Concerning existent time and determined time
When you ascertain that the substance of time
is determined and known by illusions,
Like nature in effecting its power.
The source in nature and time is are non-existent.
Things are specified by it, but it does not
have a source by which it is judged.
The intellect cannot perceive its form.
For that reason, we say that time is illusory.
If it had not been for disconnection, the existence of Allah would
designated by it. So He has exaltation in the heart.
When you are fair about the root of time from before-time
its judgement is of pre-time, and it is governed
Like emptiness whose extension does not have an end in
other than body by the illusion of embodiment in it.
(The firstness of the Real and His existence and the firstness of the universe and its existence)
Know, first of all, that Allah is the First and there is nothing else has firstness before Him, and nothing which depends on Him has firstness nor is there anything which was coterminous with Him. He is the One - glory be to Him! in His firstness. There is nothing whose existence is necessary by itself except Him. He is Rich by His essence absolutely above need of any being. Allah says, "Allah is Rich beyond need of any being." (3:97) by the proof of logic and the Shari'a.
So the existence of the universe is must of either have its existence be from Allah to Himself, or an extra matter which is not Him since, if it had been Him, it would not be extra. If it had also been Him, it would have been a complex matter in itself and firstness would have belonged to that extra matter. We have stipulated that there is no firstness to anything with Him nor before Him.
Since that extra matter is not Himself, it must be existence or not existence. It is impossible that it be not existence. Not existence cannot have the effect of bringing into existence in what is described by not-existence, which is the universe. So neither of the two is more likely to have the effect of bringing-into-existence than the other since both of them are not existence. Not-existence has no effect because it is non-existence.
It is impossible that it be existence. So in that it must either be existence by itself or not. It is impossible that its existence be by itself, for the proof has been established of the impossibility of there being in existence two whose existence is necessary by themselves. So there only remains its existence by other than itself, and there is no meaning for the possibility of the universe unless its existence is by other than it. So then it is the universe or from the universe.
If the existence of the universe had been from Allah by a certain relationship, if it had not been for that relationship, the universe would not have existence. That relationship is called will or volition or knowledge or whatever you like of what the existence of the possible demands. So the Real without a doubt would only do something by that relationship. Need has no meaning except this, and it is impossible for Allah. Allah has absolute wealth and he is, as He said, "Allah is Rich beyond need of any being." (3:97)
If it is said that what is meant by this relationship is the same as His Essence, we said that the thing is not in need of itself. He is Rich in himself. So the one thing is in need inasmuch as it is not rich. All of that in respect of Himself is impossible. We negated the extra matter. That obliges therefore that the existence of the universe be, inasmuch as it is exists from other than it, tied to the Necessary of existence by Himself. It is impossible that the source of the possible effect the Necessary of existence by Himself with bringing-into-existence. The matter is only intelligible like that.
His will, volition, knowledge and power are His essence. Allah is be exalted very greatly in His essence. Indeed, He has absolute oneness, and He is the One, the Unique, Allah, the Samad "who did not beget" which would be a precedent "nor was He begotten" which would be a result, "and there is nothing equal to Him," (112:3-4) so the existence of the world by Him would be from two premises - from the Real and the equal. Exalted is Allah!
He described Himself like this in His Book when the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was asked about the attribute of his Lord. Then the Surat al-Ikhlas was sent down and freed him of being associated with other. Allah is exalted in that pure attributes and descriptions. There is nothing which He negates or affirms in this sura but that that affirmer or negator is what some people say about Allah.
(The relationship of Pre-time (Azal) to Allah is like the relationship of time to mortals)
We have explained to you how we must be in need of Him - and He is Allah, glory be to Him! We will further clarify it . Know that the relation of pre-time to Allah is like the relationship of time to us. The relationship of pre-time is a negative attribute without source. Existence is not from this reality. So time belongs to the possible with a relationship whose existence is illusory, not existent, because in the case of anything you can apportion, you can ask "when" about it. When is a question is about time, time must be an illusory matter, not existence. For this reason, Allah applied it to Himself when He said, "and Allah has knowledge of everything" (33:40) "and to Allah belongs the command before and after." (30:4) In the Sunna the words of the asker are confirmed when he asked, "Where was our Lord before He created His creation?" If time had been a matter of existence in itself, Allah's being pure above limitation would not be valid since the principle of time would limit Him. So we recognise that these shapes do not have a matter of existence under them.
(Time: intelligible and proven)
Then we say that people differ about the expression "time" and what is understood by it and proven by it. The sages apply it to different matters. Most of them say that it is an illusory period which is intersected by the movement of the spheres. The mutakallimun apply it to something else: the comparison of an in-time to an in-time about which it is asked, "When?" The Arabs use it to mean night and day. It is our aim in this chapter. Night and day divide the day. From the rising of the sun to its setting is called "daytime", and from the setting of the sun to its rising is called "night". This divided source is called the day. This day manifests the existence of the greater movement. There is only in specific existence the existence of the Mover. It is not the source of time. The outcome of that referring to time is an illusory matter with no reality.
Since this is confirmed, the intelligible which is determined is designated by existent time. By it weeks, months, years and eons are manifested. They are called days and are determined by the small ordinary day which is divided into night and day. "Determined time" is what is extra to this small day by which all the great days are determined. It is said, "on a day whose measure is a thousand years of your reckoning," (32:5) and "on a day whose measure is fifty thousand years." (70:4)
(How days are reckoned in the time the Dajjal)
The Prophet said, "In the days of the Dajjal, a day will be like a year, a day will be like a month, and a day will be like a week, and all his days are like your days." This may due to intense terror. He removed ambiguity outwardly at the end of the hadith when 'A'isha said, "How will one do the prayer on that day?" He said, "One will determine." If it had not been that the matter in the movements of the spheres remained what it was without being upset, it would not be valid that it be determined by the hours by whose form the people of this knowledge act and by which they know the times in cloudy days when the sun does not appear.
At the beginning of the emergence of the Dajjal, there will be many clouds and they will follow one another to such an extent that the existence of the day and night will appear the same to the naked eye. That is one of the rare forms which will occur at the end of time. Those piled-up clouds will come between us and the sky, but the celestial movements will be as they are. So the movements will appear in the actual occupations which are known by the people of occupation with knowledge of the appearance and course of the stars. By them they determine the night and days and the hours of the prayer without doubt.
If that day which is like a year been a single day, it would not be obliged for us to determine the prayers. We would wait for noon of the sun. If it did not descend, we would not pray the prescribed Dhuhr. If the sun stopped and did not descend for twenty thousand years, Allah would not oblige us anything else. When the Lawgiver commanded us to worship by determination, we knew that the movement of the spheres is in the area and their structure is not broken.
(Single time and the single jawhar)
We have informed you about what time is and what is the meaning of the relationship of existence of it and the relationship of determination. There are many days, both small and great. The smallest of them is single time on whose basis emerges "every day He is in one affair." (55:29) Single time (zaman fard) is called a day because the "affair" spoken about is the smallest and finest of times. There is no limit to the greatest of days at which it stops. Between them are the middle days, the first of which is the ordinary well-known day divided into hours. The hours are divided into degrees and the degrees divided into minutes and the minutes divided into seconds, and so on ad infinitum according to some people. They divide the minutes into seconds. When the judgement of number enters them, its judgement is that of number, and number does not end and hence the division does not end.
Some people speak of an ending in that and look at it in respect of the numbered. They are the ones who state that time has an existent source. All that enters into existence comes to an end without a doubt. Their opponent says that the "numbered" inasmuch as it is numbered, does not enter into existence and so it is not described as coming to an end for number is not described as coming to an end. The one who denies the "single essence (jawhar)" is advances this as an argument. The body is divided ad infinitum in the intellect. It is a matter of dispute among the people of speculation which occurs from a lack of just treatment and investigation into what is proven by expressions. It is related in sound tradition that time (dahr) is one of the names of Allah. The intelligibility of time is well-known and we will mention that, Allah willing, in this book. "Allah speaks the truth and guides to the path."
Return to Home Page
Return to Contents