The Signs:Time, Life and Death.

By Time; verily man is in loss.

The Time within which we live, is Allah’s creation.

We live within Time.

We are powerless to escape from Time.

Despite what science fiction propagates, despite the Terminator movies made populour by Schwarzenegger’s amazing muscle bulk, despite the scientific investigation on time travel (it is said that if we can move fast enough to beat the speed of light, we could time travel for sure), I am very certain that you could NEVER time travel.

Speed of light; it is said that this is the speed of the angels.

And what is the basis of my certainty? Surely, nothing is impossible in this age of swift scientific development.

Scientific development is THE MODERN MIRACLE, say them. Surely what you can’t explain now, you can see the evidence in later years right before your own eyes. Dare I doubt time travel now? Just because I could not compute how it works?

Take the telephone for example. Wallahi, had we lived in this world 200 years ago, we would never be able to compute how the telephone could ever come into being! (what? you are trying to invent s device that will enable you to hear another person’s voice from thousand of miles away? Dream on, my good man! I wish you luck in your endeavour.) Come to think of it, its supposed impossibility back then would be as great as time travel is for us now. Being in Australia, thousand miles apart from my family in Malaysia, it’s amazing how I could talk to them quite easily just as though we are only separated by a thin curtain.

The telephone is indeed magical!

But the magic and the wonder and even the appreciation of it is gone in this age where telephone is our everyday household furniture; especially when you start explaining about how sounds can be transmitted electrically, and then you threw in fantastic words (to the then still amazed audience) like microphone, amplifier, and satellite etc etc. So now, all the mechanism has been thoroughly explained with all its proper scientific principles. People gradually forgot their amazement of the telephone over time, as though by being able to scientifically explain these things make the telephone less special than it really is. Furthermore, the kids who have never been without a telephone, whose lives begin with the telephone always being around, did not even bother to be amazed as their ancestors had.

We forgot to be amazed about the ORIGIN of electricity. The atom consisting of electron and proton and neutron….how they interact with one another, how they move to give us electricity. Alexander Graham Bell only made use of this principles but it was NOT he who made those electrons/protons/neutrons behave that way. It was NOT he who made metals have the inherent ability as an electric conductor.

In other words, scientists only DISCOVERED the fact about electricity and metals. But they did NOT make electricity and metals behave the way they behave to benefit humankind. They discovered (of course with a lot of investigative effort) and then they explained. That’s it. So, how arrogant are WE to think that just because we can explain things scientifically,(NOT create the behaviour of the things we explain mind you, but just discovering and explaining them) means that God does not exist.

How have we been deluded!

****

Explain HOW do we die? I am a medical student, and I am still at a lost as to how to medically and scientifically explain HOW do we die?

You see, medicine taught me a whole lot about mechanism of diseases. But they always end the mechanism just before the ‘death’. They explain a lot about how this loss of function in a specific organ, over the years can cause metabolic derangement inside the blood (maybe due to bad kidneys, for example), this then causes gradual worsening of the patient, and then her initial disease begins to affect her other organs (of course these are all explained using BIG scientific words) and then she eventually dies due to the accumulative major insults to her body.

But no one explains the exact mechanism of dying! Basically the heart just stop beating, the pupils become fixed and dilated. Electrical activity in the brain stopped. The patient no longer respond to noxious stimuli.

But WHY does all these happen? I am confused as to the cause-and-effect relationship of death. Does death cause all these activities to stop, or does the stopping of these activities cause death?

There’s no CLEAR, EXACT mechanism. I could not recall EVER being specifically told about the mechanism of death in the lecture theater. I am now at my last semester of medical studies, insya Allah. For almost 5 years now, I have never been scientifically told step-by-step, the exact sequence of events of death. Death is simply an eventuality of some insults to the body.

So….maybe I should try to explain the mechanism of death myself. *take a deep breath*

Here goes:

Afiza’s theory of the mechanism of death:

” Well, when an insult to your body happens… the insult could be anything….maybe a heart attack, causing part of your myocardial cells to die,which in turn causes a decrease in the pumping action of your heart before the heart beat eventually ceased. Because your heart stops beating, your brain receives insufficient blood flow . Because your brain regulates EVERYTHING inside you, including your ability to breathe spontaneously, (that’s why people who are dying usually will get those scary noisy irregular breathing and gasping) you then do not get enough oxygen for your body, because your respiratory action is now compromised when your brain is not able to regulate your breathing as well as it would normally. When you don’t get enough oxygen to the brain, the brain eventually stops functioning and no brain activity can be detected eventually…so, the rest of your body now do not get any blood flow as well as any oxygen, therefore all your cells will die eventually, causing you to die.”

Really? Is that the exact sequence of events of death? Are we dead because our heart and our brain stop functioning? Or does the heart and brain stop functioning because we are dead?

Look at the ‘Afiza’s theory of the mechanism of death again’.

Is that really what happens when you die? That all millions of individual cells slowly die together at the same time, and then and ONLY then you die?

Is that really how you die? Because scientifically, if we wait for our individual cells to die, before we ourselves will die…that will take a very longggg time! In fact, something has got to happen first(whether you believe it or not, that ‘something’ is the angel of death taking your soul away from your body) to have caused what we call as death…and only THEN the individual cell die slowly. That’s what the decaying process is all about.

The Decaying Process only happens ONCE you die. NOT before. If it happens BEFORE you die, we call this phenomena as necrosis/gangrenous tissue and you can always cut them away and you will still live to see the next day. That’s why you can still see those who walk around with part of their limbs missing….because if it is only our cells that die, the surgeons can cut them away! When your cells die, YOU don’t necessarily die.

But with death; something inside you change FIRST (a lack of soul maybe?) and only then you get the decaying process of the rest of your individual cells.

It’s amazing, isn’t it? That as a medical student, we never really ponder about the mechanism of death. We didn’t even realize that all the pathophysiology of diseases that we learn always have one particular part missing. The part just before the patient is pronounced dead!

There’s something missing and incomplete in each and every mechanism of death known to mankind. I mean…people can have part of every vital organ dead but they themselves can still be alive! That’s what happens in stroke and heart attack and in renal failure after an event of renal artery stenosis.You are alive still, though bits and pieces of your organs have died.

In fact by the time you are immediately pronounced dead, none of your cells are yet dead! That’s why the dead can donate their organs because those organs (and the individual cells that make up the organs) are still alive for a short period of time. You can somehow preserve the organs…YET you are dead. So is there any particular part in our body (that we don’t know, if we are reluctant to call it soul) that has to be gone to have caused the abrupt (it’s abrupt!!) cessation of activity that is called death? The abrupt cessation of activity is DRAMATIC:

1)the eyes even if they remain open (and all the cells that make up the visual pathway in the brain  are still intact) become unable to see. Unseeing, lifeless eyes.

2)all parts of the mouth, the tongue and the part of the brain cortex that controls its movements are still alive…yet the person could not speak.

3)all the cells that make up the nose and the olfactory pathway inside the brain are still intact, those cells are not yet dead…yet the person could not smell.

4)All the cells and tissues and organs that make up the auditory pathway are still vital, yet the person could not listen.

4)I can list everything that could be construed as the abrupt cessation of activity, but it would make up a very long list; in fact, the heart may still be beating, the primitive reflexes could still be elicited…yet, the person is dead!

See?

The ultimate explanation is: death happens when there’s no soul inside the body! The soul is taken away abruptly. I would like to see the atheists who deny life after death, try to explain whether or not they believe in the existence of the soul, something they could not see with their own eyes.

Because the fact is, death is a miracle that no one can explain.

Death is a miracle because life is a miracle. Truly.

Life is a miracle because the soul is a miracle:

1)When you say you ‘see’ something…who is seeing it? Is it the cornea? Is it the iris? Is it the lens? Is it the aqueous humour? Is it the retina? Is it the optic nerve? Is it the occipital cortex? WHICH part of your eyes actually ‘see’? Let’s revise the whole visual pathway again….from the cornea to the occipital cortex…WHICH of them actually do the seeing! The occipital cortex and all the rest are just a bunch of cells! It’s your SOUL that actually does the seeing. The cornea, the iris and the optic nerves up until the occipital cortex are only heaps of individual cells that each have a specific function to make you ‘see’…but the one who is doing the ‘seeing’ are not the cells! But YOU…YOUR SOUL!

2)The same thing can be said about the act of hearing! Who is doing the hearing?? Is it the auditory canal (rofl)? The ear drum (of course not!)?The trochlea? The part of the brain called the primary auditory cortex? NO! NO! None of them actually do the hearing! They all have a specific function to enable hearing….but ultimately WHO is doing the hearing! Is it The Cells? Or is it YOU, THE SOUL?

Think about it!

The body is just a vessel for the soul to be able to do its activity. If the soul is gone, the body would no longer serve any purpose, regardless of whether or not all its parts are still well and alive and kicking.

The body is dead when the soul is gone.

Diseases/injuries/insults are just the so-called explanatory cause of death. But WHAT actually happens is the fulfillment of God’s promise in the Quran : Each soul shall taste death! It is God that takes our soul at death. Doubt this not.

“Every soul shall have taste of death; In the end to us shall you be brought back.(Surah Al-‘Ankabut The Spider 29:57)

“It is God that takes the souls at death; and those that die not during their sleep. Those on whom He has passed the decree of death, He keeps back (from returning to  life) but the rest He sends (to their bodies) for a term appointed. Verily in this are Signs for those who reflect. (Surah Al-Zumar – The Crowds 39:42)

I am a medical student…and that’s why I always try to relate my studies with my religion. And now I can really relate why it has been said that only those who are intelligent would reflect about death. Because that is one of THE SIGNS that God exists! Now, you can remain aloof and keep denying it…or you can start doing some serious thinking. Are you going to remain stubborn by saying “Until I could see God myself and have talked to him and until there is good scientific proof (that satisfy me, of course), I will keep being an atheist.” or are you going to use your reflection on death as a stepping stone to further your journey in finding God.

First ask yourself, what would constitute as a concrete proof for you that God exists? Which level of evidence would satisfy you of God’s existence? Will your satisfaction be met, ONLY if you are able to see and speak to God yourself? Will there be a possibility that if indeed God does come and speak to you, you would still deny Him? Because what will stop you from asking Him ‘Prove to me that you are God!’.

What will stop you from demanding the proof of the proof?

But God is above all your childish demands. In fact, the psychology of the atheist, that when they are given a proof, they would keep denying it, is well documented in the Quran:

And never came a Messenger to them but they did mock him. Thus do We let disbelief enter the hearts of the Mujrimun. Consequently, they cannot believe in him (the messenger). This has been the system since the past generations. And even if we opened for them a gate from the heaven,and they were to keep on ascending thereto (all day long), they would surely say (in the evening) “Our eyes have been deceived. We have been bewitched.” (15:12-15)

See? It’s the SYSTEM OF THE PAST GENERATION (i.e atheism is not a brand new belief). They will be amazed at a certain proof, and a short while later, they will disbelieve again.

You see, it was never a question of proof.

When the DNA was first discovered, people were amazed! The ultimate proof that life cannot exist by chance. That DNA is consisted of protein which needs another protein (an enzyme) to work and even that enzyme needs another enzyme to work! Everything needs everything else in order for the whole system to work. Everything should come in exact working order from the very beginning for even one tiny cell to work properly.

But after that initial amazement of its discovery, then the denial come back. Not unlike the situation in the verse above, their denial even if it doesn’t sound like “our eyes have been deceived”, but the spirit and the enormity of its denial is similar.

To believe after REASONABLE proof has been given, is a conscious decision. You MUST make that decision. Don’t blame a lack of proof, when you don’t even know what kind of proof would satisfy you.

If you are sincere, you will find what you seek.

But if your noise and demand of ‘scientific proof’ is just your way of trying to sound (arrogantly) brilliant and intelligent, then know that Allah loves not those who are arrogant. How can you expect to learn when you are not humble?

****

Back to why I was so certain, despite the swift scientific development in this age, that we can never time travel…

Well because I believe that whatever has happened is fated. The pen is lifted and the ink has dried. Being able to time travel (in order to change events and benefit from it, of course. Otherwise why would you even bother?) would not fit with the concept of fate; qada and qadar. No one can change our qada and qadar….so how can we time-travel to the past?

Well, but how about time-travel to the future?

Allah says that He alone knows what is in front of us, he knows what is in the future and we don’t; we would not know when we will die, how we will die, where will we die. So if we can time travel to the future, that promise would not fit.

So, our time is very precious exactly because there is no second chances. What has passed you, you can not return to. What is yet to happen, you cannot know for certain.

So, value your time.

Time is Life…

…and like death, it is THE SIGN of God’s existence.

P/S : This post is inspired by a blog that I accidentally stumbled upon, owned by an atheist. I read some of his posts and my heart is saddened by the blindness of mankind.

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