Time, the fourth dimension.

During my 12th standard, I had a teacher by the name of Arun Kumar. A cute and charming person dedicated to teaching and family. He used to give us free times in the class now and then so that we could discuss with him and the whole class about any sort of weird ideas that we had.

I still do not remember how this “weird” idea came to be in my mind, but it did and I did ask him about it. (Hola! I suddenly remembered! I had read the book “Time machine” by “H. G. Wells” and I think something of the sort was mentioned in there)

My teacher was not a very highly educated person, but he loved to know how students thought and he encouraged us thinking out of the circle. He told me he had heard about such a thing during his college days but had not looked into the matter much. But he did push me to find it out.

But somehow I dropped the idea.

Now after all these years, it comes back to me all of a sudden when I was talking with my Professor at college about how much time I was actually wasting in the name of “attending classes”.

But coming back to the point, is time a dimension? We use dimensions in order to represent an object or plane right? If we need to represent a square plane, we need to have two axes minimum. But the thing is, the square existed in this world when we represented it. It existed for an amount of time while we were busy representing it with two axes.

Suppose we used x and y axes for representing it. Then just like saying that the square doesn’t have existence without either x or the y axes, we can say that the square can’t exist without time either. So time is a necessity for representing anything and everything. So shouldn’t it be an universal axis? Maybe that is the reason why we don’t use it explicitly in order to represent things.

Even though I researched about the matter, I’m trying my best to not any Wikipedia information interfere with my thoughts on the matter. For this is science and we all have a say.

As such, the question of ‘what is time?’ becomes confusing. Is it just a measurement standard that we use to specify the occurrences of events in our lives? I mean just like we use mass to represent the amount of substance within an object? Or is time something that has an existence of its own waiting to be explored by us?

My thoughts on the matter have reached this point and I’ll be carrying on with it later. After all, I need more time.

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6 thoughts on “Time, the fourth dimension.

  1. Since I was little I’ve always was told that time is the fourth dimension (my father told me this–he’s a maths and science lecture in university). I thought it was quite simple, especially when I was learning somewhat about it in High school. Though, of course nothing is as simple as it seems :P.

    In al-‘Ashr Allah calls Time as a witness to human actions.

    National Geographic magazine have been had an edition all talking about this topic; What is Time? Its so normal in our daily life, yet its such a vast concept that we haven’t really grasped it yet.

    • @Hanna: My ambition is to become a teacher and I believe your father is a great man in that regard. I had left the matter of time thinking it trivial. But now as I put more thought n the matter, it seems there is a huge unexplored area out there. Let’s see.

      @Sharat: Thanks dude. I’ll be going through them shortly.

    • Thanks for the links ;). I just read them. I think Stephen Hawking’s idea is truly extraordinary, traveling into the future? Hmm… we’ll see ;).
      I did have a similar thought as Stephen Hawking about traveling to the past as in itself a paradox, ‘Cuz causes happen before effect, so how can we travel into the past without the past being changed and in itself we won’t exist? It’s just too much not making any sense.

      • That article by Stephen Hawking was really interesting. But I saw a small relation to that in my religion. I mean, it is so said that one day on the day of judgment, or one day in hell will be equivalent to 100 years on Earth. I’m not establishing any connection over here. But I just felt that time and its existence has got some major role in revealing something that we thought was supernatural.

    • From The Book “Surah al-Kahf and The Modern Age” by Imran Hosein, page 21-23.

      THE QUR’ĀN AND TIME

      The very essence of time as divinely taught in Sūrah al-Kahf of
      the Qur’ān, and as interpreted in this essay, is that it is complex and
      multi-dimensional. There is a multi-dimensional movement of time as
      it passes through the ages. Only the faithful and righteous are
      endowed with Nur (i.e., light) which gives them the capacity to
      penetrate the reality of time. In a very famous Sūrah of the Qur’ān
      (i.e., al-‘Asr) named after time, Allah Most Wise warns that all except
      the believers would be at sea about this subject. They would be in a
      state of loss because of their incapacity to fathom the subject of time
      and thus to swim gracefully with the river of time as it flows to a
      destination which would witness the final triumph of Truth over
      falsehood (See Qur’ān, al-‘Asr, 103:1-3).

      The youths in Sūrah al-Kahf thought that their 300-year long stay
      in the cave lasted just a day or part of a day because every spiritual
      experience and contact with the eternal transports us to a world in
      which we lose track of time (i.e., the ‘here and now’ or the ‘moment’).
      Whoever breaks the barrier that imprisons us in the prison of the
      ‘here’ and ‘now’, can experience timelessness. Only true love for
      Allah Most High and sincere devotion to the religion of truth can
      break the barrier of time.

      This essay argues that none can understand Dajjāl, the
      mastermind of the strange world today, unless he first liberates the mind from the prison of the ‘here and now’ and penetrates the different worlds of time. All, save those who have faith in Allah Most High, remain imprisoned in the consciousness of only one dimension of time. When those who are devoid of faith are raised on the Last Day, veils will be removed from their eyes so they will see with a sharpness of vision hitherto not possible. That new sharpness of vision, in turn, would
      reveal to them something of the reality of time.

      The Qur’ān has described a people who would one day be forced
      out of that prison of time to see the real world. Even though they may
      have lived for scores of years in this life, yet after their resurrection
      into a new world (which would be ghair al-ard, i.e., different from the
      present order of creation; see Qur’ān, Ibrāhim, 14:48), they would
      themselves be conscious of the new dimension of time into which they
      have been reborn. They will then declare that the scores of years in
      their previous life seem like “a day or part of a day”:

      (It will be said) “You were heedless of this (Day of Judgement), now have
      We removed thy veil, and sharp is thy sight this Day! (And one of the first
      things that they now see with their sharp sight would be the reality of
      ‘time’.)”
      (Qur’ān, Qāf, 50:22)

      He will ask (those who are doomed): “What number of years did you stay on
      earth?” They will answer: “We have spent there a day or part of a day: but
      ask those who (are able to) count time.” He will say: “Ye stayed not but a
      litt le if ye had only known!”
      (Qur’ān, al-Muminūn, 23:112-114)

      On the Day that the Hour (of reckoning) will be established the transgressors
      will swear that they tarried not but an hour: thus were they used to being
      deluded! But those enbued with knowledge and faith will say: “Indeed ye did
      tarry within Allah’s Decree to the Day of Resurrection and this is the Day of
      Resurrection: but ye were not aware!”
      (Qur’ān, al-Rum, 30:55-56)

      These verses of the Qur’ān reveal a relationship between ‘faith’
      and time such that those who possess faith would penetrate the reality
      of time. The depth of penetration of that reality would be a measure of
      ‘faith’.

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