Monday, 24 April 2017

Encounters during the Mi'raj: The People with Fire in Their Bellies

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

During the night of the Mi’raj, the Prophet (s.a.w.), accompanied by Jibril (a.s.), travelled until the Prophet (s.a.w.) saw groups of people whose lips resembled the lips of camels.  Their mouths were being pried open and they would be stoned.  One version stated a rock from Jahannam was placed in their mouths and then it would come out again from their posteriors.  The Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “I heard them clamouring to Allah.  O Jibril, who are these?”

He replied, “They are those of your ummah who eat up the property of orphans and commit injustice.  They are eating nothing but a fire for their bellies, and they shall be roasted in it.”


Encounters during the Mi'raj: The People with Snakes in Them

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

During the night of the Mi’raj, the Prophet (s.a.w.), accompanied by Jibril (a.s.), travelled until the Prophet (s.a.w.) saw groups of people who had bellies as large as houses, and there were snakes in them which could be seen through their skins.  Every time one of those people stood up he would fall again and he would say, “O Allah, do not Make the Hour of Judgment rise yet!”  Then they met the people of Pharaoh on the road and the latter trample them underfoot.  The Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “I heard them clamouring to Allah.  O Jibril, who are these?”

He replied, “They are those of your ummah who eat up usury.  They cannot stand up except in the manner of those whom the Shaythan touches with possession.”


Sunday, 23 April 2017

Encounters during the Mi'raj: The Tables of Good Meat & Carrion

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

During the night of the Mi’raj, the Prophet (s.a.w.), accompanied by Jibril (a.s.), travelled until the Prophet (s.a.w.) saw a table spread on which there were pieces of good meat which no one approached, and another table spread on which were pieces of rotten meat which stank, surrounded by people who were eating it.  The Prophet (s.a.w.) asked, “O Jibril, who are these?”

He replied, “These are those of your ummah who abandon what is lawful and go to what is unlawful.”

One version said that the Prophet (s.a.w.) saw a great deal of people gathered around a table spread on which was set grilled meat of the best kind one had ever seen.  Near the table there was some carrion decaying.  The people were coming to the carrion to eat from it, and they were leaving the grilled meat untouched.  The Prophet (s.a.w.) asked, “Who are they, O Jibril?”

He replied, “The adulterers, they make lawful what Allah has Made unlawful, and they abandon what Allah has Made lawful for them.”


Encounters during the Mi'raj: The Prophet (s.a.w.) in the Nearest Heaven

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

During the night of the Mi’raj, the Prophet (s.a.w.), accompanied by Jibril (a.s.), travelled until the Prophet (s.a.w.) was brought the ladder by which the spirits of the children of Adam (a.s.) ascend.  Creation never saw a more beautiful object.  It had alternate stairs of silver and gold and came down from the highest and amplest Garden of Paradise, Jannat al-Firdaws.  It was incrusted with pearls and surrounded with angels on its right and left.

The Prophet (s.a.w.) began his ascent with Jibril (a.s.) until they reached one of the gates of the Nearest Heaven called Bab al-Hafazhah.  There, an angel stood guard, named Isma’il (a.s.), who was the custodian of the Nearest Heaven.  He inhabits the wind.  He never ascends to Heaven nor descends to earth except on the day that the Prophet (s.a.w.) passed away.  In front of him, stood seventy thousand angels; each angel commanding an army of seventy thousand more.  Jibril (a.s.) asked for the gate to be opened.

Someone asked, “Who is this?”

“Jibril.”

“Who is with you?”

 “Muhammad.”

“Has he been Sent for?”

“Yes.”

“Welcome to him, from his family!  May Allah Grant him long life, a brother of ours and a Deputy of Allah, and what excellent brother and Deputy!  What an excellent visit is this!”

The gate was opened.  When they came in, they saw Adam (a.s.), the father of humanity, as he was on the day Allah (s.w.t.) Created him in his complete form.  The spirits of the prophets and of his believing offspring were being shown to him, whereupon he would say, “A goodly spirit and a goodly soul, put her in the Highest, ‘Illiyyin!”  Then the spirits of his unbelieving offspring would be shown to him and he would say, “A foul spirit and a foul soul, put her in the lowest layer of Hell, Sijjin!”

The Prophet (s.a.w.) saw to Adam’s (a.s.) right great dark masses and a gate exuding a fragrant smell, and to his left great dark masses and a gate exuding a foul, malodorant smell.  Whenever Adam (a.s.) looked to his right he would smile and be happy, and whenever he looked to his left he would be sad and weep.  The Prophet (s.a.w.) greeted him and Adam (a.s.) returned his greeting and said, “Welcome to the righteous son and the righteous Prophet!”

The Prophet (s.a.w.) asked, “What is this, O Jibril?”

He replied, “This is your father Adam and the dark throngs are the souls of his children.  Those on the right are the people of Paradise and those on the left are the people of the Fire.  Whenever he looks to his right he smiles and is glad, and whenever he looks to his left he is sad and weeps.  The door to his right is the gate of Paradise.  Whenever he sees those of his offspring enter it he smiles happily.  The door to his left is the gate of Jahannam.  Whenever he sees those of his offspring enter it, he weeps sadly.”


Encounters during the Mi'raj: The Narrations on Being Born upon Fithrah

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

During the night of the Mi’raj, the Prophet (s.a.w.), accompanied by Jibril (a.s.), travelled until the Prophet (s.a.w.) felt the greatest thirst that he had ever felt, whereupon Jibril (a.s.) brought him a vessel of wine and a vessel of milk.  He chose the latter.  Jibril (a.s.) said, “You have chosen fithrah, and if you had drunken the wine, your ummah would have strayed from the right way and none but a few of them would have followed you.”

The Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “Every child is born upon fithrah; then his parents convert him to Judaism, or Christianity, or Zoroastrianism.  It is the same with the animal which delivers a perfect baby animal.  Do you find it missing anything?”  Imam al-Bukhari (r.a.) narrated it.  Imam Muslim (r.a.) omitted the mention of the animal.

Imam at-Tirmidzi’s (r.a.) narration also omitted it, but added: “O Messenger of Allah, what if the child dies before that?”  He replied to the questioner, “Allah knows best what they would have done.”

The hadits master, Imam az-Zabidi (r.a.) said, in his commentary on Imam al-Ghazali’s (r.a.) Ihya’ ‘Ulum ad-Din entitled Ithaf as-Sadat al-Muttaqin bi Sharh Ihya’ ‘Ulum ad-Din, “The Gift of the God-Fearing Masters, Commentary on Reviving the Sciences of the Religion,” “Born with a natural disposition: the definite case indicates that it is commonly known, and it consists in Allah’s Disposition with which He Endows all people, that is, the innate character with which He Creates them and which predisposes them to accept religion and to differentiate between the wrong and the right.”

Another narration stated that there were three vessels and the third contained water.  Jibril (a.s.) said, “If you had drunk the water, your ummah would have perished by drowning.”

Another narration stated that one of the vessels presented to him contained honey instead of water, and that he then saw the wide-eyed maidens of Paradise to the left of the Rock.  He greeted them and they returned his greeting.  Then he asked them something and they replied with an answer that cools the eyes.


Encounters during the Mi'raj: The Prophets & Knowledge of the Hour

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

During the night of the Mi’raj, the Prophet (s.a.w.), accompanied by Jibril (a.s.), travelled until they met the prophets in Jerusalem.  They brought up the matter of the Hour and referred it to Ibrahim (a.s.), but he said, “I have no knowledge of it.”

They turned to Musa (a.s.) but he said: “I have no knowledge of it.”

They turned to ‘Isa (a.s.) and he said, “As for the time when it shall befall, no one knows it except Allah.  As for what my Lord has Assured me concerning what precedes it, then: the Dajjal will come forth and I will face him with two rods.  At my sight, he shall melt like lead:  Allah shall Cause his destruction as soon as he sees me.  It will be so that the very stones will say, ‘O Muslim, behind me hides a disbeliever, therefore come and kill him!  And Allah shall cause them all to die.’

People will then return to their countries and nations.  At that time, Ya’juj and Ma’juj shall come out.  They will come from every direction.  They will trample all nations underfoot.  Whatever they come upon they will destroy.  They will drink up every body of water.

At last the people will come to me complaining about them.  At that time, I will invoke Allah against them so that He will Destroy them and Cause their death until the whole earth will reek of their stench.  Allah will Send down rain which shall carry their bodies away and hurl them into the sea.

I have been Assured by my Lord that once all this takes place, then the Hour will be as the pregnant mother at the last stages of her pregnancy.  Her family does not know when she shall suddenly give birth by night or by day.”


Allah (s.w.t.) Admonished al-Walid ibn al-Mughirah

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

There is an interesting story when Allah (s.w.t.) Revealed the verse, about the aftermath of the Isra’ wa al-Mi’raj:


… We Granted the Vision which We Showed thee, but as a trial for men … (Surah al-Isra’:60)

Shaykh ibn Hisham (r.a.) narrated that when the fair was due, a number of the Quraysh came to al-Walid ibn al-Mughirah, who was a man of some standing, and he addressed them in those words: “The time of the fair has come round again and representatives of the Arabs will come to you and they will have heard about this fellow of yours, so agree upon one opinion without dispute so that none will give the lie to the other.”

They replied, “You give us your opinion about him.”

He said, “No, you speak and I will listen.”

They said, “He is a kahin.”  A kahin is a seer or giver of oracles.

He replied, “By Allah, he is not that, for he has not the unintelligent murmuring and rhymed speech of the kahin.”

“Then he is possessed,” they said.

“No, he is not that,” he said, “we have seen possessed ones, and here is no choking, spasmodic movements and whispering.”

“Then he is a poet,” they said.

“No, he is no poet, for we know poetry in all its forms and meters.”

“Then he is a sorcerer.”

“No, we have seen sorcerers and their sorcery, and here is no blowing and no knots.”

“Then what are we to say, O Abu ‘Abd ash-Shams?” they asked.

He replied, “By Allah, his speech is sweet, his root is a palm-tree whose branches are fruitful, and everything you have said would be known to be false.  The nearest thing to the truth is your saying that he is a sorcerer, who has brought a message by which he separates a man from his father, or from his brother, or from his wife, or from his family.”

At this point, they left him, and began to sit on the paths which men take when they come to the fair.  They warned everyone who passed them about the Prophet’s (s.a.w.) doings. Allah (s.w.t.) Revealed concerning al-Walid:


Leave Me Alone (to deal) with the (creature) whom I Created (bare and) alone! - To whom I Granted resources in abundance, and sons to be by his side! - To whom I Made (life) smooth and comfortable!  Yet is he greedy - that I should add (yet more) - By no means!  For to Our Signs he has been refractory!  Soon will I Visit him with a mount of calamities!  For he thought and he plotted - And, woe to him!  How he plotted! - Yea, woe to him!  How he plotted! -Then he looked round; Then he frowned and he scowled; Then he turned back and was haughty; Then said he: “This is nothing but magic, derived from of old”; “This is nothing but the word of a mortal!”  Soon will Cast him into Hell-Fire! (Surah al-Muddatsir:11-26)


Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Mawlana ar-Rumi (q.s.) on Being with the Shaykh

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Mawlana Jalal ad-Din ar-Rumi (q.s.) wrote:

“If you are a disciple, be as though dead like a corpse next to a corpse.
Bury the blindness of your eye in order to live forever.
When you have taken a master, lo! submit;
Go like Moses under the tutelage of Khidhr.
The master is a mirror for the soul in distress;
Rail not, O soul, at the mirror’s image.
Since you have taken a master, be not faint-hearted;
Be not weak like water and mud;
If you become resentful at every annoyance,
How will you ever become an untarnished mirror?
The Prophet said that whoever concealed secrets
Would quickly be joined with is heart’s desire;
Learning the secret of the Absent befits
Him who can seal his lips from speech.
Now that you have a tranquil heart, bind it to him;
Close your eyes to the whole world.
He who receives Revelation and Words from God
- Whatever He Decrees is exactly correct -
‘Slay that boy!’ Khidhr cut his throat.
Ordinary folk do not perceive the secret!
If Khidhr scuttles a boat in the sea -
There are a hundred truths in Khidhr’s deed.
Expose your inner secrets to your master and be relieved,
Just as one should not conceal one’s aches from the physician.”


Shaykh ibn ‘Arabi (q.s.) on the Relationship between the Gnostics & the Jurists

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Shaykh al-Akbar, Shaykh Muhyi ad-Din ibn ‘Arabi (q.s.) wrote, in Ruh al-Quds, “God Forbid, my brother, that you should think that I blame the jurists for being jurists or for their practice or jurisprudence, for such an attitude is not permissible for a Muslim and the nobility of the Law is beyond question.  However, I do censure those jurists who, harbouring merely worldly aims, cynically study the Law with the sole object of acquiring fame, of putting themselves in the public eye, and who indulge in constant hair-splitting and useless controversy.  It is such men who seek to refute the claims of the brethren who fear God and who are Instructed by God Directly.  This kind of jurist attempts to contend against them in a field of knowledge of which he has no inkling of the first principles.  Were any of them to be questioned about some term employed by the gnostics they would soon display their ignorance on the subject.  If they would only reflect on God's Saying, ‘Why do you then dispute concerning that of which you have no knowledge?’, they would consider the matter more carefully and repent.”


Saturday, 15 April 2017

Qadhi Iyas ibn Mu’awiyah al-Muzani (r.a.) on Halal & Haram

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

A man came to Qadhi Iyas ibn Mu’awiyah al-Muzani (r.a.), the tabi’in qadhi, and asked, “What is the ruling regarding wine?”

Qadhi Iyas (r.a.) replied, “It is haram.”

The man then asked, “How about water?”

Qadhi Iyas (r.a.) replied, “It is halal.”

The man then asked, “How about dates and grapes?”

Qadhi Iyas (r.a.) replied, “They are halal.”

The man then thought himself clever and asked, “Why is it that all these ingredients are halal, and yet when you combine them, they become haram?”

Qadhi Iyas (r.a.) asked, by way of reply, “If I hit you with this handful of dirt, do you think it would hurt you?”

The man replied, “Of course not!”

Qadhi Iyas (r.a.) then asked, “How about if I hit you with this handful of straw?”

The man said, “It would not hurt me.”

Qadhi Iyas (r.a.) asked, “How about a handful of water?”

The man said, “It surely would not hurt me.”

Qadhi Iyas (r.a.) then asked, “How about if I mix them, and let them dry to become a brick, and then hit you with it, would it hurt you?”

The man replied, “It would not just hurt me; it might even kill me.”

Qadhi Iyas (r.a.) answered, “The same reasoning applies to what you asked me.”


Qadhi Iyas ibn Mu’awiyah al-Muzani (r.a.) & the Debtor's Tree

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Qadhi Iyas ibn Mu’awiyah ibn Qurrah al-Muzani (r.a.) was a tabi’in qadhi in the 2nd Century AH who lived in Basra.  He was renowned for his wit and intelligence.  One time, two men came before him, the complainant claimed money received by the defendant who denied the debt.  Qadhi Iyas (r.a.) asked the plaintiff where he had given it, and was answered, “Under a certain tree.”

The qadhi told him to go there by way of refreshing his memory and, in his absence, asked the defendant if his adversary could have reached it.  “Not yet,” said the rogue, “it’s a long way off”; forgetting himself, and convicted himself by that answer.


Imam Ja’far asw-Swadiq (q.s.) & the Atheist

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

There was once an atheist who told Imam Ja’far asw-Swadiq (q.s.) that he did not believe in Allah (s.w.t.).  So, Imam Ja’far (q.s.) asked him if he had ever been out at sea.  The man replied that he was once in a shipwreck and all the sailors had drowned, the boat was ripped to pieces and he was left clinging to a board.  The ocean then took the board and he was flung by the ocean to the shore and survived.

Imam Ja’far (q.s.) said to the atheist, “When you got on the boat, you put your trust in the boat and sailors, and when Allah Took those away from you, you put your trust in that little piece of wood that you were holding on to.  When you lost that piece of wood, where did you put your trust then?  Did you hope that you would survive?”

He replied, “Yes.”

Imam Ja’far (q.s.) reminded him, “If you were hoping for something, you had to have something for you to hope in.  O servant of Allah, the One Who Took Away all your means, then Saved you, in spite of all the means being taken, that was Allah (s.w.t.).”


Shaykh Osman Nuri Topbas on the 5 Types of Darkness & Illumination

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Shaykh Osman Nuri Topbas wrote, in his “Islam, Spirit & Form”, on the hadits from Jami’ at-Tirmidzi, “The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) said, ‘There is a curtain between Allah and every creature.  However, there is no curtain for the words, ‘There is no deity, but Allah’ and the blessing offered by a father for his son.’

It is said, there are five types of darkness and five types of illumination in return: Love for this world is a darkness, and piety is the light for it; sin is a darkness, and repentance is the light for it; the grave is a darkness, and pronouncing ‘There is no deity, but Allah’ frequently is the light for it; the afterlife is a darkness, and pious deeds are the light for it; and the bridge to Paradise is a darkness, and an absolute faith is the light for it.  One who manages to get hold of these lights achieves eternal happiness.”


Imam ibn al-Jawzi (r.a.) on Children after Puberty

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

In his “Disciplining the Soul”, Imam Abu al-Faraj ibn al-Jawzi (r.a.) wrote, “Wise people used to say, ‘Your son is like your flower the first seven years, and your servant the second seven years.  By the time he reaches fourteen, if you have been good to him, then he will be your partner, and if you were bad to him then he will be your enemy.’  A child should not be beaten or offended after he reaches puberty, because then he will hope to lose his father in order that he may have his own way.  Whoever reaches twenty years of age and has not become righteous, then his godliness is remote.  However, leniency should be practiced with everyone.”


Imam ibn al-Jawzi (r.a.): Dealing Wisely with People is Charity

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

In his book, “Disciplining the Soul”, Imam Abu al-Faraj ibn al-Jawzi (r.a.) wrote, “Since people’s natures are varied and different, getting along with everyone is difficult.  For this reason, the best that a person of sound mind can do about this is to seclude himself and keep himself to himself, for this is indeed generates a great comfort and relief.

Nevertheless, if he has to associate with people then he should do so in a kind manner while being lenient towards them, fulfilling their rights, ignoring his own due rights, he should be patient with those who are ignorant, forgive those who are unjust, and give the arrogant the best seat in a gathering.  The best means by which he can attain their affection is through forgiveness and bestowals.

Besides, by these two, he can enslave those who cannot be led.  It was mentioned in a hadits, ‘Dealing wisely with people is a charity.’”


The Levels of Exegesis

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Yahya at-Tadifi al-Hanbali (r.a.) wrote, in his Qala’id al-Jawahir, that once, Imam ibn al-Jawzi al-Hanbali (r.a.) attended a gathering of Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (q.s.) with one of his friends.  Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir (q.s.) immediately noticed Imam ibn al-Jawzi (r.a.) because he was already a renowned scholar.  The Ghawts al-A’azham (q.s.) began to delve deeper into the various exegeses of a particular verse of the Qur’an so that Imam ibn al-Jawzi (r.a.) would understand the role of taswawwuf in diving into the depths of meanings of the Qur’an.

So, a verse was recited, and Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir (q.s.) gave one explanation to it.  Imam ibn al-Jawzi’s (r.a.) companion asked him, “Do you know this tafsir?”

He replied, “Yes, this is a famous tafsir of the verse.”

Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir (q.s.) gave a second tafsir, and then a third, and then a fourth, and so forth until there were eleven levels of understanding a verse, and each time, when his companion asked him, Imam ibn al-Jawzi (r.a.) confirmed that he knew it.

And then Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir (q.s.) gave a twelfth tafsir; Imam ibn al-Jawzi (r.a.) told his companion before being asked, that he did not know this.  And Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir (q.s.) continued, giving another level of exegesis after another, until he had given forty explanations of a single verse.  Imam ibn al-Jawzi (r.a.) was so impacted, they say he stood up in hal of ecstasy, and exclaimed, “Laa illah illa Allah Muhammadur Rasulullah,” and ripped his clothes; Imam ibn al-Jawzi (r.a.) finally understood the true meaning of “faqir.”


Everything Originates from Allah (s.w.t.)

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is extracted from “The Purification of the Soul”, compiled from the works of Imam ibn Rajab al-Hanbali (r.a.), Imam ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah (r.a.) and Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (r.a.).

Everything that comes from Him to His servants, whether it is something that they love or something that they hate, directs us to love of Him.  His Giving and His Withholding, the good fortune and the misfortune that He Decrees for His servants and His Abasing them and Elevating them, His Justice and His Grace, His Giving life and Taking it away again, His Compassion, Generosity and Veiling of His servants’ wrong actions, His Forgiveness and Patience, His Response to His servants’ supplications even though He is not in any need of His servants whatsoever - all this invites hearts to worship Him and love Him.  If a human being were to do the smallest amount of any of these things to another, that person would not be able to restrain his heart from loving him.  How can a servant not love, with all his heart and body, the One Who is constantly Merciful and Generous towards him in spite of all his wrong actions?


Our Universe Can "Pop" Out of Existence

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

In physics, we tend to think that an empty vacuum is the lowest energy state of existence.  But if there is another, lower-energy state below it, then our entire reality is akin to thin ice over a frozen lake; a single puncture would cause the whole of reality to fold up and sink, and an entire new universe would radiate from that reality fracture point, known as a “vacuum metastability event”.  Now, since changes in the laws of physics have to travel at lightspeed, we have no way of detecting the end of the universe; we would simply cease to exist.  The multiple-universe model suggests that existence consists of bubbles of entire universes constantly popping out of existence, and our will eventually be the next one.

This theory is somewhat testable.  When the Large Hadron Collider found the mass of the Higgs boson particle, we were able to calculate the stability of our universe.  The required minimum Higgs mass for our universe to be stable, and not pop like a bubble is 129.8 GeV.  The measured Higgs boson mass is 125 GeV.  We are not quite there.  Our universe will eventually end.  It will simply cease to be, like it never was.


Dr. Wheeler's One Electron Theory

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Dr. John Archibald Wheeler was the American theoretical physicist largely responsible for the revival of interest in general relativity in the United States after World War II.  He is also most famous for hypothesising the “one-electron universe”.  Dr. Wheeler postulated the one-electron universe in a telephone call to Dr. Richard Feynman in the spring of 1940.

This theory states that all electrons and positrons are actually manifestations of a single entity moving backwards and forwards in time. Dr. Feynman said, “I received a telephone call one day at the graduate college at Princeton from Professor Wheeler, in which he said, ‘Feynman, I know why all electrons have the same charge and the same mass.’  Why?  ‘Because, they are all the same electron!’”

The idea is based on the world lines traced out across spacetime by every electron.  Rather than have myriad such lines, Dr. Wheeler suggested that they could all be parts of one single line like a huge tangled knot, traced out by the one electron.  Any given moment in time is represented by a slice across spacetime, and would meet the knotted line a great many times.  Each such meeting point represents a real electron at that moment.

At those points, half the lines will be directed forward in time and half will have looped round and be directed backwards.  Dr. Wheeler suggested that these backwards sections appeared as the antiparticle to the electron, the positron.  Many more electrons have been observed than positrons, and electrons are thought to comfortably outnumber them.  According to Dr. Feynman, he raised this issue with Dr. Wheeler, who speculated that the missing positrons might be hidden within protons.

In simple English, electrons are utterly indistinguishable.  Every electron is exactly the same on this indistinguishability.  Every subatomic particle can be distinguished except electrons.  The only reason this is not a scientific theory is because it cannot be disproved.  And so, perhaps the reason they are exactly the same is because they are actually the same single electron, travelling back and forth through time so that it seems to exist all over the omniverse.  Now, imagine the theological and metaphysical ramifications of that?