Active TopicsActive Topics  Display List of Forum MembersMemberlist  CalendarCalendar  Search The ForumSearch  HelpHelp
  RegisterRegister  LoginLogin  Old ForumOld Forum  Twitter  Facebook
Advertisement:
         

Basics of Islam
 IslamiCity Forum - Islamic Discussion Forum : Religion - Islam : Basics of Islam
Message Icon Topic: Heaven and Hell Post Reply Post New Topic
Author Message
icforumadmin
 
Admin Group
Admin Group
Avatar

Joined: 15 February 2005
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 763
Quote icforumadmin Replybullet Topic: Heaven and Hell
    Posted: 13 March 2005 at 11:19am

Topic:  Heaven and Hell (1 of 12), Read 86 times 
Conf:  Discussions: General 
From:  Israfil 
Date:  Wednesday, February 09, 2005 05:17 PM 

As'Salaamu Alaikum Muslims and God's Blessings to those who are non-Muslim!

This topic interest me in the way the subject of theology interest me. The subject of Heaven and Hell usually has a religious correlation when one engages in the discussion. To the unbelievers. Heaven and Hell are ways to argue against God, calling the Creator of all using unjust and using unusual punishment.

When God spoke to the void (which is that which existed before the existing universe) he told it to be and from the glory of God came the words of creation. From this came the stars, planets, moons and other various worlds and interdimensional worlds such as Heaven and Hell. Each world (or worlds) carried within it its own laws and principles.

These principles that I mention are not independent of God but are independent in the sense that these laws and principles that guide these worlds act on their own through the will of God. when we talk about Heaven and Hell we must understand that these two worlds are mentioned in the spiritual context using physical visualization.

The Qur'an as well as other references exclaim the notion that "To suffer" is something physical which in this sense is true for the same as when the qur'an mentions the "pleasure of Heaven." I agree with the literalist who say that when God codemns a believer to Hell that the displeasures of Hell are real. But taking it a step further we cannot say that the displeasures of Hell are Physically real because the human body only maximizes sensation for a certain period of time before the annihilation of being.

In matters of suffering it can be said that God can prolong suffering to infinity but when we discuss matters relating to God we must use the spiritual tone rather than the physical. In the supreme spiritual reality everything that exist and is experienced is beyond the temporal sensation that exist in the physical world of humans.

This is why the emphasis on the pleasures of God in Heaven are often repeated as the greatest reward. When we as Muslims think of Heaven it shouldn't confine the mind to think of the material reality such as seeing the bodies of heavenly beings and comprehensible objects, but rather the spiritual sensation of being close to the origin of our existence which is God.

Death can also be something that is the process of the soul releasing itself from its physical prison to get close to its origin. The soul as it leaves the temporal dimension finds itself in other vast dimensions beyond its own capacity this can be the area of judgement. But when the soul enters the dimension of pleasure it is getting close to its origin and that is God.

This is the destination of those who have struggled to follow the rightous path of God. But those who do not follow a moral life and does much unjust actions against those who did not deserve them are cast away from God into the opposite dimension whcih is Hell. Logically, we can say that God does not have to use the terms "fire" or "burn" in the Qur'an because by the very separation of an individual's soul and its origin is enough for the soul to suffer, hence the saying of "the soul leaving its prison."

In the Qur'an God refers to hell as an destined area and says:

A brief enjoyment! then their abode is hell, and evil is the resting-place (3.197)

38.56: Hell; they shall enter it, so evil is the resting-place.

74.35: Surely it (hell) is one of the gravest (misfortunes),

40.76: Enter the gates of hell to abide therein, evil then is the abode of the proud.

8.37: That Allah might separate the impure from the good, and put the impure, some of it upon the other, and pile it up together, then cast it into hell; these it is that are the losers.


Hell is not only a place filled with sorrow and pain but is an area where God separates from those who have done much injustice. When God mentions the just and unjust he is mentioning those who are not cognizant of the basic laws of humanity and go about exceeding those laws without humbling to them. God also mentions that those who sin gravely associating partners with him are in this sense committing the spiritual sin of denying their spiritual origin but in this particular matter it can be discussed more in depth.

As for those who are good God gices them the mighty reward of allowing these fortunate souls to be next to him:

18.107: Surely (as for) those who believe and do good deeds, their place of entertainment shall be the gardens of paradise.

57.21: Hasten to forgiveness from your Lord and to a garden the extensiveness of which is as the extensiveness of the heaven and the earth; it is prepared for those who believe in Allah and His apostles; that is the grace of Allah: He gives it to whom He pleases, and Allah is the Lord of mighty grace.

The moral good that we do in this world does not go unnoticed, for God being the Lord of all sees all and knows all and is full aware of what acts are committed. Because there aren't physical reactions done by God to reward humans for their struggle, God says that the best thing is that of the next world which is something we must be ever mindful about.

==============================================
 
Topic:  Heaven and Hell (2 of 12), Read 76 times 
Conf:  Discussions: General 
From:  NAUSHEEN 
Date:  Wednesday, February 09, 2005 08:51 PM 

Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullah wa barkatuhu,

Israfil, thank you for your post. Im trying to understand your perspective on the matter ...


On 2/9/2005 5:17:00 PM, Israfil wrote:
>its own laws and principles.

But taking it a step
>
further we cannot say that the displeasures of Hell are Physically real because the human body only maximizes sensation for a certain periodof time before the annihilation of being.
>

I am not sure whether to agree or disagree with you. It is true that the quran contains several meanings to each matter explained therein. Sometimes we look at just the apparent meanings, and on others we may go deep down to metaphorical expressions.

It is said in the quran that on the day of judgement, the souls will be returned into the bodies, before the judgement is pronounced. Thus my understanding is that the suffering of rewards will be real physical as well.

Logically, we can say
>
that God does not have to use the terms "fire" or "burn" in the Qur'an because by the very separation of an individual's soul and its origin is enough for the soul to suffer, hence the saying of "the soul leaving its prison."
>

The prison of the soul is this body. Once it leaves it is no longer in captivity, thus free. This freedom relates to separation of closeness with Allah in the sense that, if it has sent forth any good before hand, it will reap the reward of proximity with allah, other wise it will be distanced.

I dont think the separation from God is akin to the soul leaving its prison ... if this was not what u said, then i am reading you wrong, perhaps.

The reason why souls may not be drawn close is that they do not seek the good pleasure of their Creator in this life. His good pleasure is thru our actions that continue to maintain the balance of His Creations. That which disturbs the normal functioning of the system which He has created, causes us to earn His displeasure, and thus removal from his proximity, disgrace, and dishonoring.

Four reasons for people being away from Allah:
1. They are lazy in actions of good.
2. They leave repentance.
3. They are avid in affairs of this world.
4. They are hardhearted and heedless of the fact that this life is only a passage way to the next abode.

Maa salaama,
Nausheen


Be not heedless of thy Lord for even the blink of an eye, Lest He directs His attention towards you, and finds you unawares.

=======================================================

Topic:  Heaven and Hell (3 of 12), Read 78 times 
Conf:  Discussions: General 
From:  Mustafa - Mathsson 
Date:  Thursday, February 10, 2005 03:45 AM 

Nausheen wrote:

The prison of the soul is this body. Once it leaves it is no longer in captivity, thus free.

Sounds so much like Hinduism and Buddhism! And I say this to be as polite as possible since this is actually exactly what I know about the beliefs of those reincarnationist religions!

Can you tell me when in the Quran Allah speaks of freeing your soul from the bondage of the body, etc?

In Islam, body and spirit form one whole that is inseparable. When people are dead, their soul is taken from their bodies, and thus they are really dead. Without body and soul being together, no human life is possible, as far as I understand. Death is death, not another form of life. But it is a temporary thing. From the Quran as well as hadiths, we understand that death is something like sleep, very different from actual life. Finally, we will be alive and awake again when we are given life by Allah once more.

===========================================
 
Topic:  Heaven and Hell (4 of 12), Read 69 times 
Conf:  Discussions: General
From:  NAUSHEEN
Date:  Thursday, February 10, 2005 09:57 AM 

Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullah wa barkatuhu,

The soul and body are not permanently inseparable in this life. Even when we sleep, our souls are taken away, and returned as we get up. Death is different from this in respect that the taking away of souls is more permanent.

Even after death, the soul is not dead. It is held in another realm called ''barzaq', and it will be held there, till qiyamah.

As for where I got this idea of body being the prison of the soul, I will have to check it, so pls be patient till I get back to you.

Maa salaama,
Nausheen

Be not heedless of thy Lord
for even the blink of an eye,
Lest He directs His attention towards you,
and finds you unawares.

=================================================
 
Topic:  Heaven and Hell (5 of 12), Read 62 times 
Conf:  Discussions: General 
From:  Israfil 
Date:  Thursday, February 10, 2005 06:58 PM 

I said:


But taking it a step
>
further we cannot say that the displeasures of Hell are Physically real because the human body only maximizes sensation for a certain period of time before tht annihilation of being.
>

Nausheen you said:

>>I am not sure whether to agree or disagree with you. It is true that the quran contains several meanings to each matter explained therein. Sometimes we look at just the apparent meanings, and on others we may go deep down to metaphorical expressions. <<<


The Qur'an as you have mentioned has many meanings and we must be aware of them. As far as going "way down to metaphorical meanings" what I mean when I mention pleasure and punishment in the dimension of spirituality I mean, in relation to God's grace and wrath the sensation of either pleasure/displeasure is maximized hence the saying: "The greatest chastisment" or "The greatest reward is with Allah"

When the Qur'an mentions terms such as "greatest" expresses the maximum of those sensations. In matters of time we can also say that such sensations can be equialent sense the dimension(s) where Allah exist is timeless (at least according to Muslim philosophers/theologians) the sensations of either pleasure of
displeasure is endless whereas in the temporal world pleasure or pain is temporary, thus we can say that in a "timeless" existence pleasure and pain is maximized through continuity rather them temporal reality.

Nausheen you said:

>>It is said in the quran that on the day of judgement, the souls will be returned into the bodies, before the judgement is pronounced. Thus my understanding is that the suffering of rewards will be real physical as well.<<<

This is ture of course, but my understanding of a passage in matters of God's judgement is that if the rightous is among those who are in pleasure experience a sensation that is "physically" real, but remember in the dimension(s) Where Allah exist sensation is not like that of the temporal world. Like I mentioned before, once the soul leaves the body and ultimately comes before the Lord of All, the sensation is not the same as in the temporal world so whatever suffering of pleasure we feel is not the same as when we soothe our aches by bathing in warm water or touch a burning stove. These are minor examples.

Nausheen you said:

>>>The prison of the soul is this body. Once it leaves it is no longer in captivity, thus free. This freedom relates to separation of closeness with Allah in the sense that, if it has sent forth any good before hand, it will reap the reward of proximity with allah, other wise it will be distanced. <<<

I cannot understand your statement when you say "the prison of the soul is the body" the soul and body are two separate objects. The soul is not A BODY but can be referred to as an intellect or the original state of an existing being. The qur'an clearly defines the separation between what is a soul and a body. You mentioned: >>>>This freedom relates to separation of closeness with Allah in the sense that, if it has sent forth any good before hand, it will reap the reward of proximity with allah, other wise it will be distanced<<<<

I understand you when you allocate the actions of an existing body, because when we act we can say that our souls act as well. So I guess the parable would be that if we do a godly act towards another then, our soul as weell as body is doing this godly act. But again even if this is true we cannot say that the existence of the soul is the same existence as the body. the actions that we do are determinants to where we end up.

The Ikhwan Al-Safa (Brotherhood of purity) believed that the causation of death, comes from the individual soul longing to be close to the Creator. Since the essence of the soul (prior to corruption) is heavenly, the infinite essence of the soul annihilates the physical body hence at death it is released from prison to return to its origin. The Ikhwan Al-Safa related this process to the souls longing to be with God.

The innate nature of the soul is neutral prior to its implantation in the physical body. As we Muslims say once the implanation of both soul and body occurs, the conscious actions of the individual determines how close the person is. I firmly believed prior to this, the soul has always been close to God as the soul stems from the realm(s) where God dwells.

Nasuheen you said:

>>>His good pleasure is thru our actions that continue to maintain the balance of His Creations. That which disturbs the normal functioning of the system which He has created, causes us to earn His displeasure, and thus removal from his proximity, disgrace, and dishonoring.<<<<

What you said here is true, but you are making this assertion based on the Islamic understanding of morality. But again when statements such as this are made we must be aware that morality is a definable word. An atheist who denies God can seek the good pleasure of others can behave morally and still maintain the balance on an individual scale of Allah's creation. But this is a matter of moral debate.

Nausheen you mentioned:

>>>Four reasons for people being away from Allah:
1. They are lazy in actions of good.
2. They leave repentance.
3. They are avid in affairs of this world.
4. They are hardhearted and heedless of the fact that this life is only a passage way to the next abode.<<<<<<

Nausheen sister you are absolutely right when you mentioned this, as this is the downfall of not just the unbelievers but as Muslims as well. These are indeed the fundamental aspects of what a Kufr is.

======================================================
 
Topic:  Heaven and Hell (6 of 12), Read 55 times 
Conf:  Discussions: General 
From:  Israfil 
Date:  Friday, February 11, 2005 05:22 PM 

Sister still waiting for you to reply

========================================================
 
Topic:  Heaven and Hell (7 of 12), Read 51 times 
Conf:  Discussions: General 
From:  NAUSHEEN 
Date:  Saturday, February 12, 2005 07:02 AM 

Assalamualikum Israfil,

I know you must be waiting.

I am also eager to respond, but shall not give you a careless and hasty answer :)

Yesterday, while at work, I took a copy of your message, read it, and answered, despite that i had to do this exercise in a cold room (4oC) :) so you can fathom my sincerity.

Insha allah I will type my response this weekend.

Maa salaama,
Nausheen


Be not heedless of thy Lord
for even the blink of an eye,
Lest He directs His attention towards you,
and finds you unawares.

========================================================
 
Topic:  Heaven and Hell (8 of 12), Read 40 times 
Conf:  Discussions: General
From:  NAUSHEEN
Date:  Saturday, February 12, 2005 08:17 PM 

Assalamualikum wa rahmatullah wa barkatuhu,
Israfil,

You have said that the maximization of sensations of wrath or punishment are on one's soul. This is understandable, but the reason for this, as I comprehend is different from what you say.

the sensations of either pleasure of displeasure is endless whereas in the temporal world pleasure or pain is temporary, thus we can say that in a "timeless" existence pleasure and pain is maximized through continuity rather them temporal reality.

Here is what I think: In this life we have a body and a soul. In the next life as well we will have a body, and the same soul. This life is temporary, thus what we see and experience on our body and soul, in this life (of the consequences of Allah's displeasure or good pleasure) is also temporary. However, the effect is to a higher, or a deeper or a more severe level on the soul than the body (ie, this is the case in this life as well, and not just in the hearafter). This is so, because the essence of the soul and the body are different. The soul as you also said, is from the essence of Allah, thus it has a tendency to seek Allah. This body does not have such tendency. So, it is because if the difference in the characteristic of the two, they perceive the sensation to different extents. This difference remains in this life as well as the next. Thus, the temporal nature of this life cannot be the reason for the difference in perceptions of wrath and favor on the body and soul.

Like I mentioned before, once the soul leaves the body and ultimately comes before the Lord of All, the sensation is not the same as in the temporal world so whatever suffering of pleasure we feel is not the same as when we soothe our aches by bathing in warm water or touch a burning stove. These are minor examples.

I agree, that once the soul is in front of Allah on the Judgement day, its state will be very different from today. Again this is not so because this world is temporary. This will be so because that day "belongs to Allah" as it has been said in the Quran, ie, the bodies will not have a control on the activities of that day. Our free will would be gone, and our limbs will be witness either for or against us.

I cannot understand your statement when you say "the prison of the soul is the body" the soul and body are two separate objects.

You are correct, the two entities are different. How I see these two is - for a limited period, ie for the duration of this life, our souls are contained within our bodies. However, the tendency of the soul is to seek Allah. Thus it motivates one in the direction of Allah. The reason why all of us are not oriented to good, and seeking Allah is that in this body, the soul is in a particular equation with the heart, and the nafs. The nafs or the lower self as it is mentioned, keeps us oriented towards the earth, while the soul pulls us to Allah. The heart in between plays the pivotal role of keeping a balance between the two. However once the soul leaves the body, this equation is no longer there. It is free K thus as what I said previously, the actions that we do are determinants to where we end up.

Israfil, am not saying that the body and soul are same. Rather, you can see it this way, the body is a temporary garment given to the soul for this life. The actions that we do, are not the actions of the limbs however. The reason is that the limbs do not act, but on the decisions of the soul and the heart. We choose to act according to the free will, but do our limbs have this free will? No! The limbs do not move on their own, except on a conscious intention and decision of the soul and the heart.
On the day of judgement, in the sense it is not the actions of the eyes, the ears, the hands and the legs are not rewarded or punished, instead it is the souls which is receiving the judgement.
Thus when you say the sensation is maximised on the soul, I understand. But it all took me some time to put all this together :)

What you said here is true, but you are making this assertion based on the Islamic understanding of morality. But again when statements such as this are made we must be aware that morality is a definable word. An atheist who denies God can seek the good pleasure of others can behave morally and still maintain the balance on an individual scale of Allah's creation. But this is a matter of moral debate.

you are right. Thank you for pointing this out. I was not thinking in this direction. Thi as u said, it could be a separate debate, I will just point out that the actions are rewarded according to their intentions. The sysstem of reward as mentioned in the hadiths is in three stages
1. reward for making the intention
2. reward for taking the means to carry out those intentions
3. reward for actually performing the good deed.
So it is not just the good deed alone that receives a reward. As we may intelligently guess, an atheist will not have the good pleasure of Allah as the root intention for maintaining the balance of creation on earth, still if the intention was good, it will be rewarded. Suppose an atheist opens a charity, to help people, his reward will be for helping the needy. How close this action of his will draw him to Allah is something we cannot say K. We can only say that if a charity is made, to spread good on earth, and at the same time to earn the good pleasure of Allah, it is superior to the former.

Nausheen sister you are absolutely right when you mentioned this, as this is the downfall of not just the unbelievers but as Muslims as well. These are indeed the fundamental aspects of what a Kufr is.

:) Alhmadulillah you appreciated this. These are borrowed from a Nasiha, indicating that the words are from Imam Ghazali.

Maa salaama,
Nausheen


Be not heedless of thy Lord for even the blink of an eye, Lest He directs His attention towards you,and finds you unawares.

==================================================
 
Topic:  Heaven and Hell (9 of 12), Read 29 times 
Conf:  Discussions: General 
From:  Israfil 
Date:  Sunday, February 13, 2005 07:36 PM 

As'sAlaamu Alaikum Sister Nausheen,

Thanks for your prompt response because indeed you've said a lot of great things. The one thing I wanted to get across here is that what I mentioned about Heaven and Hell aren't new. The Qur'ans clearly asserts the nature of the two bodies (soul and physical body) and the latter, their cohesion on Earth.

My main point is that the soul being of the essence of the spiritual reality and the body being of the physical reality are two distinctive terms that we must come to realize. The reason there is so much confusion here at least in my part, is that we have yet to define the soul, and yet we clearly define the human body.

In my philosophical understanding the soul is something as an intellect--or perhaps the truest nature of an entity. As I have defined before the soul being of spiritual and of divine essence is naturally so pure that it disintergrates the impure capsule in which it dwells. The body. Thus we come to death. Of course this is just one way of looking at the significance of the soul.

Perhaps we can say that when the soul suffers spiritual punishment this infinite sensation thus maximizes the sensation of the physical body because as I mentioned before, the soul is the human's highest intellect and perhaps the highest of a living beings sensation is not the brain but the intellect--the wisdom of the soul if you will.

Once the intellect is separate from the origin of its existence it suffers. I'm sure you would ask why does it suffer? Again as I mentioned before ( as well as you) the soul longs to be with the origin of its existence and therefore suffers because of that. Depending on how it suffers is a matter of divine judgement. The point is, is that in a timeless existence the suffering/pleasure of one's is prolong thus as I mention again the maximizing of one's pain/suffering.

All in all Heaven and Hell are two distant realities that are areas where both the morally good go to Heaven and immoral go to Hell. These two distinct destinations are rewards for the adherents of this world. Hopefully neither one of us end in the reality where we are distant from the origin of our existence.

============================================
 
Topic:  Heaven and Hell (10 of 12), Read 26 times 
Conf:  Discussions: General
From:  NAUSHEEN
Date:  Monday, February 14, 2005 01:34 PM 

Assalamualikum wa rahmatullah wa barkatuhu,
Very nice post Israfil,

Alhamdulillah i learnt much and could give my brain a good exercise. Thank you :)

Here is something I posted long ago. Sometime, it is quoted for others who may be interested in discerning the matter of soul etc. Hope you will like it.

Btw, please ignore my comments to Angel on this thread :"> Down the road, we have developed far better understanding :)

Maa salaama,
Nausheen


Be not heedless of thy Lord
for even the blink of an eye,
Lest He directs His attention towards you,
and finds you unawares.

 

IP IP Logged
Post Reply Post New Topic
Printable version Printable version

Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot create polls in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

Disclaimer:
The opinions expressed herein contain positions and viewpoints that are not necessarily those of IslamiCity. This forum is offered to stimulate dialogue and discussion in our continuing mission of being an educational organization.
If there is any issue with any of the postings please email to icforum at islamicity.com or if you are a forum's member you can use the report button.

Note: The 99 names of Allah avatars are courtesy of www.arthafez.com

Advertisement:



Sponsored by:
Islamicity Membership Program:
IslamiCity Donation Program  http://www.islamicity.com/Donate
IslamiCity Arabic eLearning http://www.islamiCity.com/ArabAcademy
Complete Domain & Hosting Solutions www.icDomain.com
Home for Muslim Tunes www.icTunes.com
Islamic Video Collections www.islamiTV.com
IslamiCity Marriage Site www.icMarriage.com