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In the Name of God بسم الله
Dragon123

Age of Past Prophets

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The hadith literature is filled with narratives of the past prophets living for extraordinary long periods of time. Although I do not find this logically disturbing (as God can prolong the life of any human), I do find it historically objectionable. Below is a list of some of the ages that have been described in hadith literature:

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1. Luqman lived for 400 years

2. Riyan, father of the king of Egypt, lived for 1,700 years

3. The Prophet Adam lived for 930 or 1000 years

4. The son of the prophet Andreas lived for 969 years

5. Seth, son of Adam, lived for 912 or 940 years

6. Anush, son of Seth, lived for 750 or 960 years

7. Qeinan, son of Seth, lived for 920 years

8. Mahla’il lived for 800 or 960 years

9. Mahla’il’s mother lived for 960 years

10. Shaddad, son of ‘Amir, lived for 900 years

11. Jamshid lived for 850 years

12. ‘Umar, son of ‘Amir, lived for 800 years

13. Lamech lived for 777 or 790 years

14. The Prophet Hud lived for 760 years

15. The Prophet Solomon lived for 712 years

16. Egyptian king lived for 700 years

17. Fereidun lived for 500 years

18. Darid, son of Zaid, lived for 456 years

19. ‘Amr, son of Hujjah Rumi, lived for 400 years

20. Zuhair, son of Abdullah Kananah, lived for 420 years

21. Pharaoh lived for 411 years

22. Rabi‘, son of Saba‘, lived for 380 years

23. Abdul-Masih Nasrani lived for 350 years

24. Aktham, son of Safar Asadi, lived for 330 years

25. The Prophet Jethro/Shu‘aib lived for 240 years

26. Sirat, son of Sa‘id, lived for 220 years

27. Safieddine Riyahi lived for 200 years…and so on.

https://www.al-islam.org/message-thaqalayn/vol-13-no-3-autumn-2012/prolonged-lifespan-imam-mahdi-aj-zainab-musawi/prolonged#f_293ca238_15

Sources: Shaikh Saduq, Kamal-ul-Din, p. 555-onward; Ali ibn Hussain Ma‘sudi, Murawwij-a-Dhahab, vol.1, p. 338-onward; Allameh Majlisi, Bihar-ul-Anwar, vol.51, pp. 227-286; Sayyid Muhammad Kazim Qazwini, Imam al-Mahdi, p. 276.

In Shaykh Rizwan Arastu's book "God's Emissaries: From Adam to Jesus" he notes:

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“Most of our traditions confirm his (Noah) age at 2,500 years (Biḥār al-anwār vol. 11 p. 285 tr. 2). The Qurʾān in 29:14 tells us that he remained among his people for 950 years during his mission as a prophet. This timeframe does not account for the 850 years he lived before becoming a prophet or the 200 years during which he built the ark or the 500 years he spent after the flood. We know about the rest of his life only because of traditions from Prophet Muhammad and his family (Biḥār al-anwār vol. 11 p. 285–6 tr. 2). Some believe that Noah’s life was extended to 2,500 years miraculously or that they used to count each month as a year. However, there is nothing in Noah’s story to suggest that his longevity was miraculous. His people never mention it as an oddity, nor does he mention it as a miracle to bolster his credibility. Furthermore, considering that others in his time lived to 300 years, which is itself hard for us to imagine, it seems we cannot consign his long age to a miracle. ʿAllāmah al-Ṭabāṭabāʾī explains that there is no cap on on the age a human can live. Especially if a person lives a simple and healthy life, there is no reason he cannot live long if God wills.”

Excerpt From: Rizwan Arastu. “God's Emissaries Adam to Jesus.” iBooks

One could as had suggested, say this was counted in months; however, this seems entirely ad hoc. To suggest that it was "normal" is also problematic in that it seems to contradict what we know about the world and how it was. I don't see a shred of evidence outside these hadith that humans had lived that long normally.

Any suggestions about how to view all of this information?

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1 hour ago, Dragon123 said:

I don't see a shred of evidence outside these hadith that humans had lived that long normally.

Any suggestions about how to view all of this information?

Salam. Do you agree that Satan is even older than Prophets you listed? The lives and how long creatures live are determined by the will of Allah SWT.

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The Qur'an confirms that Nuh عليه السلام lived over 950 years, so why is it unlikely that others did?

The above is also verified by Jewish records of Prophets عليهم السلام.

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Salam. Do you agree that Satan is even older than Prophets you listed? The lives and how long creatures live are determined by the will of Allah SWT.

Wa laykum asalaam. Yes, I do. As I said though, I don't find it logically or religiously objectionable that Allah (swt) can do such a thing. I just find it strange to justify a worldview where in the past people normally lived this long. There are simply a lot of problems these hadith raise that I haven't seen answers for.

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The Qur'an confirms that Nuh عليه السلام lived over 950 years, so why is it unlikely that others did?

The above is also verified by Jewish records of Prophets عليهم السلام.

It only is difficult believe because I can't make sense of it any historical context. As for it being in Jewish sources, I am not sure that it adds much to what has been said. I think you would hard pressed to find any independent evidence for the claims outside of it.

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22 minutes ago, Dragon123 said:

I just find it strange to justify a worldview where in the past people normally lived this long. There are simply a lot of problems these hadith raise that I haven't seen answers for.

If we would ask a medical doctor, we would probably be told that people in ancient times ate naturally and more nutritiously than we do now, so they could live longer. The foods we eat today are full of sugar, salt, chemicals, preservatives, etc. Living beyond 55 is considered an accomplishment. 

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18 minutes ago, hameedeh said:

If we would ask a medical doctor, we would probably be told that people in ancient times ate naturally and more nutritiously than we do now, so they could live longer. The foods we eat today are full of sugar, salt, chemicals, preservatives, etc. Living beyond 55 is considered an accomplishment. 

The reality is that life expectancy has gone way up, especially in the past 100 years. Either way, we are not talking about a few decades but 100s or even 1000s of years here. As is mentioned above:

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His people never mention it as an oddity, nor does he mention it as a miracle to bolster his credibility. Furthermore, considering that others in his time lived to 300 years, which is itself hard for us to imagine, it seems we cannot consign his long age to a miracle.

I just can't wrap my head around this to be honest.

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3 minutes ago, Dragon123 said:

I just can't wrap my head around this to be honest.

Our air and water are polluted, too. It's a miracle we are alive. :) 

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Life expectancy is what God wants it to be. It doesn't have to be 100s or 10s. It can be a few seconds, a few minutes, to hundreds of years. How many people came in this world for a few seconds? Why can't the same number of people live for hundreds of years? There are many things we can't get our heads around in this world, especially when it comes to elections.

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11 hours ago, Ozzy said:

Life expectancy is what God wants it to be. It doesn't have to be 100s or 10s. It can be a few seconds, a few minutes, to hundreds of years. How many people came in this world for a few seconds? Why can't the same number of people live for hundreds of years? There are many things we can't get our heads around in this world, especially when it comes to elections.

I haven't disputed the fact that God is perfectly capable of doing this. I am questioning about any evidence that humans "normally" lived this long.

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