PERCEPTION OF TIME
There is a word we frequently use in daily life. .
Time. . .
We say we don’t have time. . . or that it is not the time (now to do something)
Just what is time? How does it occur? Have you ever given this a thought?
Time is formed by the impact of the events in our daily lives on our memory. For instance, we understand we have begun a new day when we have breakfast in the morning and that a day has passed when go to bed at night. If we have plans to go some place for the weekend, as we make our plans our brain registers what a week is. Our memories and their impact on our brain, enable us to understand the time concept. (It is for this reason that in later years of life, when the hard disk we call the brain is full of these memories; it starts to malfunction i.e. we start to forget. Because the disk is full. . . there is no more room to record new memories on the disk. . first we start forgetting names, then faces. . then to zip up our zipper as we leave the rest room and later on to unzip it. .
Scientists had five people stay in a room and showed them a film about sunrise and sun set from the window of the room.. This was repeatedly done for three days. At the end of the three days the people were asked how long they had stayed in the room and some responded one week, and some one month. . .
That is just how it is! “Even so We roused them that they may question one another. One of them asked: “How long have you stayed here?” They said: A day or less than a day.”.” Your Lord knows best,” they said, “ how long you have stayed.. VERSE 19,THE CAVE (AL-KAHF) SURA 18
Sunrise and sunset is the most important fact that forms the time concept in our brain. Imagine you are in space and there is no rising or setting of the sun. . .for you to perceive time you have need of a device - a watch - that shows the time. . because as Einstein said time is a relative concept.
Think of the time spent during sleep. . you spend seven or eight hours of your daily life sleeping. That close to one third. . During sleep our capacity to perceive is at rest. . late at night if should hear an alarming noise, we cannot immediately.perceive what it is
Those who experienced the earthquake in Turkey on August 17th 1999 would know. Perplexed people could not come to themselves. First they thought it was a dream. Finally, they realized the situation.
We all dream when we sleep. Some of us think we do not dream. Whereas they do not remember their dreams. Those who do remember think they last a long time. Whereas they last just a few seconds. Maybe even less than a second.
Quite interestingly disappointing and depressing moments just don’t seem to pass. . while waiting in the halls of a hospital for a loved one’s surgery, the time we wait seems like a century. . whereas, our joyful and happy moments fly by just like a bird. . or a weekend spent with someone we like passes by just like a second. . and if we cannot find a hobby we become bored. The sphere of time turns very slowly. . this why we find ourselves a hobby. . .
When we take an exam there is a time limit to respond to the questions.
Our life on this Earth is the time given to us for this exam.
Unfortunately, instead of taking advantage of the time given to us, we prefer to kill time. Instead of thinking of responding to the questions, we waste our time with shallow and nonsensical things. Similar to the unnecessary things we think of during an exam, we become involved with these worthless thoughts. . we don’t even look at the questions put right in front of us.
Are interest rates going to fall? Is Fenerbahce going to be the champion this year? Is the stock market bullish? And the like are many such questions which interest us more.
Whatsoever you have been given is only this life’s merchandise; but what is with God is better and more lasting for those who believe and place their trust in their Lord, VERSE 36, CONSULTATION (ASH-SHURA) SURA 42
When we are earning a living we do not think of the real meaning of life.
We do not want to think about it because it will be depressing. . .we prefer to think about entertaining things. This IS how we pass and kill time. . whereas, the time given us is not to kill, but rather to evaluate. .
In order for us to understand time and its value, the movements of the sun and moon have been given us as an example.
He ushers in the dawn, and made the night for rest, the sun and moon a computation. Such is the measure appointed by Him. VERSE 96, THE CATTLE (AN’AM) SURA 96
One day when the sun rises from the west we will understand that the time given us has ended and that it is not time to respond to the questions but to be graded. . because that is the day of accountability.
In this surely is a sign for him who fears the torment of the Hereafter, The day when mankind will be assembled together, which VERSE 103, HOUD (HUD), SURA 11**
Acknowledge the value of time. . do not forget that the time given you is your life. . It is the most valuable opportunity for your next life.
If only you could see when the sinners will stand before their Lord, head hung low, ( and say) “O Lord, we have seen and heard. So send us back. We shall do the right. For we have come to believe with certainty.” VERSE 12, AS- SAJDAH, SURA 32
In this world we have been sent to access heaven, do not get involved with petty and meaningless struggles and do not kill time with fleeting things. . Acknowledge that even Kharun could not win the World.
Verily Qarun was of Moses’s people. But he began to oppress them. We had given him treasures, so many that a team of wrestlers could hardly lift their keys. His people said to him: Do not be exultant. God does not those who exult. ‘VERSE 76, THE History (QASAS) SURA 28
Yes, maybe you may not win this world, but a heart won may be your world in the next world.
MAY GOD BE YOUR BELOVED AND YOUR COMPANION
(AKIN ÖRSMEN 2.21.2006)
*The Quranic verses are taken from Ahmed Ali’s translation,Al-Quran Princeteon University Press, fifth printing 1994.