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In terms of classical Islam, the Limbo Theory of Islam, as described by Jane Smith and Yvonne Haddad, implies that some individuals are not immediately sent to the afterlife, but are held in a state of limbo. The fate awaiting all people after their death is either the Gardens, heaven, or the Fire, hell. Traditional interpretations agree that, at minimum, these are two of the possible fates that await the dead. However, some have interpreted 7:46, "And there will be a veil between them. And upon the Heights are
In terms of classical Islam, the Limbo Theory of Islam, as described by Jane Smith and Yvonne Haddad, implies that some individuals are not immediately sent to the afterlife, but are held in a state of limbo. The fate awaiting all people after their death is either the Gardens, heaven, or the Fire, hell. Traditional interpretations agree that, at minimum, these are two of the possible fates that await the dead. However, some have interpreted 7:46, "And there will be a veil between them. And upon the Heights are men who know all by their marks. They will call out to the inhabitants of the Garden, 'peace be upon you!' They will not have entered it, though they hope". Some have taken the mention of this veil between heaven and hell as an allusion to there being individuals who are not immediately sent to their ultimate destination.
The Current Existence of the Afterlife
There was considerable debate regarding whether heaven and hell exists at the current mo
There was considerable debate regarding whether heaven and hell exists at the current moment. The Mu'tazila argued that heaven and hell both cannot exist until the trumpet blasts that bring in the end times occurs, as the Quran states that once the trumpet sounds, all except God will be destroyed. However, the Ash'ariya argued that although the trumpet's sounding will precede all being destroyed, creation was a constant process. Furthermore, as Adam and Eve once resided in the Garden of Eden, the garden already exists. Also, hadith reports pertaining to the Night Journey state that Muhammad saw visions of both destinations and creatures inhabiting it. Thus, heaven and hell are usually regarded as coexisting with the current world.
The Concept of Eternity
In Classical Islam, there was a consensus
In Classical Islam, there was a consensus among the theological community regarding the finality of the Gardens; faithful servants of God would find themselves in this heaven for eternity. However, some practitioners in the early Muslim community held a concept that stated that hell may not be eternal in and of itself. These views were based upon interpretations that viewed the upper levels of Hell as only lasting for as long as God deemed necessary. Once Muslims had their sins purged, these levels would be closed. These interpretations are centered on verses 11:106-107 in the Quran, stating, "As for those who are wretched, they shall be in the Fire, wherein there shall be for them groaning and wailing, abiding therein for so long as the heavens and the earth endure, save as thy Lord wills. Surely thy Lord does whatsoever He wills". To this end, the Quran itself gives a conflicting account of Hell, stating that Hell will endure as long as Heaven will, which has been established as eternal, but also the Quran maintains the possibility that God may yet commute a sentence to Hell. In a sense, these levels of Hell were interpreted to have a similar function as Purgatory in Christianity, with the exception to this comparison being that Hell in this context is for the punishment of the sinner's complete body, as opposed to the only the soul being punished in Purgatory. Arguments questioning the permanence of Hell take the view that Hell is not necessarily solely there to punish the evil, but to purify their souls. To clarify, the Garden is the reward while the Fire is for purification.
Gender and Islamic Eschatology
Traditional Islam teaches predestination for
Traditional Islam teaches predestination for both good and evil, and that everything that has happened and will happen has already been determined. Free will and predestination have been discussed by many Muslim theologians; but the believers in free will, also known as al-qadariyya, have been overruled. The prophet Muhammad expressed predestination multiple times during his mission. Death is also seen as a homecoming. When people visit tombs, they are having a specific spiritual routine. The correct way to visit someones tomb is to recite parts of the Quran and pray for the deceased.
The fate of non-Muslims
The Quran makes a variety of statements on the state of the Jewish community, praising their dedication to monotheism in one line and criticizing their rejection of Muhammad the next.The Quran makes a variety of statements on the state of the Jewish community, praising their dedication to monotheism in one line and criticizing their rejection of Muhammad the next. An example of a line criticizing the Jews can be found at 5:60-61: "Say, 'Shall I inform you of something worse than that by way of recompense from God? Whomsoever God has cursed and upon whom is His Wrath, and among whom He has made some to be apes and swine, and who worship false deities, such are in a worse situation, and further astray from the right way.' When they come to you, they say, 'We believe.' But they are certainly entered with disbelief and they have certainly left with it, and God knows best what they were concealing. Thou seest many of them hastening to sin and enmity and consuming what is forbidden. Evil indeed is that which they were doing.". Another example is 5:64: "The Jews say, 'God's Hand is shackled.' Shackled are their hands, and they are cursed for what they say. Nay, but His two Hands are outstretched, He bestows as He wills. Surely that which has been sent down unto thee from thy Lord will increase many of them in rebellion and disbelief. And we cast enmity and hatred among them till the Day of Resurrection. As often they ignite a flame for war, God extinguishes it. They endeavor to work corruption upon the earth. And God loves not thee workers of corruption." However, the Qur'an also takes a more reconciliatory tone in other lines. An example of this is in 3:113-115: "They are not all alike. Among the People of the Book is an upright community who recite God's signs in the watches of the night, while they prostrate. They believe in God and the Last Day, enjoin right and forbid wrong, and hasten unto good deeds. And they are among the righteous. Whatsoever good they do, they will not be denied it. And God knows the reverent". After reconciling the different descriptions, one can gather the conclusion that some Jews are considered worthy of damnation, while others are righteous and capable of salvation. The transgressions of the "apes and pigs" are not indicative of the entire community.
Islamic eschatology in literature