The creation and duration of Paradise and Hell in Islamic theology

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We have seen that most of the Muslim theologians believe in tile past creation of Paradise and Hell and in their everlasting existence. The majority of the theologians also hold the identity of the Garden with Paradise. One exception is lbn Qayyim al-Jawziyya's view, based on the teaching of Ibn Taymiyya, that Hell will perish. However, combining materials from theology and the Hadith literature, his arguments seem to me very convincing, though not irrefutable. The phenomenon of a Hanbalite scholar who adopts the Mu'tazilite notion of finding aims in God's acts is peculiar, but not altogether unknown in orthodox circles. As with other theological issues, the discussion of the creation of Paradise and Hell and their perdition involves a detailed examination of Qur'ānic verses and traditions, whose nature deserves individual investigation. On the face of it, the interpretations of these verses and traditions seem to be determined by previous theological inclinations. Also the theological arguments derive from general theological principles. For example, the Mu'tazilites, who believe in tile purposefulness of God's acts, conclude that because Paradise and Hell have no function now, they will be created in the world to come. This is an argument from the nature of God.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-102
Number of pages16
JournalIslam - Zeitschrift fur Geschichte und Kultur des Islamischen Orients
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002


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