Jump to content
Guests can now reply in ALL forum topics (No registration required!) ×
Guests can now reply in ALL forum topics (No registration required!)
In the Name of God بسم الله

Eternal Paradise ?

Rate this topic


Recommended Posts

  • Advanced Member

A Long time ago, at one point I was trying to learn all of the Asmaul-Husna [99 Names Of Allah (SWT)]. I remember that when I came across As-Samad (The Eternal), I enquired about it; and part of the answer I got is that "Only Allah (SWT) is forever, and only he is Eternal". Ok, so it sounds about right, and fairly obvious too ? But, recently, a question struck me and has been annoying for a while now..

"If only Allah (SWT) is Eternal, then surely that means we won't live forever (for an eternity ?) in Paradise either ?"

NB This attribute of Allah (SWT) is also mentioned in Suratul Al-Ikhlas.

"Say: He is Allah, the One and Only!

Allah, the Eternal, Absolute;

He begetteth not nor is He begotten.

And there is none like unto Him."

If I understand correctly, both your soul and body will be present in heaven. Both Creations of Allah (SWT). And again, if only As-Samad (SWT) is Eternal, then there's no doubt about the fact that both of these will have to come to an "end" sooner or later. And now you mention, the whole of Jannat, and Jahannam ! Paradise, Hell, Just like the current world, will all face the same destiny (?)

So if anyone can shed some light on this issue, I will be most grateful :)

Regards,

Pedram

PS Please only post your views/opinnions, supporting them with Quranic Ayah and/or authentic Hadith

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Advanced Member

(salam)

The American Heritage Dictionary lists one major definition of 'eternal' as:

Being without beginning or end; existing outside of time.

Thus, in order to truly be eternal, not only must you not have an ending, but you must have no beginning as well.

All of creation has a beginning, but Allah (SWT) does not, thus the notation 'eternal' only fits Him.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Site Administrators
^Perfect. As impossible as it is to comprehend, Allah (swt) has no beginning. He was always here unlike humans who have a definite beginning.
The question being addressed is whether the human being lives eternally in heaven or hell. I.e. after a human enters heaven or hell, how many 'years' will they remain there? Will they remain in heaven eternally? Eternally is a very long time. Can you imagine yourself being alive for 100,000, million, 10 million 'years'? And how does that work with the notion that it's only Allah (swt) who is eternal?

The only difference is that the human/angel/jinn/everything was created, so they had a beginning. What's more difficult to comprehend though, is the end part. Will we cease to exist and become a nothing. Will Angel Gebra'il (as) become a nothing? It was a concept that the makers of the children's movie The Never Ending Story tried to explain.

Some have a fear of 'nothing', particularly atheists who believe once they die, then there's just nothing. No consciousness, no thought, no feeling. Where has theists believe in a hereafter or in a re-incarnation, etc.

ws

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Veteran Member

Allah's eternity is different from ours because its outside the confines of time. Our existence is measured by the duration of momentary successions which are finite. Since its constantly moving in one direction it has potentiality. The eternity of Allah on the other hand is fully actualized, absolute, and has no duration:

[Yusufali 112:2] Allah, the Eternal, Absolute;

Imam Ali (as) describes this idea beautifully in Nahjul Balaghai:

Times do not keep company with Him, and implements do not help Him. His Being precedes times. His Existence precedes non-existence and His eternity precedes beginning.
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Advanced Member

Salaam

^ Are you saying that after a "specific time" it will no longer have a physical existence?

*************************************************************************************************

First, even if ultimately we (men and djinn) are going to live forever (the verses are pretty clear in this respect), we have already lived a Haadith life here and will be destroyed, alongwith everything else before we are resurrected.

Second, the tafseer of Al- Samad is quite exhaustive; the best translation is, of course, The Absolute, which covers almost every Sifat of Allah. It'd be beneficial to go through the tafseer though.

And third, a long Hadeeth from the Holy Prophet (pbuh) explaining this name of Allah, has the following statement,

".......those things which He created for annihilation through His Will, will go into inexistence; and those things will remain, which He in HIs knowledge, has created for eternality........."

[Reference, TauHeed by Shaykh Saduq, exegesis of Surat al IkhlaS]

Fourth, we will still be subject to time, while Allah is beyond time.

Zahraa

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Advanced Member
The question being addressed is whether the human being lives eternally in heaven or hell. I.e. after a human enters heaven or hell, how many 'years' will they remain there? Will they remain in heaven eternally? Eternally is a very long time. Can you imagine yourself being alive for 100,000, million, 10 million 'years'? And how does that work with the notion that it's only Allah (swt) who is eternal?

The only difference is that the human/angel/jinn/everything was created, so they had a beginning. What's more difficult to comprehend though, is the end part. Will we cease to exist and become a nothing. Will Angel Gebra'il become a nothing? It was a concept that the makers of the children's movie The Never Ending Story tried to explain.

Some have a fear of 'nothing', particularly atheists who believe once they die, then there's just nothing. No consciousness, no thought, no feeling. Where has theists believe in a hereafter or in a re-incarnation, etc.

ws

Thank you, Ya Aba 3abdillah :)

I think most of you have misunderstood the original question.. Yes, Allah (SWT) has more than 3 dimensions (i.e. is beyond time), but it's not about Allah's (SWT) Eternity, but rather ours..

Consider the following statements:

"Only Allah (SWT) is Eternal"

"We will live for an eternity in Paradise"

Clearly these two statements are contradictory, so either one is false, or there is some sort of better explanation.

This is what I am trying to figure out..

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Advanced Member

thats a good question pedram, honestly it doesn't matter if we are going to exist for eternity, because God isn't going to tell us (in the quran) that humans are this much behind God in eternity but rather He just says for example "i'm eternal and you are not" haha.... meaning God is there yesterday, today, and tomorrow. The difference is we weren't there in the beginning so God is farther than us, thats what it really means.

Now when we are re-created and we being in heaven for forever thats not the same as God. Its really simple if you want to know the answer you have to ask yourselve were we there before God or was God there before us.

Finally the question you should be asking yourself is "How will God make us eternal?" of course you will have problems but hope you get the point.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Advanced Member

We'll live in the paradise forever but it does not make us eternal (the same as Allah) as we had a beginning and Allah did not.

And those who believe and do good deeds, they are dwellers of Paradise, they dwell therein forever. (Quran, 2:82)

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest blissful223
Thus, in order to truly be eternal, not only must you not have an ending, but you must have no beginning as well.

All of creation has a beginning, but Allah (SWT) does not, thus the notation 'eternal' only fits Him.

this is exactly what I was thinking when I read the first post. i believe you have hit the nail on the head. if you have come into existence at some point in time and there was a point before that at which you did not exist, no matter how long you live into the future you will never have truly eternal life.

beautiful quote from nahj btw, talib-e-ilm.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Advanced Member

(salam)

I cannot claim knowledeg but give you my understanding that reconciliates this issue in my mind. That quote from Imam Ali is exquistite masha'Allah!

1.Eternal for Allah is without begining or end and beyond time, so you cannot say that 'after a certain amount of time passed during His Existance, HE Created...', It makes no sense to Him. He was there when nothing was, there was never a situation when He wasn't there, unlike EVERYTHING else.

2. Eternal for Allah is Absolute, "eternal" for us isn't. not only did we all have beginning, but it is possible, if Allah so Willed, that PAradise and HEll would come to end. The Will of Allah is however, that it wont... the point to know is that is technically could if that actually had been His Will instead. However no such "theorectical ending" can exist for Allah

3. Allah's sense of Eternal is limitless and beyong time, terms of before, now, and after do not apply to Him. For us however "eternal" is limited by time, to us eternal means to go on and on in time, 10 yrs, 100yrs, billions of years, "forever" are all terms relating to and limited inside time.

Mo'min

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Advanced Member

(salam)

Because you and I had a beginning, we cannot be defined as occupying eternity in the same mannerisms of Allah (swt). For example, if I abide in hell for eternity, this eternity is much less eternal than the eternity Allah hath 'occupied' since he has always occupied it. This is the way the mathematician, George Cantor defined infinities. He took the abstract notion of infinity and broke it down to 'larger than' and 'smaller than' infinities. Under the same precept, the definition of being Eternital can be reasoned.

Furthermore, its important to note that when we speak of eternity, it is just negating one of our dimensions in space-time- and matter. Who's to say that in the Hereafter, Allah (swt) does indeed introduce new dimensions?

Fe'amanillah

Edited by Maryam
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Advanced Member

How does this fit in with the concept of space and time. I can't imagine being alive (conscious) for 500,000 years. 500,000 years is a long time, how can a person imagine living 'forever' then?. Won't it get boring? What is there to do? Eat pomegranates all day? Will we eventually (after 156.7345 million years) disappear?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Site Administrators

(bismillah)

(salam)

This extract from the article posted here http://www.shiachat.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=234922948 is relevant to the topic.

In John Updike’s celebrated early short story “Pigeon Feathers,” 14-year-old David spends a lot of time thinking about death. He suspects that adults are lying when they say his spirit will live on after he dies. He keeps catching them in inconsistencies when he asks where exactly his soul will spend eternity. “Don’t you see,” he cries to his mother, “if when we die there’s nothing, all your sun and fields and what not are all, ah, horror? It’s just an ocean of horror.”

The story ends with David’s tiny revelation and his boundless relief. The boy gets a gun for his 15th birthday, which he uses to shoot down some pigeons that have been nesting in his grandmother’s barn. Before he buries them, he studies the dead birds’ feathers. He is amazed by their swirls of color, “designs executed, it seemed, in a controlled rapture.” And suddenly the fears that have plagued him are lifted, and with a “slipping sensation along his nerves that seemed to give the air hands, he was robed in this certainty: that the God who had lavished such craft upon these worthless birds would not destroy His whole Creation by refusing to let David live forever.”

Fear of death is an undercurrent of belief. The spirits of dead ancestors, ghosts, immortal deities, heaven and hell, the everlasting soul: the notion of spiritual existence after death is at the heart of almost every religion. According to some adaptationists, this is part of religion’s role, to help humans deal with the grim certainty of death. Believing in God and the afterlife, they say, is how we make sense of the brevity of our time on earth, how we give meaning to this brutish and short existence. Religion can offer solace to the bereaved and comfort to the frightened.

But the spandrelists counter that saying these beliefs are consolation does not mean they offered an adaptive advantage to our ancestors. “The human mind does not produce adequate comforting delusions against all situations of stress or fear,” wrote Pascal Boyer, a leading byproduct theorist, in “Religion Explained,” which came out a year before Atran’s book. “Indeed, any organism that was prone to such delusions would not survive long.”

Whether or not it is adaptive, belief in the afterlife gains power in two ways: from the intensity with which people wish it to be true and from the confirmation it seems to get from the real world. This brings us back to folkpsychology. We try to make sense of other people partly by imagining what it is like to be them, an adaptive trait that allowed our ancestors to outwit potential enemies. But when we think about being dead, we run into a cognitive wall. How can we possibly think about not thinking? “Try to fill your consciousness with the representation of no-consciousness, and you will see the impossibility of it,” the Spanish philosopher Miguel de Unamuno wrote in “Tragic Sense of Life.” “The effort to comprehend it causes the most tormenting dizziness. We cannot conceive of ourselves as not existing.”

Much easier, then, to imagine that the thinking somehow continues. This is what young children seem to do, as a study at the Florida Atlantic University demonstrated a few years ago. Jesse Bering and David Bjorklund, the psychologists who conducted the study, used finger puppets to act out the story of a mouse, hungry and lost, who is spotted by an alligator. “Well, it looks like Brown Mouse got eaten by Mr. Alligator,” the narrator says at the end. “Brown Mouse is not alive anymore.”

Afterward, Bering and Bjorklund asked their subjects, ages 4 to 12, what it meant for Brown Mouse to be “not alive anymore.” Is he still hungry? Is he still sleepy? Does he still want to go home? Most said the mouse no longer needed to eat or drink. But a large proportion, especially the younger ones, said that he still had thoughts, still loved his mother and still liked cheese. The children understood what it meant for the mouse’s body to cease to function, but many believed that something about the mouse was still alive.

“Our psychological architecture makes us think in particular ways,” says Bering, now at Queens University in Belfast, Northern Ireland. “In this study, it seems, the reason afterlife beliefs are so prevalent is that underlying them is our inability to simulate our nonexistence.”

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Advanced Member

Salam,

I dont actually see a problem with what u have posted. God is eternal 'and' all powerful hence he can make any of his creation survive for as long as he does. Since he is eternal he can also create for as long as eternity. We are dependant on him so we r still the created, As long as God is eternal than we and creation can be eternally maintained by him.

what u bring forward is on the ability of the creator to do this, If you believe in The Quran then you know that Allah Subhanwatalla has just to say be on to a thing and it is. (36:82 yaghool-laho-koon-fayakoon).

Its possibility from an eternal and all powerfull God cannot be doubted. God is not limited to just that term and we/creation are dependant on him- we have a beginning but our end depends on our creator, and our existence and eternity are dependant on him maintaing us (so its different from being independently eternal).

About the people of paradise the quran mentions:

44:56 Nor will they there taste Death, except the first death; and He will preserve them from the Penalty of the Blazing Fire.

One can only assume it alludes to the eternal life.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Advanced Member

[Pickthal 28:88] And cry not unto any other god along with Allah. There is no Allah save Him. Everything will perish save His countenance. His is the command, and unto Him ye will be brought back.

Isn't this physical paradise simply metaphorical, as being in heaven is being in the presence of God without any major veils so there's no need for anything?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Advanced Member
How does this fit in with the concept of space and time. I can't imagine being alive (conscious) for 500,000 years. 500,000 years is a long time, how can a person imagine living 'forever' then?. Won't it get boring? What is there to do? Eat pomegranates all day? Will we eventually (after 156.7345 million years) disappear?

Its quite simple actually. On earth we are limited to the dimensions of space, time and matter... some add energy to the category but thats another issue. Just imagine these dimensions on a coordinate plane system. A point on the x axis is one dimension, a point in the x,y plane is under 2 dimensions... etc. Now just imagine you have eliminated time as a constraint to your existence, meaning it has no relativityin relation to the past life. It doesnt exist anymore. Thats why when we say God is not Bound to Time, it means he transcends it. This is my take on the Eternal Nature of the Hereafter.

Fe'amanillah

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Veteran Member

I think its as simple as, everything related to us is a creation including time

and Allah is nothing like its creation so he is not bound to time, the creator cannot become dependent on the creation

but the creator can make it so one of his creations can leave the depedency of another

eg humans to time

so humans can become independent of time

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Advanced Member
We'll live in the paradise forever but it does not make us eternal (the same as Allah) as we had a beginning and Allah did not.

And those who believe and do good deeds, they are dwellers of Paradise, they dwell therein forever. (Quran, 2:82)

:) Ok, Thanks guys - I think I got my answer.. This post seems to sum it up pretty well.. Thanks to every that posted though; especially some of Maryam's posts that were based quite scientifically..

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
  • Advanced Member

^ The first reply to your question was the same as the one you quoted. You didn't find it convincing enough then or were you waiting for a Qur'anic backing (although the ayah posted alongwith the statement does nothing to help the argument that all creation is Haadith, it only talks about some of the creatures living forever)?

Whatever it is, you will be fine, that is, until you start dabbling in philosophy in this particular problem.

Was salaam

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...