A man asked Imam Ali (a.S.) in Masjid-e-Kufa, “What is the distance
Between me and (pointing towards the sun) and the sun”.
It is worth mentioning here about the complexity of this question.
This man was an Arab. And in the Arabic language the numbers or count
Is limited upto one thousand (1000). The count in Arabic does not
Exceed 1000. The answer to the question this man asked dealt in
It was like a challenge to Imam Ali (a.S.) to answer him in a
Convincing manner without confusing him.
Imam Ali (a.S.) answered : “If an Arab horse starts walking from here
And continues walking for 500 years, then he (horse) will reach the
The man got convinced and walked away.
But it is for us now to ponder on what Imam Ali (a.S.) said. This one
Sentence of Imam Ali (a.S.) shows and proves the genius that Imam Ali
Imam Ali (a.S.) said “If an Arab horse…”, the average speed of an
Arab horse is 22 mph (miles per hour).
If a horse runs the full day (24hours) it will cover approximately 520
Miles. This gives us the distance the horse will cover in 24 hrs (one
To calculate the distance covered by the horse in one month we
Multiply it 520 by 29.5 (Taking an average of the number of months in
Islamic callender. Assuming that 6 months are of 29 days and 6 months are
Of 30 days.). It gives us something around 15,500. The horse covers
15,500 miles in one month (30 days).
To get the distance that he will travel in one year we multiply it by
12. Since there are 12 months in a year. It gives you 1,86,000.
Then multiply 1,86,000 by 500 as the horse should run for 500 years.
It gives you 9,34,00,000 miles.
Now if you ask an astronomer about the distance of sun from the earth
He will tell you that the distance is never constant. The orbit of the
Earth is oval in shape. Sometimes it comes nearer to the sun and on
Occasions it distances itself from the sun. When the earth is closest
To the sun its distance is 9,10,00,000 miles and the distance when it
Is farthest from the sun is 9,48,00,000 miles. When you take an
Average on these two distances it comes around 9,30,000 miles.
Imam Ali (a.S.) 1400 years back told us about the distance of the
Earth from the sun.