The more refined matter is the more free and active the spirit. Austere practices 'less food more fasting less sleep refraining from all kinds of sins and regular and more frequent worship' are advised in this way. If one has innate capacity to develop one's spiritual faculties one can go beyond the limits of this material world travel in the spirit in other dimensions of existence and to some degree get in contact with the past and future. It may be understood by means of the following analogy:
While you are in a room you can see the things within the confines of the four walls. When you go outside your viewing range will be broadened and include your immediate surroundings. You can see a still wider area from the top of a hill. As you ascend higher the area you see is further enlarged. It is the same with time. The more free the spirit is from the imprisonment of matter and the body the broader the realm of its activity is with respect to both time and space.
This way is usually the way of the Prophets and saints. Either through travel in spirit in time and space or through being taught by God the Knower of the Seen and Unseen they can penetrate into the depths of time and space. Just as the light of the sun although it is a material body can be present in numberless places at the same time so the spirit of a Prophet or a saint especially one belonging to the group called 'substitutes' can be present in many places at the same time in the immaterial or energetic form of his body. The Holy Book points to this:
"She (Virgin Mary) placed a screen to seclude herself from them. Then We sent to her Our spirit and he appeared before her as a man without fault (19:17)."
The Spirit (many interpreters of the Holy Book are of the opinion that it was the Archangel Gabriel) was seen before Mary the virgin mother of Jesus in the form of a human being.
There are many authentic narrations about some saints who were seen in different places at the same time. This is as pointed out above like the sun being reflected in innumerable transparent things at the same time. Among saints are many who have made predictions.
The spirit of a saint which has acquired enough enlightenment or luminosity comes across symbols or signs of past or future events while it is traveling in time. The saint interprets those visions of his and gives news of certain past or future events. This is comparable to interpretation of dreams. However the saint may sometimes err in his interpretation. However a Prophet since he receives Revelation and is directly taught by God Almighty the Knower of the Unseen never errs in his interpretations and predictions. Whatever the Prophets predicted always came true. For example the Prophet Muhammad predicted numerous future events. Most of his predictions have already come true while others are waiting for their time to come true. (For many of his predictions see. Said Nursi. The Letters vol. 1 pp. 111-130; F. Gulen. The Infinite Light vol. 1 pp. 67-82).