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Quranic Terminology: Eternity: (1) The Meaning of Immortality and Eternity

Quranic Terminology: Eternity: (1) The Meaning of Immortality and Eternity

 

 

Published in December 26, 2019

Translated by: Ahmed Fathy

 

 

 

 

Introduction:

1- We assume, based on our pondering the Quranic text, that the Lord God has taken a piece of time and has made it explode (i.e., the Big Bang) and from such piece of time emerged the universe; i.e., the physical universe with its galaxies and the metaphysical Barsakh levels. The Lord God has created all living creatures in the physical and metaphysical levels; He has made water (with its different forms and types in the universe and in Barsakh levels) the basis of such living creatures.  

1/1: The Lord God says the following in the Quran: "...And We made from water every living thing..." (21:30). This includes jinn, devils, and angels as well as creatures we never know about created by the Omnipotent, Dominant Lord. By the way, until now, we never know all living creatures/species on earth, whether in the depths of the oceans or those living inside our bodies and around us: "...And He creates what you do not know." (16:8). 

1/2: The Lord God says the following in the Quran: "It is He who created the heavens and the earth in six days - and His Throne was upon the waters..." (11:7). This Throne is the symbol standing for the universe itself and the Lord God's dominance and control of it; this means that the universe is based on water.

1/3: The Lord God says the following in the Quran: "God created every living creature from water. Some of them crawl on their bellies, and some walk on two feet, and others walk on four. God creates whatever He wills. God is Capable of everything." (24:45).

2- The Lord God is the Creator of time, and from this creature known as (time), He has created the (meta)physical realms of the universe. The transient, temporary realm/universe is the First Day; it has a beginning and an end; it will be completely destroyed by the advent of the Hour; the Hour will be followed by the Last Day in the Hereafter; the Last Day has a beginning and has no end; this is eternity: the Last Day begins with Resurrection, Gathering, Display, Judgment, and then Hell and Paradise forever. We notice that the word (day) in the terms (First Day) and (Last Day) is part of the words pertaining to time in this temporary world; even the Quranic term (the Hour) employs a word pertaining to a time-unit still used today. For more details, we refer readers to these articles of ours in English, about these topics, on the following links: (http://www.ahl-alquran.com/English/show_article.php?main_id=20194 +  http://www.ahl-alquran.com/English/show_article.php?main_id=18716  +  http://www.ahl-alquran.com/English/show_article.php?main_id=18568).

3- Since the Lord God is the Creator of time, He is outside time; He is Above time which envelopes the earth and the universe at large; this is how the Omnipresent Lord describes Himself in the Quran: "He is the First and the Last, and the Outer and the Inner, and He has knowledge of all things." (57:3).

4- Hence, we assert the following facts.

4/1: The Lord God is the First before everything else and the Last after everything else.

4/2: The heavens and the earth move toward their finality; i.e., their end/destruction or the point zero. This means the heavens and the earth (i.e., the Quranic expression denoting the universe) began in an explosion (i.e., the Big Bang) and they will end in another explosion of the Hour. The Hour will be followed by alternative and eternal heavens and earth within the eternal time of the Last Day; these heavens and earth will be able to stand the Divine Presence of the Dominant Lord God on the Judgment Day: "On the Day when the earth is changed into another earth, and the heavens, and they will emerge before One Dominant God." (14:48).  

4/3: Of course, eternity in the Hereafter (or the Afterlife), for both the Hell-dwellers and the Paradise dwellers, is within the frame of time. Eternity is decreed to all creatures of the Last Day in Hell and in Paradise in an Eternal Realm whose existence forever and ever is part of the Divine Will. Expressing this eternity in the Quran is by employing words which enable the limited human mind to grasp and understand the Divine Will of the Dominant Lord God. The problematic issue of time baffles the human mind in this transient world; the same applies more to understanding the meaning of eternity within the Last Day; this is why we cannot think of the nature of God the Creator of time, or else, our minds will be blown up!

5- Within our Quranist methodology, we ponder the meaning of eternity in the Quranic text.

 

Firstly: there is no eternity in this transient world; the universe is not eternal:

1- The Lord God says the following about the earth and its dwellers: "Everyone upon it is perishing. But will remain the Presence of your Lord, Full of Majesty and Splendor." (55:26-27); "Then, after that, you will die. Then, on the Day of Resurrection, you will be resurrected." (23:15-16).

2- Of course, the exception is those killed while striving for the Lord God's sake (i.e., while serving His cause); the Lord God prohibits our saying the word (dead) about them; this is because they are alive in the Barsakh Paradise enjoying its bliss and pleasures.

2/1: "And do not say of those who are killed in the cause of God, “Dead.” Rather, they are alive, but you do not perceive." (2:154).

2/2: "Do not consider those killed in the cause of God as dead. In fact, they are alive, at their Lord, well provided for. Delighting in what God has given them out of His grace, and happy for those who have not yet joined them; that they have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve. They rejoice in grace from God, and bounty, and that God will not waste the reward of the believers." (3:169-171).

2/3: Thus, they did not die; rather, they left the physical earth and were transported into the Barsakh Paradise which is located in one of the Barsakh levels of the earth itself. Let us remember that this Barsakh Paradise is not eternal; this is because the earth, with its (meta)physical levels, and the heavens, again with their physical levels, will be completely destroyed by the advent of the Hour.

3- Adam and his wife who lived in this Barsakh Paradise longed for eternity/immortality; they desired that they will never die; this ardent wish was the tool that helped Satan to deceive Adam and his wife as he convinced them to disobey the Lord God's command about not to consume the fruit of the Forbidden Tree.

3/1: "But Satan whispered to them, to reveal to them their nakedness, which was invisible to them. He said, “Your Lord has only forbidden you this tree, lest you become angels, or become immortals.”" (7:20). Thus, Adam and his wife were obsessed with the idea of immortality; they knew they were mortals; this is why Satan managed to deceive them and they fell into the trap of sin.

3/2: "But Satan whispered to him. He said, “O Adam, shall I show you the Tree of Immortality, and a kingdom that never decays?”" (20:120). Thus, Adam and his wife who longed for immortality assumed that Satan was telling them the truth about their living forever (i.e., for eternity) if they would consume the fruit of the Forbidden Tree; this is why they disobeyed the command of the Lord God.

4- The Lord God's messengers and prophets are not immortal beings in this transient world; each of them refuted the disbelievers of his era regarding their erroneous notion that their false gods and deities are immortal.

4/1: "We did not grant immortality to any human being before you. Should you die, are they then the immortal?" (21:34).

4/2: "We did not make them mere bodies that ate no food, nor were they immortal." (21:8).

4/3: This means that the refutation of the claims of polytheists regarding their seemingly immortal, undying deities/saints is the fact that Allah's messengers and prophets themselves die because they (like all human beings, of course) are not immortals.

4/4: The Lord God has asserted to Muhammad in the Quran that he is among mortals; i.e., he will die and will never live forever in this transient, nether world: "You will die, and they will die." (39:30); "We did not grant immortality to any human being before you. Should you die, are they then the immortal?" (21:34). Yet, the Muhammadans disbelieve in such Quranic verses; they assume that Muhammad is alive forever inside a tomb beneath their feet in the Yathreb mosque until the Resurrection Day!

4/5: This is why there are repeated Quranic assertion of the death of such false gods (who were deified mortal human beings) and that they are not alive and they are not immortal; yet, the Muhammadans disbelieve in this Quranic fact: "They are dead, not alive; and they do not know when they will be resurrected." (16:21); "Those you call upon besides God are servants like you. So call upon them, and let them answer you, if you are truthful. Do they have feet with which they walk? Or do they have hands with which they strike? Or do they have eyes with which they see? Or do they have ears with which they hear? Say, “Call upon your partners, then scheme against me, and do not wait.”" (7:194-195).

5- The disbelievers in this world who desire the transient possessions of this temporary world and disbelieve in the Hereafter vie for hoarding as many possessions (and as much money) as possible; they assume that they are immortals who live forever (i.e., for eternity) on Planet Earth; they are oblivious and heedless of the fact that others around them die; they are never warned at all; they do their best to forget that they will die one day. 

5/1: Such disbelievers assume that their wealth would bring them immortality: "Thinking that his wealth has made him immortal." (104:3).

5/2: Saleh the prophet said the following to his people/tribe of Aad: "And you set up factories, hoping to live forever?" (26:129).

 

Secondly: eternity pertains only to the Hereafter or the Afterlife:

  Eternity means Everlasting Life; it means immortality; i.e., there will be no death or even sleep at all for both the Hell-dwellers and the Paradise dwellers.

1- Hell-dwellers will never die; they abide forever inside Hell.

1/1: "As for those who disbelieve, for them is the Fire of Hell, wherein they will never be finished off and die, nor will its torment be lightened for them..." (35:36).

1/2: "Beyond him lies Hell, and he will be given to drink putrid water. He will guzzle it, but he will not swallow it. Death will come at him from every direction, but he will not die. And beyond this is relentless torment." (14:16-17).

1/3: "Whoever comes to his Lord guilty, for him is Hell, where he neither dies nor lives." (20:74).

1/4: "But the wretched will avoid it. He who will enter the Gigantic Fire. Where he will neither die, nor live." (87:11-13).

1/5: "And they will cry, “O Malik, let your Lord finish us off.” He will say, “You are staying.”" (43:77); "Those who reject Our Verses - We will scorch them in a Fire. Every time their skins are cooked, We will replace them with other skins, so they will experience the suffering. God is Most Powerful, Most Wise." (4:56).

2- The pious ones are the Paradise dwellers; they inherit the Eternal Life; they never die.

2/1: "But the pious will be in gardens with springs. “Enter it in peace and security.” And We will remove all ill-feelings from their hearts - brethren on couches facing one another. No fatigue will ever touch them therein, nor will they be asked to leave it." (15:45-48).

2/2: The same applies to their eternal servants: "Serving them will be immortal youths." (56:17); "Passing among them are eternal youths. If you see them, you would think them sprinkled pearls." (76:19).

 

Thirdly: eternity is defined within the frame of time in the Hereafter:

1- The Lord Go says the following in the Quran: "On the Day when the earth is changed into another earth, and the heavens, and they will emerge before One Dominant God." (14:48). This means that in contrast to the current temporary, transient universe which moves relentlessly towards its end/destruction, the New Realm after the Hour in the Hereafter is eternal within a frame of unending time, created by the Lord God, enveloping it

2- Let us be reminded by the following Quranic facts.

2/1: "In that is a sign for whoever fears the punishment of the Hereafter. That is a Day for which humanity will be gathered together - that is a Day to be witnessed." (11:103); all human beings from the generation of Adam until the last generation of his progeny will be gathered before the Dominant Lord God on the Gathering Day (see also 42:7 and 64:9). They died in different eras and their souls returned to one of the Barsakh levels of the earth, remaining motionless and senseless in Barsakh tombs/graves. Of course, upon the Resurrection, their souls will be gathered to witness the Judgment Day.

2/2: The Judgment Day draws near: "We only postpone it until a predetermined time." (11:104).

2/3: No one among the resurrected souls who will be among the Hell-dwellers and the Paradise dwellers will be allowed to speak without the prior permission of the Dominant Lord God: "On the Day when it arrives, no soul will speak without His permission. Some will be miserable, and some will be happy." (11:105). This means that Muhammad is no intercessor at all on the Last Day; yet, sadly,  Muhammadans rarely take heed.

2/4: As per the Lord God's Divine Will regarding the Eternal Realm which will be created after the Hour, the dwellers of Hell will abide therein forever: "As for those who are miserable, they will be in the Fire. They will have therein sighing and wailing. Remaining therein for as long as the heavens and the earth endure, except as your Lord wills. Your Lord is Doer of whatever He wills." (11:106-107).

2/5: Again, as per the Lord God's Divine Will regarding the Eternal Realm which will be created after the Hour, the dwellers of Paradise will abide therein forever: "And as for those who are happy, they will be in Paradise, remaining therein for as long as the heavens and the earth endure, except as your Lord wills - a reward without end." (11:108).

2/6: This means that eternity in Hell and in Paradise is directly linked to this Eternal Realm; the heavens and the earth are created by the Dominant Lord God from a piece of time; the Lord God is the Creator of time and He is beyond time; He is Above time.

2/7: During our lifetime now on earth, we cannot see time; we cannot free ourselves from it; we cannot get out of time; we cannot retrieve the past moments; nothing remains of the past except mere memories. Glorified be our Dominant Lord God Who says the following in the Holy Quran: "And it is He who made the night and the day alternate - for whoever desires to reflect, or desires to show gratitude." (25:62).

2/8: We live on earth while being surrounded and enveloped by time; yet, we cannot touch or see time; Einstein proved that time is the fourth (and most important) dimension of matter; yet, time is the invisible dimension in the mass of matter despite the fact that physical matter is visible. When one dies, one's soul is transported to Barsakh while carrying its time registered in the Book of Deeds. On the Resurrection Day, one's earned deeds are directly linked to one's soul and to its fate for eternity: "...Every person is hostage to what he has earned." (52:21); "Every soul is hostage to what it has earned." (74:38).

2/9: This means that one's eternity/immortality either in Hell or in Paradise (as there is no third option [e.g., being annihilated is not an option on the Last Day], and there is no medial, in-between position) is decided based on one's deeds done during one's lifetime on earth.


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