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The Concept of Space and Time According to Islamic Scientists: Yusuf Ibn Ishaq Al-Kindi

By Unknown - February 11, 2018

During this time, if we talk about the theory of relativity, then the face of Albert Einstein directly reflected in our minds. The theory of relativity is a revolution of mathematics and physics. 1,100 years before Einstein sparked the theory of relativity, Muslim scientists in the 9th century AD have laid the foundations of the theory of relativity. Is a scientist and legendary philosopher named Yusuf Ibn Ishaq Al-Kindi, he was born in Kuffah, a person who understands the Qur'an has sparked the theory. Because the verses of the Qur'an contain a variety of absolute knowledge and has always been the key to the mystery covering the universe.


These amazing verses of the Qur'an have encouraged Muslim scientists in their golden age, able to lay the foundations of modern science. Unfortunately, very few Muslims know. Thus, the brilliant thought of the era of Islamic Caliphate was lost and drowned in time.


Yusuf Ibn Ishaq al-Kindi (the philosopher of the Arabs)

According to Al-Kindi, the physical earth and all physical phenomena are relative. Relativity is the essence of the law of existence. "Time, space, movement, things are all relative and not absolute," Al-Kindi said.

Time only exists with movement. Objects with movement. And movement with objects. Furthermore, if there is movement, there needs things; and if there is an object, there is a need for movement. Al-Kindi's statement confirms that all physical phenomena are relative to one another. They are neither independent nor absolutely absolute. Al-Kindi's idea is very similar to that expressed by Einstein in General Theory of Relativity.

Al-Kindi argues that objects, time, movement and space are not only relative to one another, but also to other objects and observers who monitor them. In Al-Falsafa al-Ula, Al-Kindi exemplifies a person who sees an object smaller in size or larger according to the vertical movement between the earth and the sky. If the person goes up into the sky, he sees the trees smaller, if he moves to earth, he sees the trees become larger.

Science in a Golden Age


"We can not say that something is small or big in absolute terms. But we can say it is smaller or larger in relation to other objects, "said Al-Kindi. The same conclusion was expressed by Einsten about 11 centuries after Al-Kindi's death.
There is no absolute law in the sense of the law unattached to the observer. A law must be proven by measurement. The whole physical phenomenon, like man to be himself is relative and limited.

Although every human individual is infinite in number and sustainability, they are limited by: time, motion, objects, and space. With that theory, Al-Kindi not only tried to explain the whole physical phenomenon. However, he also proves the existence of God, because it is the logical consequence of his theory.

At the end of his life, Einsten also acknowledged the existence of God. The theory of relativity expressed by the two different scientists of that era is essentially the same. However, Einstein's explanation has been proved more closely in his theory of relativity. And unfortunately, it has been used for energy development, atomic bombs and nuclear weapons of mass destruction. Meanwhile, Al-Kindi reveals his theory to prove the existence of God and His Essence.

Related Article :

Biography of Abu Yūsuf Ya'qūb ibn'Isḥāq aṣ-Ṣabbāḥ al-Kindī

Penetrating Space & Time Vol.1 : Atomic Clock

The Concept of Space and Time According to Western Scientists: Albert Einstein


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