Short Answer: The Hereafter could very well happen in a parallel universe; but there is no way we can verify it here below. There is no reason why we should try to transfer ourselves into one of those parallel universes, or into a world of different dimensions even if we are certain that it is possible to do so. At the same time it is worth stating here that no parallel universe with a different set of dimensions can invalidate the eternal truths spelled out in the Quran. Our duty is to live by the same eternal truths desiring the rewards from Allah the All Merciful.
Salam Amirul Haeqal,
Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.
Our 3-D World
Apparently we live in a world defined by three spatial dimensions namely length, width and height (or depth).
Apart from these three dimensions, Einstein postulated a fourth dimension, namely time. In his special theory of relativity he explained how light moves at a constant speed relative to all observers. To explain this scenario, time needs to be taken as the fourth dimension. That is to say, instead of considering space and time independently, he proposed a unified vision of space-time.
When someone mentions “different dimensions,” we tend to think also of things like parallel universes – alternate realities that exist parallel to our own, where things work differently. However, the reality of dimensions and how they contribute to the order of our Universe is really quite different from the popular simplistic view of the matter.
Beyond the three visible dimensions, scientists believe that there may be many more. In fact, the theoretical framework of the so-called “Superstring Theory” posits that the universe exists in ten different dimensions. These different aspects according to the theory are what govern the universe, the fundamental forces of nature, and all the elementary particles contained within.
We need to remember here, that a theory is always a scientist’s formulation of their attempts to make sense of nature or the universe and how it works. That is, a theory is a construct of the human mind and it relates to the universe to the extent of the practical validity of its application to our understanding of the universe.
Allah is the Lord of all Universes
One of the oft-repeated descriptions of God Almighty as given in the Quran, which Muslims believe is His word, is that He is the “Lord of the worlds”: One may note the following verses among others:
“He is God, the Creator, the Maker who shapes all forms and appearances! His [alone] are the attributes of perfection. All that is in the heavens and on earth extols His limitless glory: for He alone is almighty, truly wise!” (Quran 59:24)
“Limitless, then, in His glory is He in whose hand rests the mighty dominion over all things; and unto Him you all will be brought back!” (Quran 36:83)
“All praise is due to God alone, the Sustainer of all the worlds” (Quran 1:2)
The Quran is emphatic that Allah is the only Creator and Sustainer and Sovereign Law-Giver of the whole of the universe — which includes galaxies, stars, planets, the sun, and the moon — and whatever that exists, no matter our scientific investigations have comprehended them or not.
Quran: A Plurality of Worlds
Indeed the “worlds” mentioned in the Quran indicate a plurality of worlds. They refer to all the heavenly bodies existing in the universe such as the millions of galactic systems, each of which carries within it, hundreds of thousands of stars and planets. And if parallel universes or dimensions and realities that are not susceptible of our sensory comprehension do exist, they too are within the dominion of Allah Almighty.
We need to understand that the Quran is not a book of science and it does not give detailed exposition of scientific theories; nor does it use scientific terminology. We do not find the expression “parallel universes” in the Quran. But we can see that the idea of parallel universes is not ruled out by the Quran. What is more, the expression describing Allah Almighty as “the Lord of the worlds” does refer to all the universes that our science has already comprehended or is yet to comprehend.
Parallel Universes – Not Scientifically Proven
Scientists have been undertaking research into the subject of Parallel Universes, and based on the unusual findings of quantum physics they have suggested that there is a possibility of other laws operating in the world on a level different from what we are familiar with.
But so far, no clear scientific evidence has been discovered by these scientists for the existence of parallel universes. Yet there is no limit to speculations about them and some even suggest that other universes exist less than one millimeter away from our universe at another level.
Parallel Universes from the Quranic Point of View
Any sincere student of the Quran can see that it is positive and emphatic in its support for scientific studies and investigations into the mysteries of our universe, as well as beyond its borders. Indeed the existence of a higher dimension of space outlined by the scientists only supports the religious idea of worlds beyond this world. This indeed is a corroboration of the Quranic teachings about the unseen world (the world of the ghayb) and not a refutation of them.
Islam teaches categorically that there is only One God, Allah Almighty; and certainly He can create any number of universes that run on a different set of laws. But our destiny is to live here as Allah’s khalifah (vicegerent or ambassador) on earth and earn the rewards or the punishments for our deeds, in accordance with Allah’s own laws.
The Hereafter could very well happen in a parallel universe; but there is no way we can verify it here below. There is no reason why we should try to transfer ourselves into one of those parallel universes, or into a world of different dimensions even if we are certain that it is possible to do so. At the same time it is worth stating here that no parallel universe with a different set of dimensions can invalidate the eternal truths spelled out in the Quran. Our duty is to live by the same eternal truths desiring the rewards from Allah the All Merciful.
Allah knows best.
I hope this helps.
Salam and please keep in touch.
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