Ibn Taymiyyah on the Eternity of Paradise and Hellfire: Part 2
Posted by Abu.Iyaad on Tuesday, August, 16 2011 and filed under Doubts and Misconceptions
Key topics: Hellfire

The Saying that the Hellfire is Eternal Is Plentiful and Abundant in the Works of Ibn Taymiyyah and He Refutes the Contrary View

Another example of that is the saying of Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (Majmu' al-Fatawa 8/380):

As for that necessitating that matters exercised through choice are established with His essence, then this is the saying of the Salaf, the Imaams of Hadeeth and Sunnah and many of Ahl al-Kalaam.

As for that necessitating and endless chain of events in the future, as in when He creates something for a particular wisdom (hikmah) that is found after the existence of that thing and that wisdom is for yet another wisdom, then and endless chain of events is binding in the future. This is permissible (jaa'iz) in the view of the Muslims and other than them who speak with the permancy (eternality) of the bliss of the inhabitants of Paradise. Only those opposed this view who doubted (in this matter) such as al-Jahm bin Safwan who spoke of the expiration (ending) of Paradise and Hellfire and such as Abu al-Hudhayl al-Allaaf who spoke of the expiration of the movements (motion) of the people of Paradise and Hellfire. For these two (individuals) claimed the impossibility of the presence of that which never ends in both the past and the future. The majority of the Muslims opposed them in this.


Ibn Taymiyyah refutes the saying that Hellfire will expire and perish in many different places and contexts. And one of those contexts is in relation to the erroneous views of Ahl al-Kalaam who denied an endless chain of events in both the past and the future (Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah). Hence, the matter of the eternity of Hellfire is often mentioned by Ibn Taymiyyah in relation to these individuals and factions. We commented a bit more on this issue in Part 1 so refer to our notes there.

The Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah, Kullaabiyyah, Ash'ariyyah, Maturidiyyah all deny that Allaah has actions tied to His will and power such that He speaks as and when He wills and acts (creates, provides, forgives etc.) as and when He wills. Because Allaah's speech and action is tied to His will and power, this clashed with the proof that these Ahl al-Kalaam borrowed from the Sabean star and idol-worshippers to establish the universe has a beginning, is originated and therefore has an originator. Some of them denied an endless chain of events in both the past and the future (Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah) and a consequence of this view is that they must claim that both Paradise and Hellfire will either perish (al-Jahm bin Safwaan), or all motion and movement will cease (Abu al-Hudhayl al-Allaaf from the Mu'tazilah).

As for the Ash'ariyyah and Maturidiyyah, then denied an endless chain of events in the past but affirmed it in the future, and this is a contradiction on their behalf, however to clarify and explain this issue and detail is outside the scope of this article and will be dealt with elsewhere inshaa'Allaah.