Time and space are described as a twin/ interdependent phenomenon; there is no time without space and no space without time. Without ascertaining the validity of this scientific and philosophical concept of time and space, we would see how this concept is seen in the light of Quran and Sunnah.
Allah has created everything in pairs. This reality has been described in Quran which states: “And of all things We created two mates; perhaps you will remember” (al-dhariat-49). “And He Who created pairs (azwaj) of all things, and made for you of the ships and the cattle what you ride on” (al-zhkhruf-12).
From these verses, it is evident that Allah has created everything in pairs.
It means plants, animals, human beings, waters, all natural forces, all natural laws, ideas, practices, emotions - all exist in pairs. This reality has been discovered in respect of some creations like plants, waters, and some natural forces, but it is yet to be discovered in respect of other creations.
In the succeeding lines, we will see Time and space also exist in pairs, without going into discussion whether time and space are created things or not. In other words, there are two types of time as there are two types of space.
Sura al-maarij states that “Lord of the Ascending Stairways. The angels and the Spirit will ascend to Him in a Day the extent of which is fifty thousand years” (al-ma,arij-3,4). These stairways or gates are used by Hazrat Gabrael (as) and other angels to reach to such divine proximity from where they receive commandments from Allah, and such ascendance of angels from earth to seventh sky happens within a DAY (twenty four hours) which is actually equal to fifty thousand years on earth. It means events happen quicker on 1st sky as we move from 1st sky to upper skies; the events occurring in fifty thousand years on earth take one day/24 hours to occur on seventh sky. In other words, one second spent in the seventh sky would be equal to 211.22 days spent on earth; it means the events which happen in one second in seventh sky would happen in 211.22 days on earth. That is why Allah states: “Indeed, they see it [as] distant, But We see it [as] near”(al-ma,arij-6,7). It also explains why 'meraj' was possible only within a part of night; the events witnessed by Hazrat Muhammad (saw) during the ‘journey of meraj’, would take thousands of years to take place according to earth time. It also explains exaltation of Hazrat Masih (as) to an upper sky and, in future, his coming back to earth as much a young man as he was at the time of his exaltation - he would have been for short duration in the sky, not for thousands of years passed on earth.
As we mentioned above, time and space are considered as a twin and interdependent phenomenon. Time is defined as a distance between two points in space. Simply speaking, if a person moves from point A to point B, the space travelled/ covered between points A and B is called Time to reach from A to B. in other words, if space between A and B is expanded, the time to reach from A to B will be expanded; and if the space between A and B is contracted/condensed, time to reach from A to B will be shortened. It means same event (in this case moving from A to B) will require more (expanded) time to happen, if space is expanded; as that event will require lesser time to happen, if space is condensed/ contracted.
According to Sura ma,arij-3-4 and 6-7, events happen quicker on 1st sky as we move from 1st sky to upper skies; it means space starts contracting/ condensing as we move from seventh sky to 1st sky. In other words, space starts expanding as we move from 1st sky to upper skies. It means both time and space are contracted more on earth as compared to upper skies, as we move from 1st sky to upper skies.
It is not necessary that space is uniformly distributed throughout a sky; it may happen that in a sky space is more expanded at some places and more contracted at some other places. In other words, space and time have various forms/degrees of expansion and contraction not only in different skies but also in the same sky. It means in the same sky, events may occur comparatively quicker at some places, and comparatively slower at some other places. This fact may be substantiated on the basis of Hazrat Uzair’s story mentioned in Quran.
Sura baqra-259 states: “ Or [consider such an example] as the one who passed by a township which had fallen into ruin. He said, "How will Allah bring this to life after its death?" So Allah caused him to die for a hundred years; then He revived him. He said, "How long have you remained?" The man said, "I have remained a day or part of a day." He said, "Rather, you have remained one hundred years. Look at your food and your drink; it has not changed with time. And look at your donkey; and We will make you a sign for the people. And look at the bones [of this donkey] - how We raise them and then We cover them with flesh." And when it became clear to him, he said, "I know that Allah is over all things competent."
From this verse, it is clear that two different degrees of expansion/ or contraction of space were present at the place where that incident took place; the space in which Hazrat Uzair and his food were placed was a place where incidents happened comparatively slower; and the place where the donkey was placed was the place where events happened comparatively faster.
Einstein also supported this idea of various densities of space. To him much bigger celestial bodies in the heavens cause curve in the space; obviously when space will be curved, it will be relatively condensed/contracted, which will, in turn, cause contraction of time.
We may conclude from this discussion that both time and space exist in pairs- Time exists in contracted as well as expanded form; similarly space exists in contracted and expanded form, as all other created things exist in pairs.