Last Updated on 21st January 2022
Usama Awan, Radiologist, USA
What if we could hear the voice of Prophet Muhammadsa with our ears, instead of only reading his narrations in Sahih al-Bukhari? Yes, you read that correctly. Imagine listening to Prophet Muhammad’s blessed words that emanated from his blessed lips. Sounds unbelievable, right? Well, maybe it isn’t so impossible.
We all remember being fascinated as kids when our teachers taught us that we could tell the age of a tree just by counting its rings. It was amazing to see that history was quite literally being recorded in these rings within tree stumps. However, there’s more than just the age of the tree that can be surmised. An article from NASA shows that the climate the tree experienced during its life is also inscribed in these rings. (https://climate.nasa.gov/news/2540/tree-rings-provide-snapshots-of-earths-past-climate/)
Tree stumps contain concentric light and dark rings. The combination of one light ring and the adjacent dark ring represents one year of the tree’s life. The lighter rings represent growth during spring and summer and the darker rings represent growth during the autumn. As expected, trees grow wider in more favourable climates when it is warm and wet. Therefore, the thickness of each of these rings can clue paleoclimatologists (scientists who study past climates) into the historical climate patterns registered within these rings.
This phenomenon is also seen in the human body. For instance, in children whose bones are still growing, pathologic insults that result in the arrest of the bone growth can leave a sclerotic (white) line. Repeated insults (i.e. malnutrition, infection etc.) can result in cycles of arrest followed by growth. Hence, the pattern of alternating white lines is followed by normal bone development.
These lines are referred to as “growth arrest” lines.
The distance between these white lines would correlate to the time in between insults or periods of growth restriction thereby, allowing one to get a better chronological understanding of the child’s development.
Some even argue that these lines may actually be seen as a normal variant and not only as a result of the disease. In that scenario, these lines would be almost analogous to concentric rings seen in a tree.
History has left its impression on things all around us – some more perceivable than others. For instance, when we look into the dark, starry sky, we are in reality looking back in time. The famous Pleiades star cluster (Arabic: الثريا) is approximately 440 light-years away, meaning that the light that we are seeing is from the late 1500s. Our eyes are directly witnessing a parcel of history that has travelled billions of miles to reach Earth.
Law of Conservation of Energy and the Holy Quran
The Law of Conservation of Energy refers to the fundamental principle that energy can neither be created nor destroyed; it can only convert from one form to another. Light, in essence, is a packet of energy that travels in the form of electromagnetic waves. Once these packets of energy hit the back of the eye, photoreceptors can convert this light energy into electrical signals which the brain then interprets as vision.
Sound is also energy. Therefore, according to the Law of Conservation of Energy, the energy generated from sound waves cannot ever be destroyed – it can only be converted to another form of energy. This may seem mystifying at first, but this is a law of science.
A possibility of listening to ahadith, first-hand
Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad, the second Khalifa of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, in his commentary of the Holy Quran, Tafsir-e-Kabir, postulated that one day, we might even be able to hear the actual words of Prophet Muhammadsa.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra gives an extremely insightful reading of verse 30 of Surah al-Naba:
وَ كُلَّ شَيۡءٍ اَحۡصَيۡنٰهُ كِتٰبًا
“And everything have We recorded in a Book.” (Surah al-Naba, Ch.78: V.30)
“Allah states that we have taken a detailed account of everything or that we preserved a detailed account of everything. Meaning that this account is secured in such a manner that nothing from it can be lost. We observe that no action that a man undertakes disappears; rather, it remains preserved in one manner or another.
“The invention of the radio is a great testament to the validity of this fact. A person utters a word from thousands of miles away, and it immediately reaches us. We can hear this voice in our homes as if the individual was having a conversation seated next to us.
“I wonder sometimes that it is not so far-fetched if science continues to progress to a degree where we can record the voices of the previous times. If such a machine is invented, it may well be possible that we are able to listen to those ahadith which are currently written in books, directly from the mouth of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be on him.
“In surveying the current technologies, this does not seem altogether impossible. There has been tremendous [technological] progress in this day and age. It is possible that in the future such technology is invented and we can seize control of the past and easily listen to the voices from the past. Whichever conversation from whichever century we want to hear, we can easily adjust the machine to replay those conversations. I wish this would serve as a means for the world to come to the truth.” (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 8, p. 43)
Although it may seem unreal that we could one day hear the voices from the past – it may not be impossible. After all, it was only two centuries ago that it was impossible to even fathom that we could talk directly with someone across the globe without having to leave our homes. Who knows what the future holds?
As the verse states, Allah has recorded everything in a book. We may not yet be able to perceive this history, but it is there. It is preserved in the rings of trees, the bones of children, the light from the stars and so on. Everything leaves an impression, and nothing is wasted.