PART A - The Three Postulates
I - Definition of the 3 Postulates of Eternity
The postulates of eternity are three spiritual laws that govern modern science. These governing laws concern the nature of creation which is represented by the concept of relativity, and its relation with the Creator who is represented by the concept of the Absolute.
The Absolute exists, is unique, and cannot be witnessed in, or associated with the frame of relativity.
Light is the only possible vehicle or link between the frame of the Absolute and that of relativity.
The governing laws of relativity must follow the governing laws of the Absolute, and they cannot, under any circumstance, exhibit a different behavior. This postulate is also known as the eternal constraint. By laws of relativity we mean all laws and affairs (amr in Arabic) pertaining to the material plan.
II - The Postulates and the Islamic Testimony of Faith
The bold statements made in the above definition of the postulates surely raise a lot of questions: from where are these three laws coming? Why are there three postulates? Why not four? And more importantly, what is the meaning of these postulates?
The three postulates originate from the Islamic testimony of faith which is called Qalima in Arabic:
La ilaha ill Allah Muhammad-ur Rasul Allah
There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger.
First, let us analyze our three postulates and re-interpret them in the context of religion. Then we will analyze each postulate in details.
- The first postulate can be interpreted as: “God is the only eternal Absolute One”. Thus, it is a manifestation of the most important belief of all monotheistic religions: God is one. This belief corresponds to the first part of the Islamic testimony of faith: “There is no god but Allah (La ilaha ill Allah).
- The second postulate can be interpreted as: “light is the link between God and creation”. It is a manifestation of the second most important belief of the monotheistic religions: prophets are the messengers of God and the means to reach Him and they all carry prophetic lights. This belief corresponds to the second part of the Islamic testimony of faith: “Muhammad is the messenger of God” (Muhammad-ur Rasul Allah). As the Seal of all messengers, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) embodies the prophetic light to its perfection as we shall see in the first chapter.
- The third postulate can be interpreted as: “the fundamental laws of nature are manifestations of God’s heavenly laws”. It is a manifestation of the movement of heavenly emanations described by all religions: from heaven to creation or from the spiritual world to the material world. This belief is in harmony with the Islamic testimony of faith: from God the Eternal One (through La ilaha ill Allah) to creation which is represented by Muhammad (through Muhammad-ur Rasul Allah). This eternal movement of realities is verified by the fact that when one recites the Islamic testimony of faith, one starts by saying La ilaha ill Allah and then finishes with Muhammad-ur Rasul Allah. Indeed creation always “follows” heaven.
As one may see, the postulates of eternity represent only a specific interpretation of the testimony of divine unity. As such, the thematic statement of this book is not a new discovery. Rather, it is an eternal principle: that of the foundation of the belief in God, His messengers and His laws as revealed by His last Prophet (SAW), all of which provide adequate guidelines to analyze and interpret our temporal laws’ behaviors.
III - Detailed Explanation of the 3 Postulates
1 – Spiritual Explanation of the 1st Postulate
The first postulate states that “God is the only eternal Absolute One”. As we saw earlier, this postulate corresponds to the first part of the Islamic testimony of faith: “there is no god but God”.
This postulate is critical to our understanding of the way constant and eternal patterns are recorded in science. Since God is the One who is absolute and eternal, His nature, which we know only through His Attributes, is also eternally reflected in His holy principles and heavenly laws. Then, these holy principles and heavenly laws are in turn reflected in the material world (3rd postulate) through light (2nd postulate). In this aspect, the three postulate of eternity describe how timeless scientific realities are coming into existence from God’s own eternal Attributes.
The first postulate separates the Creator who is eternal and absolute from creation which is temporal and relative. God is the One who does not depend on anything whereas creation entirely depends on the heavenly laws and realities that live in His Divine Presence. Such a demarcation is an important point to make in order for us to understand the behavior of the fundamental laws of nature.
Relativity of Creation
The 1st postulate implies that creation is relative since God is the only Absolute. This relativity is what Einstein discovered. The law of relativity has enormous consequences on the scientific and mathematical laws.
However, by restraining his theory to relativity, Einstein omitted its most important implication which is that God is the only One who is Absolute. This reality is the missing piece of Einstein’s special theory of relativity and we believe this is why he felt as if his theory was somehow incomplete. Indeed, the proof of the existence of God has a role to play in science also.
2 – Spiritual Explanation of the Second Postulate
The 2nd postulate states that “light is the link between God and creation”. This postulate is very useful in understanding the dual nature of light (wave and particle properties) and the velocity limit of photonic particles in our universe. In a nutshell, the velocity limit is the maximum speed at which any particle in the universe can travel. In this universe, the velocity limit of matter can never be greater than the light’s velocity which is often represented by the letter c. In other words, no particle can travel in the universe at a speed that is greater than the speed of light.
Earlier we stated that the 2nd postulate is equivalent to the second part of the Islamic testimony of faith: Muhammad is the Messenger of God. In the Holy Quran, God referred to Prophet Muhammad (SAW) as a “light” (Nur in Arabic) as the following verses reveal:
“O Mankind! There has come to you a proof from your Lord
And We revealed to you a clear Light.”
Holy Quran 4:174
“O Prophet! We sent you as a witness, a bringer of glad tidings and a warner,
And a caller to Allah by His leave, and a Shinning Lamp.”
Holy Quran 33:46
Most Islamic scholars agree that the light that is mentioned in the first quoted verse (4-174) is a reference to Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Moreover, the second verse (33-46) refers to the Prophet (SAW) as a Shining Lamp, which, as we all know, is a source of light.
Further evidence that light is a prophetic attribute is found in the following saying of the Prophet (SAW):
“The first thing God is created was the Light of your Prophet from His Light,
And that Light remained in the midest of His Power for as long as He wished,
and there was not, at that time, a Tablet or a Pen or a Paradise
Or a Fire or an angel or a heaven or an earth.
And when Allah wished to create creation,
He divided that Light into four parts and from the first made the Pen,
From the second the Tablet, from the third the Throne,
Then He divided the fourth into four parts [and from them created everything else].”
Narrated by Jabir Ibn Abd Allah. Hadith.
Nur, or light in English, is indeed another name of the Prophet . Therefore, one may understand from these verses about Prophet (SAW) that light is the messenger of God in the realm of our material plan. As a messenger of God, light must come from God. Therefore, it must have a direct relation with Him. Furthermore, in order to convey a message to someone there must be a recipient; otherwise, there is no need for a messenger. Therefore, light must also have a direct relation with the message’s recipient which is creation. These two relations appear in modern science as the two properties of light.
The following verse proves that the recipient of the Prophet’s message is creation:
“We sent thee not, but as a Mercy to the worlds.”
Wa ma arsenical illa Rahmatan lil alameen
Holy Quran 21:107
Regarding this verse, Shaykh Kabbani, comments:
“Everything that Allah has created is included in [the term] alamin (“the worlds”). (…)
The Prophet (saw) as a Mercy to the worlds is correspondingly sent as a Mercy to all of Allah’s creation.
Anything and everything that is other than Allah is a recipient of His mercy and blessings through the Prophet (saw).”
Shaykh Kabbani. The Approach of Armageddon: An Islamic Perspective. (p. 59-60)
Shaykh Kabbani’s commentary and the above-mentioned verse tell us that light is coming from God through the reality of We sent thee and moving toward creation through the reality of to the worlds. It then appears clear that light is the link between God and His creation.
The 2nd postulate of eternity also implies that light must have two properties: a spiritual one representing the heavenly world (akhira in Arabic) and a material one representing the material world (dunya in Arabic).
This assertion is verified by a saying of the Prophet (SAW):
“I have two faces: one with my Creator and one with creation.”
One of this saying’s meanings is that Prophet (SAW), who appears as a light, possesses in himself two properties: one that is purely divine and spiritual and one that represents creation. These two perfect faces of Prophet (SAW) are present in the scientific composition of light itself, as we shall see later.
It is worth noting that the 2nd postulate which describes light, is also the link between the 1st postulate, which pertain to God’s eternal Attributes, and the 3rd one, which describes the creation’s constant dependence towards God’s laws.
3 – Spiritual Explanation of the Third Postulate
The 3rd postulate states that the fundamental laws of nature are enslaved to God’s principles; The consequence of this postulate is that all physical actions are reflections of spiritual actions.
According to the 3rd postulate, our world’s scientific theorems and governing laws are true because they are perfect reflections of the truth that is contained in God’s heavenly principles. This postulate is the reason why 1+1 will always yield 2 for instance. It is not the mathematical addition “1+1” that is true in itself. Rather, it is the heavenly reality that is hidden behind the addition “1+1” that is eternally true. This heavenly reality is always true because it is coming from God’s Attributes which are eternal.
The Eternal Constraint
The concept of the eternal constraint is a direct consequence of the 3rd postulate. This concept implies that the fundamental laws of nature must necessary “follow” God’s heavenly principles. In other words, the fundamental laws are not bound to our understanding of science; rather, they are bound to the heavenly principles. For instance, our mathematical addition 1+1 always yield 2 because of one of God’s principles, not because of the mathematical rule of addition itself. For this very own mathematical rule is bound to the heavenly principles. One may say that the difference is so subtle that it does not actually matter since scientific rules always hold true regardless of what their true origins are. 1+1 will always yield 2 whether it is because of the mathematical rule of addition or because of a heavenly principle, so why do we bother?
The answer is because the heavenly principles are so sublime and transcendental that their scientific reflections sometimes stray away from our scientific dogma as it is the case with the science of quantum physics. This is where the eternal constraint becomes useful. Since the fundamental laws of nature must always follow the heavenly principles, these fundamental laws sometimes have to break the barriers set by the scientific laws in order to keep on reflecting God’s heavenly principles in an accurate way. At that particular stage, the difference between the reality of science and the reality behind science becomes obvious and critical. This stage is truly extraordinary to behold because the classical physical laws do not hold anymore and the scientific thoughts of process are not successful in explaining the new exhibited patterns.
The concept of the eternal constraint is best tasted through the study of quantum physics. Quantum physics is a modern scientific field that attempts to explain the strange behavior of infinitely small particles (such as electrons, protons and neutrons). Scientists noticed that infinitely small particles do not behave as classical science predicts they should. Indeed, these small particles seem to obey other laws that cannot be perceived nor understood through classical science. These particles are in fact following God’s heavenly principles which cannot be entirely grasped through classical science. Because of this particularity quantum physics left many a scientist perplexed.
Erwin Schrödinger, one of the fathers of quantum mechanics, said:
“I don’t like it, and I’m sorry I ever had anything to do with it.”
Niels Bohr, another founder of the theory of quantum physics, commented:
“Anyone who is not shocked by the quantum theory has not understood it.”
We will have the opportunity to discuss this scientifically disturbing field in the upcoming chapters.