Tai`al Ard & Zaman

Written by Super User.

Tai'Al Zaman

They can even traverse time and so past, present and future does not hold them. So it would be correct to say that they have entered the dimension of placelessness and timelessness.

Tai' Al Ard

This means that they can cover long geographical distances in no time and so their being confined to a single place is not a limitation.

These incidents are possible. Just as tayy-e-ardh occurs i.e. in a short span of time Allah Ta'ala through His Power enables someone to traverse great distances.

The incident of Mi'raj took place in the similar manner. Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم was taken from Musjid-e-Haram to Musjid-ul-Aqsa and from there to the skies. The 'Arsh, Kursi etc. were shown to him – all in a very short span of time.

The dictionary of Dehkhoda defines Tay al-Ard as:

"نوعی کرامت که بجای گام برداشتن و رفتن, زمین در زیر پای آدمی بتندی پیچیده شود و او به مقصد خویش هر چند دور باشد در مدتی بسیار کم رسد"

"A type of keramat in which instead of moving toward a destination by taking a step forward, the earth turns toward the traverser rapidly, no matter how far the destination be."

Ibn al-Nadim defines it exactly the same way when he says:

"و یذکر ان الارض تطوی له (میمون القداح) فیمضی الی این احب فی اقرب مده"

The concept of tei al-ardh has its roots in the following verses of the Chapter al-Naml of the Quran:

[Qur'an 27:38]: "Solomon said (to his own men): 'Ye Chiefs! which of you can bring me the throne of Queen of Sheba before she and her envoys come to me in submission?' "

[Qur'an 27:39]: "Said an 'Ifrit, of the Jinns: 'I will bring it to thee before thou rise from thy council: indeed I have full strength for the purpose, and may be trusted.' "

[Qur'an 27:40]: "Said one who had knowledge of the Book: 'I will bring it to thee within the twinkling of any eye!' Then when (Solomon) saw it placed firmly before him, he said: 'This is by the grace of my Lord!'..."

The phrase "twinkling of an eye" is translated to mean in a very, very short time, i.e. almost instantaneously.

Some claim that according to these verses, it is the non-prophet Asif ibn al-Birkhia who transports the throne of Queen Sheba almost instantaneously. According to them, a hadith by Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq (POH) also confirms that Solomon transports the throne by Tay al-Ard in specific.

A precise definition of Tai al-Ardh has been offered by Allama Qadhi, one of the masters of Allameh Tabatabaei:

اعدام جسم و بدن در مكان اوّل، و احضار و ايجادش در مكان مقصود

"the ceasing and termination of matter in the initial location, and its appearance and re-creation in its final location (destination)"

Other explanations offered are also mystical in nature. A hadith by Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (POH) e.g. is narrated in which he attributes the aforementioned esoteric knowledge of Asif ibn Barakhia to the Asma 'ullah or the "names of God", another widely discussed topic in Islamic philosophy and mysticism and even kabbalah:

"اسم اعظم خداوند، هفتاد و سه حرف است. آصف بن برخیا فقط یکی از آن حروف را میدانست که توانست زمین را درهم نوردد و قبل از یک چشم بر هم زدن، تخت بلیقس را از سرزمین سبا نزد سلیمان حاضر سازد؛ و ما ائمّه معصومین هفتاد و دو حرف از آن را میدانیم. یک حرف را هم خداوند به خودش اختصاص داده و تنها نزد اوست"

"The Almighty's greatest name has 73 letters (or parts). Asif ibn Barakhia knew only one letter of it, which enabled him to traverse the earth in the blink of an eye.

Famous Sheikhs, Imams, and prominent figures in Islam, such as Abusaeid Abolkheir or Rumi or Al-Khidr , were believed to possess keramat, and writings from medieval Islam are full of stories and reports of certain individuals possessing such a trait. Many other examples can be found in Attar's Tadhkirat al-Awliya (Biographies of the Saints) or the works of Ibn Arabi, as well as other similar chronicles. However, no one for sure has known the number and identity of all those who possess such knowledge, since according to Hujviri, those who hold such knowledge "do not know one another, and are not aware of the other's state of excellence, and are hidden from themselves and from mankind."

One of the most discussed phenomena of this supposedly esoteric knowledge is the event of traveling without actually moving (طی الارض). Islamic texts and records (from the mystics) are full of such accounts from various eras. For example, Bayazid Bastami has many such accounts, colored with mystical flavors, surrounding his life. In one account, he was asked, "They say you walk on water?" "A piece of wood can do that too," he replied. "They say you travel to Mecca at night and return by dawn?" he was asked. "But a bird at flight can do that too" was his answer. "So what is the meaning of being human?" he was asked. "A human is he who does not fasten his heart to anything but God" came his reply. In all such and similar accounts, a certain individual of unusually high rank (a Sheikh, Pir, or Imam) is seen to have the ability to travel long distances in almost instantaneous amounts of time.

Belief in the possibility of such charismata keramat by saints [Arabic: awliya] (Sufi shaykhs, pirs) is a part of classical orthodox Sunni doctrine [aqeedah] as, for example, listed in the Creed of Imam Tahawi(Aqidah Tahawiyyah) and all other orthodox Sunni treatises on religious doctrine and has been accepted as such since the earliest times of Islam.

Tay al-Ard is one term used for this concept by the Sufi shaykhs (Sufism being the spiritual aspect of Sunni Islam). Some Sufis call the concept tay al-makan ("folding of space"), the word makan ("location") being used as a synonym for the word ardh ("earth"). Both words are Arabic in origin, and both words are part of the Persian lexicon as well.