And We adorned the nearest (LOWEST) heaven with lamps (stars) to be an adornment as well as to guard (from the devils by using them as missiles against the devils). Such is the Decree of Him the All-Mighty, the All-Knower.” [Fussilat 41:9-12]

Last night, I tweeted;

“The size of the observable universe is 94 billion light years across where one light year is 9.46 trillion kilometers. Remember this so you know we cannot claim to have traveled in space enough to boast of not contacting extraterrestrial beings or in another sense, GOD.”

The tweet was consequent to an argument from an ignorant Atheist that there is no evidence for the existence of God given how far astronauts have gone in space, robots sent to space and the observable universe.

A brother, Olabisi Akand asked;

“In some hadiths, it is mentioned that the distance between each of the heavens is a journey of 500 years. This would put the total distance between, them all at 3500 years.
Considering the points you mentioned above, are these two talking about the same thing, or do they both relate to different things?

I replied;

I cannot say, perhaps something different or there are deeper meanings because:

* The observable universe is not all of the Universe. There’s the unobservable Universe, which is at least 23 trillion light years in diameter and contains a volume of space that’s over 15 million times as large as the volume we can observe.

* A year with Allah is not the same as a year with us. So, the 3500 years may not be what is relative to us. On either side, it sort of looks like they refer to the same thing.

* We cannot calculate the travel speed in the Hadith. Relative to the time the Hadith was mentioned, we cannot say which travel means will take us 3,500 years to cover the entire distance.
At the speed of 61, 000 Kmh, Voyager 1 has been traveling in space since 1977 and is 23.5 billion kilometers away from Earth. If it travels for 3,500 years, that’s massive.

We just don’t know what means of travel the Hadith meant but they seem to to be the same scenario and Allah knows best.

Dr. Adebimpe Abdulazeez (As-sunni) contributed;

There is no contradiction at all. Allah talks of 7 heavens. What we call the ”observable universe” is still within the first heaven. We have not been able to observe its full extent. The segment of it we can observe to date is what we call ‘The Observable’. The major landmarks we see to observe are the stars, the nebulae, and the Galaxies. Nebulae are like production houses of stars and groups of stars form Galaxies.

We can’t even see all the existing galaxies yet (not to think of zooming on them to appreciate the billions of stars that form them). So anywhere we are able to find galaxies or stars, whether today or those our future technology will be able to reveal to us WILL STILL BE WITHIN THE FIRST HEAVENS. Allah clearly says it’s the FIRST HEAVEN he decorated with stars.

The day our telescope conquers the first heavens, we will stop seeing stars, probably we will begin to see some things entirely different. So, to prove that the distance between each heaven is more or less than the 500 years our prophet said, we will need to get to the end of the first HEAVEN first and then bring out our SPEEDOMETER.

Somebody cannot measure the distance between Lagos and Ibadan by sitting down somewhere in Idumota, He must first get to where Lagos ends and then start measuring till he gets to where Ibadan starts.

In summary, we are currently incapable of measuring the distance between the first heaven and the second. We don’t even know whether we are currently in Idumota, Abule Egba or we are just some steps into Lagos from the Idiroko Border.

Sahih International:
And We have certainly beautified the nearest heaven with lamps [i.e., stars] and have made [from] them what is thrown at the devils and have prepared for them the punishment of the Blaze. (Al-Mulk 67 : 5)

Buhari Kabiru added;

The vastness of the universe humbles even the speed of light to ‘snail speed’.
A trip to our closest stellar neighbor would take 4 long years. It is even impossible for an object that has mass to travel at or close to the speed of light since its mass would approach infinity at such speeds. Our only chance of becoming star-farers is to manipulate space itself by traveling in a hypothetically warp bubble or wormhole.


“God is closer to man than his jugular vein, but man in his arrogance goes to space in search of God”

Bashir Lucas Samson Lukman


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