My staff was telling me a story about his trip to Madinah Al Munawwarah the other day, and one of his place of visit is a seemingly magical place called Magnet Hill.
This hill apparently can make cars go uphill when it is put on neutral, as if there is a ‘magnetic’ force pulling it up. The storyteller also mentioned that since it’s in Madinah, we should not question these things and accept it as a gift from Allah.
To illustrate, the hill works somewhat like in this video:
A gift from Allah? Sure it is.
Not question it? Nay, sir. One does not pass up an opportunity for a knowledge investigation.
There are two things i want to touch here:
- Importance of knowledge as a source of empowerment and an armour from gullibility.
- How do i have this video?
Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The virtue of knowledge is more beloved to me than the virtue of worship, and the best of your religion is mindfulness (al-wara’).”
Source: Al-Adab Al-Bayhaqi 818 Grade: Sahih (authentic)
Ibn Taymiyyah said, “Mindfulness means to leave whatever you fear will harm you in the Hereafter.”
Candidly, my remark after the story-telling sesh was this: “I think there’s a scientific explanation”.
The odds are, there always is. I would like to allude to a greater, more damaging problem. There is a great fitnah circulating around Malaysia whereby products–any product at all with sky’s being the limit–being slapped with an ‘islamic’ label being deemed virtuous and possess magical healing properties. It’s the same modus operandi all around; plain water that has been read 30 juz of the Quran, raisins from the the soil that was once walked by The Prophet SAW, or a variation of the same sort. The bastardized aspect of it is that the unscrupulous SELL these products, with upmarket prices into the market. Sadly, there are people who are fallible to this trick (it’s a bloody trick!) and buys them in hoards. Those who did not have knowledge , didn’t know any better or afraid to ask questions. The problem is two-pronged:
1) The unchecked assumption that anything islamic is blessed and good, despite it being blatant fakes.
2) Existing climate of fear to criticize these products, as it might cause God’s wrath.
Questioning, reflecting and thinking are first and foremost are not bidaa’h but virtuous Islamic virtues. We are permitted to think.
And i’ve got proof, from our corpus , no less:
…Ask the followers of the remembrance if ye know not!
If you do not know, ask the people who know. Another:
The example of [this] worldly life is but like rain which We have sent down from the sky that the plants of the earth absorb – [those] from which men and livestock eat – until, when the earth has taken on its adornment and is beautified and its people suppose that they have capability over it, there comes to it Our command by night or by day, and We make it as a harvest, as if it had not flourished yesterday. Thus do We explain in detail the signs for a people who give thought. (Yunus, 10:24)
People who think, Allah expound the revelations to them and make them understand. Understand the difference of what is clear haqq and baatil. Reading 30 juz of Quran is haqq. Drinking plenty of water is haqq. Selling water that has been read 30 juzz of Quran and conniving the ummah to drink them while claiming hocus-pocus benefits is baatil. Knowledge with the right intention equips one with the skill to differentiate between the two.
The hadith above i shared was a superior allegory to illustrate how being religious is virtuous but does not necessarily outstripped the knowledgeable. Islam never says: “no” to “whys”. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, it may lead to answers that make one closer to Allah. And ain’t that the Ultimate Goal?
How do you have the video Farah? Have you been there?
Well, of course. *peace sign*
Not the one in Madinah, but a similar one at a place with scientifically incorrect name called Magnetic Hill in Moncton, New Brunswick.
The phenomena that you see is all an optical illusion. The car IS going downhill, only our eyes see it as if it was an uphill ascent due to natural sloping Here’s pictorial proof of explanation:
Here’s more pictures to blow your mind:
First, most gravity hills are in places where a straight horizon is obscured in every direction. There isn’t any horizon line to help people get their bearings. Usually the hill in question is a road cut into two uphill segments, but there are hills that are surrounded by downhill slopes. Generally, there are also trees and no buildings in the area. Buildings tend to stay perpendicular to the ground. Most of the time, trees do as well. When it comes to a choice between light and perpendicularity, though, the trees choose light every time. When they lean so that they’re perpendicular to a downhill slope, it looks straight.
When everything, the contrasted slope of the landscape, the angle of the trees, and the inability to check anything against a horizon line, comes together on a slightly downhill slope, it will look uphill to whatever hapless chump happens to be wandering along it. Whenever someone checks with a level, or a GPS system the fun is over.
And Allah knows best.
P/S: Picture and video credits to Irving, who won’t read this anyway but credit must be given where it’s due.