a lover meets the beloved, hearts are stirred and there is warmth in that meeting. Yet when we meet Allah, there is not even an ounce of this same feeling. Allah says in the Qur’an: “And (yet) among the people are those who take other than Allah as equals (to Him). They love them as they (should) love Allah. But those who believe are stronger in love for Allah.” (Qur’an, 2:165)
And those who believe are stronger in love for Allah. There should be a feeling of longing, and when we raise our hands to start the prayer, warmth and love should fill our hearts because we are now meeting with Allah. A dua of the Prophet (peace be upon him): “O Allah, I ask You for the longing to meet You” (An-Nisa’i, Al-Hakim)
Ibn Al-Qayyim says in his book Tareeq Al-Hijratain that Allah loves His Messengers and His believing servants, and they love Him and nothing is more beloved to them than Him. The love of one’s parents has a certain type of sweetness, as does the love of one’s children, but the love of Allah far supersedes any of that. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “Any person who combines these three qualities will experience the sweetness of faith: 1) that God and His messenger are dearer to him than anything else; 2) that his love of others is purely for God’s sake; and 3) that he hates to relapse into disbelief as much as he hates to be thrown in the fire.” (Bukhari)
Thus, the first thing he mentioned was: “… that God and His messenger are more beloved to him than anything else…”
Ibn Al-Qayyim says: “Since ‘there is nothing like unto Him’ (Qur’an, 42:11), there is nothing like experiencing love for Him.”
If you feel this love for Him, it will be a feeling so intense, so sweet, that you would wish the prayer would never ever end.
Do you truly want to feel this love? Then ask yourself: ‘why do you or should you love Allah?’
Know that you love people for one (or all, in varying degrees) of three reasons: For their beauty, because of their exalted character or/and because they have done good to you. And know that Allah combines all of these three to the utmost degree.

All-embracing beauty
We’ve all been touched by beauty. It is almost fitrah (natural disposition) to love what is beautiful. Ali ibn Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with him, said about the Prophet, peace be upon him, that it was “as if the sun is shining from his face.” Jabir (may God be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah was more handsome, beautiful, and radiant than the full moon” (Tirmidhi)
Allah made all His Prophets have a certain beauty so that people would have a natural inclination toward them.
And beauty is more than what is in the face, because beauty is in all of creation and somehow has the ability to take our breath away and give us peace simultaneously. The glimmer of the crescent moon on a calm night, the intensity of a waterfall as the water drops for thousands of feet, the sunset by the sea … certain scenes of natural unspoiled beauty stirs something in us. As Allah is the One Who made it beautiful, so what of Allah’s beauty?
Ibn Al-Qayyim said: “And it is enough to realize Allah’s Beauty when we know that every internal and external beauty in this life and the next are created by Him, so what of the beauty of their Creator?”
This fitrah for loving what is beautiful is because Allah is beautiful. One of His Names is Al-Jameel (the Most Beautiful). Ibn Al-Qayyim states that the beauty of Allah is something that a person cannot imagine and only He knows it. There is nothing of it in creation save for glimpses.
Ibn Al-Qayyim says if all of creation were the most beautiful they could be (so let’s imagine, ever single human being looked as beautiful as Yusuf, peace be upon him, and the whole world was like Paradise), and all of them combined from the beginning of time until the Day of Judgment, they would not even be like a ray in comparison to the sun when compared to Allah. Allah’s beauty is so intense that we will not even be able to take it in this life. In the Qur’an, Allah describes Musa’s (peace be upon him) request: “And when Moses arrived at Our appointed time and his Lord spoke to him, he said, ‘My Lord, show me (Yourself) that I may look at You.’ (Allah) said: ‘You will not see Me but look at the mountain; if it should remain in place, then you will see Me.’ But when his Lord appeared to the mountain He rendered it level, and Moses fell unconscious.” (Qur’an, 7:143)
Even the mountain could not bear the beauty of Allah and crumbled, and when Musa, peace be upon him, saw this (he did not even see Allah), he fell unconscious. This is why on the Day of Judgment it is Allah’s light that will shine on everything. We talk about breathtaking beauty, but we have yet to experience Allah’s beauty. While things in this world can be beautiful or majestic or if they combine both they are finite, true majesty and beauty are for Allah: “And there will remain the Face of your Lord, Owner of Majesty and Honor.” (Qur’an, 55:27)
Keeping all of this in mind, the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “Allah directs His Face toward the face of His servant who is praying, as long as he does not turn away” (Tirmidhi).
Remember this in your prayer, and ask Allah to allow you the joy of seeing Him in Paradise.