التوحيد at-Tawhid

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Fahm'us Salaf

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VIEWS CONCERNING HELL PERISHING
« on: April 17, 2017, 04:26:07 PM »
بِسْمِ اللّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ
Views Concerning Hell Perishing
 
Abi’l Izz (rahimahullah), Muhazzzabu Sharh’il Aqidat’it Tahawiyyah

Views Concerning Jannah (Paradise) and Jahannam (Hell) being never Perish or Disappear

As for the statement that Paradise and Hell “will never perish or disappear,” this is the belief of the majority of scholars of all times, Salaf (early) as well as Khalaf (later). Some of them, however, say that Paradise will abide forever but Hell will terminate. Both these views have been mentioned in Tafsir (commentaries) on the Qur’an and other works.

The person who first said that both Paradise and Hell will perish was Jahm Ibnu Safwan, the leader of the Mu’attila (negators of Allah’s attributes). No Salaf  has ever said that neither among the Sahabah (companions) nor Tabi’in (successor) or the A’immah of the Muslimin and the Ahl’us Sunnah. As one body Ahl’us Sunnah denounce Jahm and call him Kafir (infidel) for holding this view. Ahl’us Sunnah made him and his followers from all over the world to be exposed.

What led Jahm to this stance was his assumption that a Hadath (contingent thing) is not everlasting. This is the principle on which misguided Kalaam (theologians) build up their argument for the contingency of the world. Jahm believes that what is not without a beginning in the past cannot go on without an end in the future. On these grounds he rules out the eternity of divine action in the future as well as in the past. Abu’l Hudhayl al-Allaf, the leader of the Mu‘tazilah, agreed with him on this point, but he drew the implication that the people of Paradise and Hell will cease to move one day and will enter into a state of perpetual rest where none of them will be able to move. We have already referred to the controversy over the regress of events in past and in future, and related it to the eternity of divine action. We have said that Allah is the Lord from eternity, that He has been doing from eternity what He has willed. He is Everlasting, Ever- Knowing and Ever-Powerful. It is not possible to think that at first He could not act and then began to act without anything happening there, or that His inactivity ended at a particular time and He became active at that time and not before. This is plainly false and its falseness can hardly be over-emphasized.

That Paradise will last forever is something known of necessity. The Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) clearly enunciated it. Allah Ta’ala states:


وَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ سُعِدُواْ فَفِي الْجَنَّةِ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا مَا دَامَتِ السَّمَاوَاتُ وَالأَرْضُ إِلاَّ مَا شَاء رَبُّكَ عَطَاء غَيْرَ مَجْذُوذٍ
“And those who are blessed will be in Paradise. They will dwell therein for all the time that the heavens and the earth endure except as your Lord wills: a gift without break.” (Huud 11/108)

That is, it will not end. This is not contradicted by the exception clause إِلاَّ مَا شَاء رَبُّكَ “except as your Lord wills.”

There are different explanations from the Salaf concerning this exception. Some say it is in reference to their stay in the Hell-fire, for those who spend some time there and then come out of it. Hence, it is not in reference to all the inhabitants of Paradise.

Some say it is in reference to the period they will stay in Mawqif for judgment, or, others say, the duration they will remain in Mawqif and in their graves. Some Salaf have also said that the exception only holds up a theoretical possibility which will not be realized, as in the statement, “(By Allah) I will strike you unless I see fit otherwise,” but you do not see fit otherwise and you have determined to strike.

Others say that the word “Illa (except)” here means “and”. This is according to the statement of some grammarians but it is a weak opinion. Sibawayh says “Illa (except)” means “but”, in which case the exception clause would be disjunctive. Ibnu Jarir endorses this opinion. He said, “Allah will never break His promise. So the exception is related to
عَطَاء غَيْرَ مَجْذُوذٍ “a gift without break”. A similar phrase would be? ”You may live in my house for a year except for what I wish,” which means, “except for what I wish to add to it.”

Others have said that the exception emphasizes that though people will live in Paradise forever this will entirely depend on the will of Allah. It is not the case that they are no longer under the command of His will. This does not at all contradict the idea of infinite stay in Paradise. Examples of such hypothetical exceptions are many in the Qur’an, for example, Allah states:


وَلَئِن شِئْنَا لَنَذْهَبَنَّ بِالَّذِي أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ ثُمَّ لاَ تَجِدُ لَكَ بِهِ عَلَيْنَا وَكِيلاً
“If it were Our will We could take away what We have sent you by inspiration. Then would you find none to plead your affair in that matter as against Us.” (al-Isra 17/86);

فَإِن يَشَأِ اللَّهُ يَخْتِمْ عَلَى قَلْبِكَ
“But if He willed, He could seal up your heart.” (ash-Shura 42/24);

قُل لَّوْ شَاء اللّهُ مَا تَلَوْتُهُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَلاَ أَدْرَاكُم بِهِ فَقَدْ لَبِثْتُ فِيكُمْ عُمُراً مِّن قَبْلِهِ أَفَلاَ تَعْقِلُونَ
“Say: If Allah had so willed I should not have rehearsed it to you, nor would He have made it known to you.” (Yunus 10/16)

What Allah wants to underline is that things are entirely at His will, that what He wills happens and what He does not will does not happen.

Some say that the “ma (what)” in the verse means “man (who)”. That is, except for whomever Allah wishes to enter into the Naar (Fire i.e. Hell-fire) because of his sins. Others offer even other opinions.

In any case, the exact meaning of the exception in that verse is from the Mutashhabih (equivocal) verses of the Qur’an. But the words
عَطَاء غَيْرَ مَجْذُوذ “a gift without break” are Muhkam (unequivocal). The following verses are also Muhkam:

إِنَّ هَذَا لَرِزْقُنَا مَا لَهُ مِن نَّفَادٍ
“Lo! this is in truth Our Rizq (provision), which will never waste away.” (Sa’d 38/43);

أُكُلُهَا دَآئِمٌ وِظِلُّهَا تِلْكَ عُقْبَى
“Its food is everlasting, and its shade.” (ar-Ra’d 13/35);

وَمَا هُم مِّنْهَا بِمُخْرَجِينَ
“Nor will they be expelled from there.” (al-Hijr 15/48)

That life in Paradise will last “Abad (forever)” has been stated in many Ayaat (verses) of the Qur’an. Allah states that the people of Paradise:

لَا يَذُوقُونَ فِيهَا الْمَوْتَ إِلَّا الْمَوْتَةَ الْأُولَى
“taste not death therein, except the first death.” (ad-Dukhan 44/56)

That exception clause is Munkati (disjunctive). It is accompanied with the exception in Allah’s words إِلاَّ مَا شَاء رَبُّكَ “except what your Lord wills.” These two verses are meant to exclude the time that they are not in Paradise from their everlasting life, like excluding the first death from the general mention of death, which death takes place before their everlasting life. Similarly, the above exception, where they are outside of Paradise, takes place before they enter Paradise.

There are also many Ahadith (pl. Had’th) that underscore the perpetuity of life in Paradise. For example, the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said:


مَنْ يَدْخُلُ الْجَنَّةَ يَنْعَمُ لاَ يَبْأَسُ لاَ تَبْلَى ثِيَابُهُ وَلاَ يَفْنَى شَبَابُهُ
“One who enters Paradise will be always happy and never unhappy, will always live and never die;”
(Muslim, Hadith no: 2836; Darimi, Hadith no: 2822; Ahmad, Musnad, 2/370, 407, 416, 462);


يُنَادِي مُنَادٍ إِنَّ لَكُمْ أَنْ تَصِحُّوا فَلاَ تَسْقَمُوا أَبَدًا وَإِنَّ لَكُمْ أَنْ تَحْيَوْا فَلاَ تَمُوتُوا أَبَدًا وَإِنَّ لَكُمْ أَنْ تَشِبُّوا فَلاَ تَهْرَمُوا أَبَدًا وَإِنَّ لَكُمْ أَنْ تَنْعَمُوا فَلاَ تَبْتَئِسُوا أَبَدًا
“A voice will call: People of Paradise! You will always be well and never sick, always young and never old, and you will ever live and never die.”
(Muslim, Hadith no: 2837; Tirmidhi, Hadith no:3246; Darimi, Hadith no: 2334; Ahmad, Musnad, 2/319, 3/38, 3/95)

I have already mentioned the Hadith which says that death will be brought and killed between Paradise and Hell, and then the announcement will be:

يَا أَهْلَ الْجَنَّةِ خُلُودٌ فَلاَ مَوْتَ وَيَا أَهْلَ النَّارِ خُلُودٌ فَلاَ مَوْتَ
“People of Paradise! You will live for ever and never die. People of Hell! You will live for ever and never die.”
(Bukhari, Hadith no: 4730; Muslim, Hadith no: 2849; Ahmad, Musnad, 3/9)
Whosoever desires الْعِزَّةَ al-Izzah (honour, power and glory) then to Allah belong all الْعِزَّةَ al-Izzah [and one can get honour, power and glory only by obeying and worshiping Allah (Alone)]. To Him ascend (all) الْكَلِمُ الطَّيِّبُ al-Kalim al-Tayyib (the goodly words), and الْعَمَلُ الصَّالِحُ al-Amal al-Saalih (the righteous deeds) exalt it (the goodly words i.e., the goodly words are not accepted by Allah unless and until they are followed by good deeds). (Fatir 35/10)

Fahm'us Salaf

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Re: VIEWS CONCERNING HELL PERISHING
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2017, 06:04:12 PM »
Views Concerning Hell being Everlasting and Eternal

Is Hell everlasting and eternal? There are eight different views on the subject.

First, once any person enters Hell he will never come out. This is the view of the Mu‘tazilah and the Khawaarij.

Second, people will first suffer the torments of Hell then they will be completely transformed and will begin to enjoy the torments as it will be in accord with their new nature. This is the belief of Ibnu Arabi at-Taî the leader of the Wahdat’i Wujud (monists).

Third, people will be sent to Hell for a limited period, after which they will be taken out; then another group will be sent in their place. This is the view which the Jews held at the time of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) and which he denounced. Allah depicts it in these words:


وَقَالُواْ لَن تَمَسَّنَا النَّارُ إِلاَّ أَيَّاماً مَّعْدُودَةً قُلْ أَتَّخَذْتُمْ عِندَ اللّهِ عَهْداً فَلَن يُخْلِفَ اللّهُ عَهْدَهُ أَمْ تَقُولُونَ عَلَى اللّهِ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ بَلَى مَن كَسَبَ سَيِّئَةً وَأَحَاطَتْ بِهِ خَطِيـئَتُهُ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ
“They say: the Fire will not touch us but for a few numbered days. Say: Have you taken a promise from Allah, for He never breaks His promise. Or is it that you say of Allah what you do not know? Nay, those who seek gain in evil, and are girt round by their sins, are companions of the Fire. Therein will they abide (for ever).” (al-Baqarah 2/80-81)

Fourth, everyone will come out of Hell in the end but Hell will continue to exist though there will be no one there.

Fifth, it will perish by itself, for it is a Hadath (contingent thing) and nothing that is contingent abides forever. This is the view of Jahm and his followers. They say the same thing about Paradise, as we have mentioned before.

Sixth, in Hell people will cease to move in the end and turn unconscious and lifeless. They will not feel any pain. This is the view of Abu’l Hudhayl al-Allaf, as mentioned earlier.

Seventh, Allah Ta’ala will take out of Hell whom He will, as the Sunnah/Ahadith say, then He will keep it for a while and then destroy it because He Ta’ala has fixed a term for it.

Eighth, Allah Ta’ala will take out from it whom He will, as the Ahadith state, and leave the Kuffar (infidels) there to suffer forever and ever. This is the view of the author Tahawi.

All these views are clearly wrong except the last two, which are held by different groups of the Ahl’us Sunnah.

In support of the first of the two views the following verses have been cited:


قَالَ النَّارُ مَثْوَاكُمْ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا إِلاَّ مَا شَاء اللّهُ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ حَكِيمٌ عَليمٌ
“He will say: the Fire be your dwelling place. You will dwell therein forever, except as Allah wills, for your Lord is Full of wisdom and knowledge.” (al-An’am 6/128);

فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ شَقُواْ فَفِي النَّارِ لَهُمْ فِيهَا زَفِيرٌ وَشَهِيقٌ  خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا مَا دَامَتِ السَّمَاوَاتُ وَالأَرْضُ إِلاَّ مَا شَاء رَبُّكَ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ فَعَّالٌ لِّمَا يُرِيدُ
“Those who are wretched will be in the Fire: there will be for them therein (nothing but) the heaving of sighs and sobs. They will dwell therein for all the time that the heavens and the earth endure except as your Lord wills; for your Lord is the Accomplisher of what He plans.” (Huud 11/106-107)

It may be noted that following the exception clauses in these two verses there is no statement comparable to the one that follows the exception clause in verse Huud 11/108 about the people of Paradise, namely:

عَطَاء غَيْرَ مَجْذُوذٍ
“this a gift that will never end.” (Huud 11/108)

A third verse that supports the non-eternity of Hell is:

لَابِثِينَ فِيهَا أَحْقَاباً
“They will dwell therein for ages.” (an-Naba 78/23)

Among those who say that Hell, as opposed to Paradise, will terminate one day are Companions like Umar Ibn’ul Khattab (radiyallahu anh), Ibn’u Mas’ud (radiyallahu anh), Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu anh), Abu Sa’id (radiyallahu anh), and others. Commenting on these verses in his famous commentary on the Qur’an, Abd Ibnu Humayd has mentioned the words of Umar (radiyallahu anh):

“People may remain in the Fire as many days as the particles in a heap of sand, but then there will be a time when they will come out of it.”

Abd Ibnu Humayd mentioned that in his commentary on the Ayah:


لَابِثِينَ فِيهَا أَحْقَاباً
“They will dwell therein for ages.” (an-Naba 78/23)

The proponents of this view also point out that Hell manifests Allah’s Ghazab (wrath), while Paradise manifests His Rahmah (mercy), and the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said:

لَمَّا خَلَقَ اللَّهُ الْخَلْقَ كَتَبَ فِي كِتَابِهِ ـ هُوَ يَكْتُبُ عَلَى نَفْسِهِ، وَهْوَ وَضْعٌ عِنْدَهُ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ ـ إِنَّ رَحْمَتِي تَغْلِبُ غَضَبِي
“When Allah intended to create the world He wrote in the Book which is with Him above the Throne: My mercy outdoes My wrath.” (Bukhari, Hadith no: 7404)

or, as we have in another version:

إِنَّ رَحْمَتِي سَبَقَتْ غَضَبِي
“overcomes My wrath.” (Bukhari, Hadith no: 7422)

This Hadith has been recorded by Bukharî in his Sahih on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu anh).

They also draw attention to the fact that when Allah refers to the fixture penalty, He Ta’ala states:


عَذَابَ يَوْمٍ عَظِيمٍ
“the penalty of a Mighty Day.” (al-An’am 6/15);

عَذَابَ يَوْمٍ أَلِيمٍ
“of a Grievous Day.” (Huud 11/26);

عَذَابُ يَوْمٍ عَقِيمٍ
“of a Day of Disaster.” (al-Hajj 22/55)

But when He Ta’ala refers to the fixture bliss He does not mention even once that it is the bliss of a Day. Furthermore, Allah  Ta’ala states:

عَذَابِي أُصِيبُ بِهِ مَنْ أَشَاء وَرَحْمَتِي وَسِعَتْ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ
“With My punishment I visit whom I will; but My mercy extends to all things.” (al-A’raf 7/156)

Addressing Allah Ta’ala, the angels states:

رَبَّنَا وَسِعْتَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ رَّحْمَةً وَعِلْماً
“Our Lord! Your reach is over all things, in mercy and knowledge.” (Ghafir/Mu’min 40/7)

(They say: So) this means that His Rahmah will also extend to the people in Hell, for if they remained there forever they would not get His Rahmah (mercy). According to a Hadith in the Sahih, the Day of Recompense will be eqixal to fifty thousand years.1 People will undergo punishment for different periods depending upon the nature of their crimes. However, it does not behoove the One Who is Ahkaam’ul Hakimin (Most Just) and Arham’ur Rahimin (Most Merciful) to create people and condemn them to eternal suffering without end. On the other hand, it does behoove Him to create people and bestow upon them everlasting happiness. Suffering is not an end in itself: happiness is.

(They also say) the texts that say that people will suffer forever, that they will have no relief at all, and that they will not ever be taken out of Hell, are true and indisputable, but they only mean that people will suffer in the House of Suffering so long as it lasts. Ahl’ut Tawhid (People who believe in one God) will be taken out in the course of its life, and others when it expires. To take one out of a prison is one thing, and to demolish the prison and set people free is another.

Those who believe that the Fire will blaze forever and will never stop quote the following verses:


وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ مُّقِيمٌ
“Their penalty will be one that endures.” (al-Ma’idah 5/37);

لَا يُفَتَّرُ عَنْهُمْ وَهُمْ فِيهِ مُبْلِسُونَ
“It (i.e. punishment) will not be lightened for them, and in despair will they be there overwhelmed.” (az-Zukhruf 43/75);

فَلَن نَّزِيدَكُمْ إِلَّا عَذَاباً
“No increase will We grant you except in punishment.” (an-Naba 78/30);

خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا أَبَداً
“They will abide therein forever.” (al-Jinn 72/23; al-Bayyinah 98/8);

وَمَا هُم بِخَارِجِينَ مِنَ النَّارِ
“Nor will they be expelled from there.” (al-Hijr 15/48);

وَمَا هُم بِخَارِجِينَ مِنَ النَّارِ
“Nor will there be a way for them out of Fire.” (al-Baqarah 2/167)

وَلاَ يَدْخُلُونَ الْجَنَّةَ حَتَّى يَلِجَ الْجَمَلُ فِي سَمِّ الْخِيَاطِ
“They will not enter the Garden until a camel can pass through the eye of a needle.” (al-A’raf 7/40);

لَا يُقْضَى عَلَيْهِمْ فَيَمُوتُوا وَلَا يُخَفَّفُ عَنْهُم مِّنْ عَذَابِهَا
“No term will be determined for them, so they should die, nor its penalty be lightened for them.” (Fatir 35/36);

إِنَّ عَذَابَهَا كَانَ غَرَاماً
“Indeed its torture will abide.” (al-Furqan 25/65)

They also point out that a number of Ahadith tell us that those who say La-ilaha Illallah (there is no –true- god –deserves to be worshiped- but Allah) will be taken out of Fire; this is also the meaning of the Hadith on Shafa’ah (intercession). That ruling is especially for them. Now the question is, if the Kuffar (infidels) are also to be taken out of the Fire, there will be no difference between them and the Muwahhidin (believers in one God), and the relief from the Fire will not be linked with faith. Finally, Paradise or Hell will not abide of themselves forever, they will abide because Allah Ta’ala will make them everlasting.


Footnotes:


Quote
1- Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu anh) narrated that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said:

مَا مِنْ صَاحِبِ كَنْزٍ لاَ يُؤَدِّي زَكَاتَهُ إِلاَّ أُحْمِيَ عَلَيْهِ فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ فَيُجْعَلُ صَفَائِحَ فَيُكْوَى بِهَا جَنْبَاهُ وَجَبِينُهُ حَتَّى يَحْكُمَ اللَّهُ بَيْنَ عِبَادِهِ فِي يَوْمٍ كَانَ مِقْدَارُهُ خَمْسِينَ أَلْفَ سَنَةٍ ثُمَّ يُرَى سَبِيلَهُ إِمَّا إِلَى الْجَنَّةِ وَإِمَّا إِلَى النَّارِ
“No owner of the treasure who does not pay Zakat (would be spared) but (his hoards) would be heated in the Fire of Hell and these would be made into plates and with these his sides, his forehead would be cauterised till Allah would pronounce judgment among His servants during a day, the extent of which would be fifty thousand years. He would then see his path, leading either to Paradise or to Hell.” (Muslim, Hadith no: 987; Abu Dawud, Hadith no: 1658; Nasai, 5/12-14; Ahmad, Musnad, 2/262, 383, 490)
Whosoever desires الْعِزَّةَ al-Izzah (honour, power and glory) then to Allah belong all الْعِزَّةَ al-Izzah [and one can get honour, power and glory only by obeying and worshiping Allah (Alone)]. To Him ascend (all) الْكَلِمُ الطَّيِّبُ al-Kalim al-Tayyib (the goodly words), and الْعَمَلُ الصَّالِحُ al-Amal al-Saalih (the righteous deeds) exalt it (the goodly words i.e., the goodly words are not accepted by Allah unless and until they are followed by good deeds). (Fatir 35/10)

 

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