Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | Concept of Hereafter | Al-Risala, June 1987
Man’s skin, according to the Quran will testify against him on the Day of Judgement:
“On the Day that the enemies of God shall be gathered together and driven to the Fire, they shall be formed into groups, and when they come close to it, their ears, eyes and skins will testify against them for their misdeeds. And they will ask their skins, ‘Why did you bear witness against us?’ and their skins will reply, ‘God, who gives speech to all things, has given speech to us [as well]—it was He who created you in the first instance and to Him you are [now] brought back— you could not hide yourselves from your ears and your eyes and your skins to prevent them from testifying against you, and you thought that God would never know much of what you did, but these thoughts which you entertained concerning your Lord, have brought you to destruction, and [now] you are among the utterly lost!’” (41:19-23).
Until recently, the idea of skin being capable of ‘speaking’ was very difficult for man to understand. Recent progress in scientific research, however, has made it much easier to see how this will happen. A UPI news release, printed in The Times of India (May 30, 1984), disclosed this startling discovery:
‘Skin speech’ – communicating through vibrations on the skin – offers promise as a future alternative to hearing aids or surgical implants for those with impaired hearing, a speech and hearing scientist has said. Dr. Arlene Carney, audiologist at the University of Illinios, said on Monday (May 28, 1984) that ‘skin speech’ involves the use of tactile devices that electronically create speech patterns in vibrations on the skin. Patients receiving the experimental therapy learn to interpret the vibrations and sort them into speech patterns, said Dr. Carney.
It is well-known that words emitted through the mouth are preserved in the atmosphere in the form of sound waves. This sound actually originates in vibrations, much the same as the vibrations that cause skin speech, which are transmitted in the form of wave motions through a material medium such as air. These waves remain in the atmosphere. Though they cannot be seen, they do not disappear. They are there, and were the apparatus available, can be played back like a tape on which sounds have been recorded.
If this is the case with vibrations that cause sound speech, then it is clearly true of the vibrations that cause skin speech as well. These vibrations are also preserved in the atmosphere. Man, who even in this world possesses the ability to play back sounds recorded on a disc or tape, should have no difficulty in understanding this power being extended by God in the next world to cover all vibrations, whether of sound or skin speech, which have been imprinted in the atmosphere in the form of waves.
Man is being tested in this world. No scientific discovery reveals the exact nature of divine truth for, were it to do so, man would have no choice but to accept it: there would be no test involved. However, advances in the field of science do make it easier for us to understand certain concepts, such as skin speech, which was difficult to fathom in the past. If the fast-accumulating evidence in support of truths expounded in the Quran is not sufficient to make man take heed, then he shall have to wait for actual occurrences before he will come to his senses. But then it will be too late; for then there will be no choice but to listen to the evidence of everything – even our skins – and accept the fate to which it condemns us.