A rare interview with Arthur C. Clarke, the writer of the Space Odyssey series and a Childhood’s End in the 40’s, shows an interest in Islam at its basic core. After reading the book “A Childhood’s End”, ( now recently made into a show on the Syfy channel Dec. 14th ), I am more than convinced that Clarke read the Quran and was inspired to write how the end of the Universe happens pertaining to the revelations given to Muhammad by Gabriel.
FI: Do you see any value at all in the various religions?
Clarke: Though I sometimes call myself a crypto-Buddhist, Buddhism is not a religion. Of those around at the moment, Islam is the only one that has any appeal to me. But, of course, Islam has been tainted by other influences. The Muslims are behaving like Christians, I’m afraid.
FI: What appeals to you in Islam?
Clarke: Historically, Islam had a great deal of tolerance for other views and offered the world its priceless wisdom in the form of astronomy and algebra. And, as you know, Islam helped rescue Western civilization from the Dark Ages by preserving classical texts and transmitting them to the West. We, on the other hand, burned the library at Alexandria. If Islam hadn’t fallen into internecine warfare and had gone on to conquer the rest of Europe, we’d have avoided a thousand years of Christian barbarism.
To see more of the interview, please go here: http://www.arthurcclarke.net/?interview=4
*Warning!! Spoiler Alert For Those Who Want To Watch The Show or Read the Book!!
When you get towards the later chapters of the Quran, the time and space of God’s realm starts to appear as something inconceivable to humans at our level of understanding that only the Angel Gabriel and God know. Written down in words was just a small glimmer of the mysteries of God revealed to Muhammad.
In the book and movie, time stands still often with the overlords able to manipulate time. In the Quran, the End Days will appear to people as if their whole life was a dream because our relativity to time disappears when this earth starts to:
It will be, on the Day they see it, as though they had not remained [in the world] except for an afternoon or a morning thereof.
Also the idea of the End of the World happening in a column of fire that destroys everything in site lifting everything back to God, is seen in the Quran, just as much as it is envisioned in the book:
[They will be told], “Proceed to that which you used to deny.Proceed to a shadow [of smoke] having three columns. Neither shading, nor of any use against the fierce flame of the Fire.”
And the way that Heaven and Hell will be presented as different realities to divide the people who go peacefully with faith and those who fight against the Plan of God, and worship this life, not embracing the next is shown here:
For them who have done good is the best [reward] and extra. No darkness will cover their faces, nor humiliation. Those are companions of Paradise; they will abide therein eternally.
And how all matter disappears when the world is destroyed at the end of mankind’s journey in the book, certainly parallels to the Quran:
And the heaven is opened and will become gateways. And the mountains are removed and will be [but] a mirage.
I have to be honest, ever since I converted to Islam and found my true path to God…I have no fears of life ending. I imagine that is how Christians may feel when they read their Bible and the revelations, or any other person of faith.
When I read the Quran, I know that all of THIS is from God, and if it is not and it is from energy that rebels against its nature and creator (like Satan), it is removed or rebalanced in the end. Life is a journey and what you make out of it determines where you end up in the afterlife. Heaven is a state of being that you bring yourself to by what you do and the memories you hold.
Everything is always at the core level all good at its original source, because God is.