The duration of Jannah.

Q. I am a member of a popular masjid in South Trinidad and was a past student of the Haji Ruknudeen classes. During a session about two years the teacher/imam mentioned to the students of the class that jannah will come to an end one day. Please shed some divine light into this opinion which is being taught to muslims. I am really confused.

A. The statement made by the Imam/teacher is not in accordance to the creed of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jammah. Instead, it is the opinion of a deviated sect of the past, namely the Jahmiya (Jabariya).

The creed/doctrine and firm belief of the rightly guided sect, that is, the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah (Sunni Muslims) is that Jannah will never come to an end. It will never perish but instead, it will remain forever and ever, along with its inhabitants. This belief has been well established as the correct belief, based on the teachings of the Holy Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet (SAS), and it is documented in all the authentic and reliable books of Aqeedah (Islamic Beliefs). In this regard, the famous book of the beliefs of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah, ‘Al Fiqhul Akbar’, written by Imam Abu Hanifa, states, ‘And paradise and Hell are two abodes which have been created already, and they will never come to an end’. (Al Fiqh Al Akbar by Imam Abu Hanifa on Aqeedah) While commenting on this, the great scholar Mulla Ali Qaari states, ‘Paradise and Hell will not come to an end, nor will its inhabitants. The punishment of Allah in Hell, and the rewards of Allah in Paradise, will not cease to exist’. (Sharh (Commentary) of Al Fiqh Al Akbar by Mulla Ali Qaari). Imam Abu Hanifa also states in his other famous book on Aqeedah, Kitubul Wasiyyaa, ‘Paradise and Hell are a reality, and they have been created (by Allah). There is no end to both of these nor to their inmates, Allah Most High says  regarding the believers, ‘Paradise has been prepared for the God-fearing (3:133), and regarding the unbelievers, He says, ‘Hell fire has been prepared for the unbelievers’(3:131). Allah created both of these for reward and punishment’. Imam Abu Hanifa continues in his book, Al Wasiyya, and states, ‘the people of Paradise will be forever in paradise and the people of Hellfire will be forever in Hellfire, as Allah Most High says regarding the believers, ‘Such are rightful owners of the Garden. They will abide therein forever’. (2:81) (Sharh (Commentary) of Al Fiqh Al Akbar by Mulla Ali Qaari (AR) pg. 98-99). Having discussed the above, Mulla Ali Qaari further stated, ‘The Jahmiya, and they are pure Jabariya, have adopted the opinion that both Paradise and Hell will come to an end and the inhabitants of these abodes will also come to an end’. Regarding this doctrine, Mulla Ali Qaari, states, ‘This, undoubtedly is sheer falsehood, baseless and absurd, since it is contradictory to the Quran, Sunnah and Ijma of the Ummah’. (Sharh Fiqh Al Akbar pg.99)

The great Imam of Aqeedah, Abu Jafar At Tahawi has also recorded this important belief of the Sunni Muslims in his great work, Al Aqeedah At Tahawiya. He states ‘Paradise and Hell are abodes that have been created by Allah. They will never perish nor will they come to an end’. (Aqeedah At Tahwiyya ).

Both of these beliefs are the well established Aqeedah of the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jammah. While commenting on this statement, the great commentator of Al Aqeedah Al Tahawiya has written, ‘The existence of Paradise and Hell at present is the unanimous opinion of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah who have always been upon this belief until a group of people appeared among the Mutazillah and Qadriyyah who denied this. Their opinion however, is totally opposed to the well established creed which has been established from the most authentic sources in Islam’.

‘Both Paradise and Hell will not perish – This is the Aqeedah of the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah. It was only Safwan bin Jahm (of the Jahmiyyah sect) who first spoke about the destruction of the Fire as well as of Paradise. Safwan was the leader of those who denied Allah’s attributes. No one from among the Sahabahs, Tabieen and Imams of the Muslims has given such an opinion’.

‘The general body of the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah have refuted him and considered him to have committed Kufr (disbelief) through his statement. ‘The evidences from the Quran and Sunnah that proves that both these abodes will not end are many. From among them, Allah Has said about Paradise, ‘This is our bounty, it shall not cease to be’. (Saad: 54). In another verse, it states, ‘Perpetual is its fruits and its shades’ (Ra’ad:35). Many similar verses have been given in the Quran. About the people of Hell, Allah says, ‘And for them will be an eternal punishment’. (Maidah: 37)’. In another verse Allah says, ‘Remaining therein forever’(Maidah:85)(Sharh (Commentary) of Al Aqeedah At Tahawiya by Al Imam Al Qazi Ali bin Ali bin Muhammad bin Abi Al Izz Al Hanafi Ad Dimasqi– pg. 369). The sound traditions of the Prophet (SAAS) bear the following words. He (the Prophet) (SAS) said, ‘Whoever enters Paradise, he will be in delight and will not be harmed. He will live forever and will not die’. (Muslim). In another tradition, the Prophet (SAS) said, ‘A caller would call out (in Paradise), ‘O people of Paradise! Certainly for you is that you shall remain healthy and never become sick, and shall remain young and never grow old, and you will live and shall never die’.(Muslim)

It is therefore evident that the belief of ‘Jannah remaining forever’ is a well established one for the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah. Any other opinion is a deviation from the truth.

And Allah knows best.

Mufti Waseem Khan