In the near future, a
chapter in our lives will be closed. As the years go by, we will enter a new
chapter of our lives. Some of us may have already made various plans, and prepared
to open a new chapter in their lives. While some do not have any plans. Ready or
not, the future will come, and we will be there.
is essentially a transition from one chapter to another. Old chapters we leave
behind and close, but we never close the book itself, do we? Before death
approaches, the book of life will always be open. That's why we sometimes
reread old chapters, traces that are engraved in certain chapters in our lives.
For some reason, sometimes we are also tempted to erase one or more chapters
from the book of our lives in the past. It may be that the part is
embarrassing, or bad, so that it haunts us in the steps ahead. We forget that
the chapter of our life is not a digital picture that can be deleted whenever
The life we live is recorded in a book known as the “Lawh al-Mahfuz” (The Mother of Books). When the time comes, we will be shown what we have
lived in this world, and based on that record, we will be held accountable before God. God does
not require us to be holy and perfect. In a hadith it is stated that every son
of Adam makes mistakes, the most virtuous being those who realize their mistakes and
abstain themselves from repeating the same mistakes. This could be interpreted as God compensated the children of Adam in the form of time
to correct their mistakes. The amount of time given to anyone is relative. Some people are given a long life, some are short,
but metaphysically, God has decreed that life in this world is only for a
moment (Surah 23:114).
difference between perceived time (which we experience) and metaphysical time
shows that time is indeed relative, as scientist Albert Einstein once said.
Islam itself, which I believe, adheres to this relative conception of time, as
many have cited in several verses, for example, a day with your Lord is like a
thousand years according to your reckoning (Surah 22:4 and 32:5), the angels
and Gabriel ascend (facing) to God in one Day the duration of which is fifty
thousand years (Surah 70:4).
In the Special Theory of Relativity, Einstein determined that time is relative—in other words, the rate at which time passes depends on your frame of reference. (Public Domain Image)
how do we understand the
relativity of time and what are its implications for our lives? When one
chapter of life closes and another opens, we are actually still at the same
time. What we call the past, present, and future are actually one-dimensional,
not three-dimensional because time is motionless. We are the ones moving. It is we who pass, not time. Mankind invented watches, wall clocks, to mark the passage of
but time never passed.
Our understanding so far, time flows by our side like water. We understand that
what is happening now is the present, and what will happen
later is the future. It's as if time
continues to flow and move while we just stand. In fact, in truth, we are the
ones who flow and move. The proof is that we grow, from babies to small
children, to teenagers, to adults, to old age, and finally death.
Time existed before we were born, and continue
to exist after we die. So time is
infinite. In that infinite span of time our life is just a moment,
and that moment is here and now.
When we realize that life is in this moment, here and now, we will not worry
about the future. Why worry about the future when it's all here and now. Worry
will only take our whole life out of our hands. That way, all our life we will
be in anxiety, discomfort, restlessness, and still end at the door of death. In conclusion, we have lost our whole life.
On the other hand, if we cultivate an awareness of what
is “here and now", we will not be burdened by the past and worries about
the future. Our job is only to transform the current moment into the best
moment in our lives by multiplying our good deeds, by doing good to others, while we can. That way our lives
will be filled with gratitude, spaciousness, and happiness.
We do not know what will happen tomorrow, maybe we will
not even meet what we call tomorrow. That is what the relativity of time means.
So while "there is time", let's do our best, and continue to change
for the better, because true courage is the ability to change.