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Jahannam (Arabic:

) is the Islamic equivalent to Hell. It is also mentioned in the Quran as: "That which

Breaks to Pieces", '"Blazing Fire"[2] and "The Abyss".[3] The term comes from the HebrewGehenna, originally the name of a valley outside Jerusalem.[4][5][6]

1 Description

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1.1 Religious Comparison 1.2 Weighing Process

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1.2.1 Judgment in Other Religions

1.3 Events Leading up to Jahannam as Final Destination 1.4 Inhabitants 1.5 Punishment

2 Jahannam in Islamic Discourse and Literature

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2.1 Jahannam in the Qur'an 2.2 Jahannam in Hadith 2.3 Jahannam in Theological Academic Discourse

3 See also 4 References

Jahannam is described as having seven gates, each for a specific group of sinners,[7] the sinners have degrees (or ranks) based on their deeds[8] and hypocrites are in the lowest of the depths of the Jahannam. Jahannam is also known under different arabic names as cited in the Quran: 1. Hawia, 2. Jahim, 3. Saqar,

4. Hutama, 5. Nar, 6. Wayl, 7. Al Athab Sinners are the fuel for the fire of Jahannam[9] along with disbelieving Jinns [10] and stones.[11] The fire burns their skins, changing their colour to black due to its intensity. Jahannam has a shadow of smoke ascending in three columns, which yields no shade of coolness against the fierce blaze. Its sparks are described to be as "huge as a palace."[12] Jahannam is described to have nineteen angels, who will punish wrongdoers. The leader of these angels, as stated in the Quran, is Maalik. Hell is perceived to be so deep that if a stone were thrown into it, it would fall for 70 years assuming Earth gravity, an Earth-like atmosphere, and an 89.5 m/s terminal velocity, a distance of about 197,708,364,000 meters, or about the average diameter of the orbit of the planet Venus before reaching the bottom. The breadth of each of Hell's walls are equivalent to a distance covered by a walking journey of 40 years. According to Prophet Muhammad, Maalik is an angel, very severe and harsh, and he will listen to condemned persons' requests for remission of their punishments after 1000 years but then deny those requests as well. The food of Jahannam described in Hadith and the Quran includes a bitter thorn plant, Dhari, which does not nourish sinners, along with a tree named Zaqqum. Zaqqum is described in the Quran as a tree that springs out of the bottom of hellfire; the shoots of its fruit-stalks are like the "heads of devils" and eating it is similar to eating molten brass that will boil their insides "like scalding water". Sinners drink boiling water that will cut their bowels when they consume it. If they call for relief, they shall be given water described to be like molten brass, which will scald their faces. Hell is also filled with venomous donkeys and if they were to bite a person, the person would suffer for 40 years. The residents of Jahannam wear garments of fire that will scorch them.[13] Along with the physical pain, certain sinners in hell will be mentally tortured by the guardian of hell, who will remind them of their misdeeds on earth.



The bible describes a "lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death" [14] Most christians believe that this is a description of Hell. (Jehovah's Witnesses however believes that it is a symbol of everlasting destruction, and points out that "death" is thrown into this fire, i.e. death does no longer exist) Like Jahannam, Christians view Hell as a place without time, as those in hell will never leave. The largest difference between Jahannam and Hell in Christianity is the idea of different levels. Christians view Hell as a "bottomless pit",[15] whereas Jahannam is believed to have seven levels, each for different sins. Although there is no real conception of an afterlife in Jewish culture, some Jewish sources provide descriptive detail of hell-like places. Specifically, the sheol, which is translated as a grave or pit, is the place where humans descend upon death. This seems most similar to Jahannam as the humans are cut off from God, and live in a dark, shadowy state of existence.



The Day of Judgment is an emotional experience for all Muslims. The purpose of this day is for God to judge the soul on its record of deeds.[16] This judgment is essential to give the individual soul the afterlife it deserves.[17] Good and bad deeds are quantified through the actions and decisions made in a Muslim's lifetime. God holds each individual accountable for the good and bad deeds acquired in their entire lifetime.[18] God weighs good and bad deeds on a scale based upon the intention of the deed itself. [19] On the scale, good deeds weigh more that bad deeds.[20] When the good deeds outweigh the bad deeds the individual enters Jannah (heaven), and when the bad deeds outweigh the good deeds the sinner enters Jahannam (hell).[21] God has complete authority over the weighing process and ultimately makes the final decision.[22][23] The gates to heaven and the entry to hell will not open without his approval.[24] Uncertainty of the weighing process is needed by God and his believers to constantly remind them of how important the weighing process and Day of Judgment are.[25]

[edit]Judgment in Other Religions

In Catholic religions the soul undergoes judgment at the moment of death. Upon this judgment the soul is sent to heaven or hell or purgatory.[26] In Jewish cultures, the Day of Judgment is not associated with afterlife. Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish Day of judgment and it symbolizes the New Year. On this day, Jewish people reflect on the last year of their life and examine their relationship with God.[27] Weighing and judgment on an individuals life is practiced in various cultures. It does not always determines how the soul spends its afterlife.


Leading up to Jahannam as Final Destination

There is a very long, brutal process leading into the afterlife following the tortures and pain of death and the grave. It is important to understand this sequence of events in order to comprehend how one ends up in hell. This time period of the separation of the human body and soul is known as barzakh. For sinners and those destined for the fire, this process lasts much longer and is more painful. The sequence of events starts with the second trumpet blast[28] which revives and wakes everyone up from the grave. Second comes the Perspiration[29] and the Day of the Arising[30] which is when all created beings, including men, angels, jinn, demons and animals gather and sweat with no shade to hide in. Some will say "O my Lord! Grant me release from this suffering and this anticipation, even should it be to Hell!".[31] Those who did not fulfill the needs of a Muslim and sweat for God in their lifetime will suffer and sweat longer on this day. Some will even sweat up to their heads. This day lasts for 300 years[32] but will seem even longer for sinners.[33] Third comes the Inquisition[34] which is the questioning that every person will go through. There are no excuses and everything will be examined no matter how small. Then comes the presentation of the scales[35] which is where the good and bad deeds will be weighed out for every individual. Lastly comes the passage over the traverse,[36] also known as the bridge of sirat. This is the bridge over the fire that every individual has to try to cross. For sinners, the bridge appears as thin as a hair and as sharp as the sharpest knife or sword. Sinners will fall into the fire below and arrive at their final destination place, Jahannam.

All people will visit Hell at a point in time, but Allah will save the pious from it. [37] Allah groups humans into three distinct groups and states that the people that end up in Hell will be the companions of the left hand.[38] These are the people that will experience the fierce blast of fire,[39] the boiling water[40] and find themselves in shades of black smoke.[41] Various groups of people described to be in Jahannam include; disbelievers,[42] hypocrites,[43] polytheists,[44] the People of the Book who reject the truth,[45] arrogant rejectors of truth,[46] sinners and criminals,[47] tyrants,[48] the unjust,[49] transgressors,[50]concealers of God's revelations,[51] persecutors of believers,[52] people who commit suicide and murders.[53] Other people mentioned in Hadith include, but are not limited to; the arrogant, the proud and the haughty. Some prominent people mentioned in the Hadith and Quran are; Fir'awn, the wives of Nuh and Lut, Abu Lahab and his wife. It is believed that out of every one hundred people entering into the afterlife that ninety-nine of them will end up in the fire.[54] Despite the severity of many of the types of specific sinners listed above that end up in the fire, the majority of hell's inhabitants fail to please Allah in his/her lifetime. Life is a test for human beings. Those people who are only focused on their current life and on this world will end up in hell. Those who are obsessed with money, fame, power and materialistic goods[55] in this world are distracted from what matters most. Not accepting of death when the time comes and not thinking of death constantly and how to better one's future place in the afterworld, and rather planning something such as children or a wedding in this life, are the reasons for the majority of the inhabitants of hell[56]

All inhabitants of the fire are there to be punished for their failure to please Allah during one's lifetime. There is only individual suffering and punishment in Jahannam. Every person is punished forever and each time it feels new, since inhabitants are given new skin so as to suffer from the start again.[57] Some Muslim sects believe that unfaithful Muslims not true to their religion will be punished in Jahannam, other sects believe that Muslim souls are saved from its punishment. Most Sunni Muslims believe in the punishment of the unfaithful Muslims, but they also believe that they will eventually be forgiven. All Muslims believe that a disbeliever or non-Muslim who knew Islam and its beliefs may remain there in Jahannam for eternity for not believing while they were living in the 'Dunia'; (literally means the lower one but it translates as the world, or the first life) each person is judged according to their own circumstances. However, those who commit shirk will be condemned to the worst punishments in Jahannam for eternity.[58] The Quran states that God may choose to make the punishment of hell temporary if He wills it according to His wisdom and knowledge.[59] The Quran and Hadith offer detailed descriptions of the methods of punishment in Jahannam. The Quran states the punishments will be: the burning of skin, only to be replaced for reburning;[60] garments of fire to be worn, and boiling water will scald the skin and internal organs;[61] faces on fire;[62] lips burnt off;[63] backs on fire;[64] roasting from side to side;[65] faces dragged along fire;[66] bound in yokes then dragged through

boiling water and fire.[67] The Hadith introduces punishments, reasons and revelations not mentioned in the Quran, the least-suffering person in Jahannam will have his/her brain boiling from standing on hot embers;[68] and Hadith also relates that a person who committed suicide will be punished on the Day of Judgment by the very means he/she used to end his/her life,[69] as well as in Jahannam.[70][71] Those who misbehave in hell will be punished more severely.[72] Hypocrites are found in the lowest of depths of the fire.[73] Those who spread corruption, on top of having already hindered from the path of Allah will experience harsher punishments. Of all the inhabitants of hell, Abu Talib[74] will have the easiest punishments it is said. He will wear shoes and laces made of fire causing his brain to boil and therefore causing him to believe that he has the harshest of punishments, though in fact it is the easiest. All of the torture and punishment in hell serve the purpose of making life miserable for sinners who failed to follow the path of Allah.

[edit]Jahannam [edit]Jahannam

in Islamic Discourse and Literature

in the Qur'an

The Quran constructed most of how Muslims picture and think about Jahannam, as according to scholar Einar Thomassen there are nearly 500 references to it altogether,[75] and the rest of the elaboration came from the Hadith. The idea of the 7 gates of Jahannam came from verse 15:44 of the Quran, a verse which also elaborated how each level of Jahannam would be for a different class of sinner. The idea of heaven being physically above hell has been interpreted out of verse 7:50, which stated The companions of the Fire will call to the Companions of the Garden: Pour down to us water or anything that God doth provide.[76] The infamous Tree of Zaqqum, the food source of Jahannam was described in verses 37:6268 and again in verse 44:43. The description of Jahannam as a place of blazing fire appears in almost every verse in the Quran describing hell, however the concept that the fire whose fuel is Men and Stones[77] comes from verse 2:24. The breath of Jahannam was mentioned in verse 67:7, and the voice of Jahannam in 50:30 where after God asks Jahannam on Judgment Day if it is full and Jahannam answers: Are there any more (to come).[78] The Quran designated the occupants of Jahannam in several verses. The Quran claims that hypocrites and disbelievers will all be in hell in verse 4:140: "surely Allah will gather together the hypocrites and the unbelievers all in hell." Hypocrites are commonly perceived as the worst class of sinners in Islam, and that idea has been traced to verse 4:145 which stated The Hypocrites will be in the lowest depths of the Fire.[79] Verse 98:6 mentions the disbelievers of the people of the book as well as polytheists as among the occupants of Jahannam: "Surely those who disbelieve from among the followers of the Book and the polytheists shall be in the fire of hell, abiding therein; they are the worst of men." Verses 19:67-72 state that all mankind will be brought on their knees around Jahannam, but that God will save those who protected themselves: "So by your Lord! We will most certainly gather them together and the Shaitans, then shall We certainly cause them to be present round hell on their knees... And We will deliver those who guarded (against evil), and We will leave the unjust therein on their knees."

The punishments of Jahannam have been outlined extensively in numerous verses in the Quran. The punishment of inhabitants having their skin burned and then renewed only to be burned again for all eternity originated from verse 4:56 and is mentioned again in 22:20. Verse 18:28 was where the idea of drinking water like melted brass, that will scald their faces,[80] and is also detailed in verse 22:19. 22:19 also mentioned the garment of fire[81] that the dwellers will wear in Jahannam. In the Quran, the punishments of Jahannam are always followed with contrary protection of the Garden. For example, after the burning punishment is revealed, the Garden's shade is mentioned. The contrast between fire and shade is continuously revealed in the Quran. Verse 22:21 revealed the punishment of maces of iron (to punish) them.[82] The notion that its dwellers will suffer in Jahannam for eternity originated from verse 11:107; They will dwell therein for all the time that the heavens and the earth endure, except as thy Lord willeth.[83]


in Hadith

The Qurans construction of Jahannam in the minds of Muslims is expanded on in the Hadith as well by many different narrators. However there are three major, reliable Hadith narrators worth focusing on when it comes to Jahannam because they offer the most widely accepted views in their Hadith collections; and they are Sahih al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim and Imam Malik. Hadith literature Al-Bukhari in book 72:834 added to the list of dwellers in Jahannam by stating The people who will receive the severest punishment from Allah will be the picture makers.[84] In book 87 Hadith 155, "Interpretation of Dreams", al-Bukhari talked of angels with a mace of iron who guarded hell, and then expanded on the Qurans discourse describing Jahannam by recounting it as a place that was built inside like a well and it had side posts like those of a well, and beside each post there was an angel carrying an iron mace. I saw therein many people hanging upside down with iron chains, and I recognized therein some men from the Quraish.[85] Sahih Muslim also expanded on the dwellers of Jahannam by including suicides whom he claimed would reside there forever,[86] and also that women were the majority population in Jahannam.[87] Imam Malik reaffirmed the Qurans position on hypocrites dwelling in hell in "Speech" hadith number 56, where he said Truly a man utters words to which he attaches no importance, and by them he falls into the fire of Jahannam.[88] He also claimed that those who used utensils of precious metals would be in Jahannam by saying A person who drinks from a silver vessel brings the fire of Jahannam into his belly.[89] Malik in Hadith also gave physical imagery of Jahannam by claiming that the fire of Jahannam was seventy times greater than fire on earth in chapter 57, Jahannam, hadith number 1.[90] He also described that fire as blacker than tar.[91]


in Theological Academic Discourse

Al Ghazali, an influential Muslim theologian of the 9th century, wrote in his book, The Remembrance of Death and the Afterlife, of a Jahannam through which all people must pass upon entrance into the afterlife. Of hell he says, This is a fixed ordinance of the Lord. Then shall We deliver those that were Godfearing,

and leave the wrongdoers therein crouching. This discourse concerns itself with the description of the wrongdoer and graphic, sometimes violent scenes of Jahannam.[92] 13th century Muslim scholar, Al-Qurtubi personifies hell in his discourse, Paradise and Hell-fire in Imam al Qurtubi as a violent being. He writes, On the Day of Judgment, hell will be brought with seventy thousand reins. A single rein will be held by seventy thousand angels Al Qurtubi also provides in depth explanations of specific Quranic scripture on Jahannam.[93] In his discourse, The Souls Journey After Death, Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya, a theologian in the 14th century, writes explicitly of the individual punishments one may face in Jahannam. These punishments, Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah writes, are directly related to the wrongdoers earthly transgressions.[94]



Barzakh Sheol Heaven Jannah Salvation Sin Afterlife


1. 2. 3. 4.

^ Quran 104:4 ^ Quran 2:119 ^ Quran 101:9 ^ Cyril Glass, Huston Smith The new encyclopedia of Islam2003 p175 "Hell. The place of torment where the damned undergo suffering most often described as fire, a fire whose fuel is stones and men. Names of hell used in the Koran are an-nar ("the fire"), Jahannam ("Gehenna"), ."


^ Mohd. Nor bin Ngah Kitab Jawi: Islamic thought of the Malay Muslim scholars: No.4 1983 -p17 "41 Allah also created seven Hells for the non- believers and sinners: Jahannam (Gehenna) for the sinners among Muslims, Sa'ir for Christians, Saqar for Jews, Hamim for proud people, ..."


^ Richard P. Taylor -Death and the afterlife: a cultural encyclopedia 2000 "JAHANNAM From the Hebrew ge-hinnom, which refers to a valley outside Jerusalem, Jahannam is the Islamic word for hell."

7. 8. 9.

^ Quran 15:4344 ^ Quran 6:132 ^ Quran 3:10

10. ^ Quran 72:1415 11. ^ Quran 2:24

12. ^ Quran 77:3233 13. ^ Quran 4:145 14. ^ King James Bible. Revelation 21:8. 15. ^ King James Bible. Revelation 9:2. 16. ^ Yusuf Ali, Abdullah. Quran. 99:6. 17. ^ "Islam". Encyclopedia of Britannica. 18. ^ "Islam". Encyclopedia of Britannica. 19. ^ Yusuf, Ali. Quran. 67:2. 20. ^ Yusuf Ali, Abdullah. Quran. 101:6-7. 21. ^ Yusuf Ali, Abdullah. Quran. 102:4-8. 22. ^ "Islam". Encyclopedia of Britannica. 23. ^ Yusuf Ali, Abudllah. Quran. 67:1. p. 1576. 24. ^ Yusuf Ali, Abdullah. Quran. 39:63. p. 1255. 25. ^ "General Judgment". Catholic Encyclopedia. 26. ^ "General Judgment". Catholic Encyclopedia. 27. ^ Judaism. "Encyclopedia of Britannica". 28. ^ Al-Ghazali (1989). The Remembrance of Death and the Afterlife. The Islamic Text Society. pp. 173 177. 29. ^ Al-Ghazali (1989). The Remembrance of Death and the Afterlife. The Islamic Text Society. pp. 180 181. 30. ^ Al-Ghazali (1989). The Remembrance of Death and the Afterlife. The Islamic Text Society. pp. 182 188. 31. ^ Al-Ghazali (1989). The Remembrance of Death and the Afterlife. The Islamic Text Society. p. 181. 32. ^ Al-Ghazali (1989). The Remembrance of Death and the Afterlife. The Islamic Text Society. p. 182. 33. ^ 34. ^ Al-Ghazali (1989). The Remembrance of Death and the Afterlife. The Islamic Text Society. pp. 188 195. 35. ^ Al-Ghazali (1989). The Remembrance of Death and the Afterlife. The Islamic Text Society. pp. 195 197. 36. ^ Al-Ghazali (1989). The Remembrance of Death and the Afterlife. The Islamic Text Society. pp. 205 210. 37. ^ Qur'an. pp. 19:72. 38. ^ Qur'an. pp. 56:9. 39. ^ Qur'an. pp. 56:42. 40. ^ Qur'an. pp. 56:42. 41. ^ Qur'an. pp. 56:43.

42. ^ Quran 2:39 43. ^ Quran 22:19 44. ^ Quran 98:16 45. ^ Quran 98:6 46. ^ Quran 7:36 47. ^ Quran 43:7476 48. ^ Quran 14:1517 49. ^ Quran 10:52 50. ^ Quran 79:3439 51. ^ Quran 2:159 52. ^ Quran 85:10 53. ^ Quran 4:93 54. ^ Sahih al-Bukhari. Missing or empty |title=(help) 55. ^ . Qur'an. pp. 56:3955. Missing or empty |title= (help) 56. ^ al-Ghazali (1989). The Remembrance of Death and the Afterlife. The Islamic Text Society. 57. ^ Qur'an. pp. 4:56. 58. ^ Quran 9:63 59. ^ Quran 6:128 60. ^ Quran 4:56 61. ^ Quran 22:1920 62. ^ Quran 14:4950 63. ^ Quran 23:103104 64. ^ Quran 21:3940 65. ^ Quran 33:66 66. ^ Quran 54:4748 67. ^ Quran 40:69 68. ^ Sahih Muslim, 001:0414 69. ^ Sahih al-Bukhari, 8:73:73 70. ^ Sahih al-Bukhari, 8:73:126 71. ^ Sahih al-Bukhari, 2:23:445 72. ^ Qur'an. pp. 16:88. 73. ^ Qur'an. pp. 4:145. 74. ^ Sahih al-Bukhari. pp. 008:076:569. Missing or empty |title=(help) 75. ^ Thomassen, Einar (2009). "Islamic Hell". Numen: International Review for the History of Religions 56 (2/3).

76. ^ Ali, Abdullah Yusuf (2001). The Qur'an. Elmhurst, New York: Tahrike Tarsile Qur'an, Inc. pp. 3534. 77. ^ Ali, Abdullah Yusuf (2001). The Qur'an. Elmhurst, New York: Tahrike Tarsile Qur'an, Inc. p. 21. 78. ^ Ali, Abdullah Yusuf (2001). The Qur'an. Elmhurst, New York: Tahrike Tarsile Qur'an, Inc. p. 1415. 79. ^ Ali, Abdullah Yusuf (2001). The Qur'an. Elmhurst, New York: Tahrike Tarsile Qur'an, Inc. p. 145. 80. ^ Ali, Abdullah Yusuf (2001). The Qur'an. Elmhurst, New York: Tahrike Tarsile Qur'an, Inc. p. 738. 81. ^ Ali, Abdullah Yusuf (2001). The Qur'an. Elmhurst, New York: Tahrike Tarsile Qur'an. p. 855. 82. ^ Ali, Abdullah Yusuf (2001). The Qur'an. Elmhurst, New York: Tahrike Tarsile Qur'an, Inc. p. 855. 83. ^ Ali, Abdullah Yusuf (2001). The Qur'an. Elmhurst, New York: Tahrike Tarsile Qur'an, Inc. p. 543. 84. ^ al-Bukhari. "72:834". 85. ^ al-Bukhari. "87:155". 86. ^ Sahih Muslim. "001:199". 87. ^ Sahih Muslim. "036:6596". 88. ^ Imam Malik. "Chapter 56 Hadith 6". 89. ^ Imam Malik. "Chapter 49 Hadith 11". 90. ^ Imam Malik. "Chapter 57 Hadith 1". 91. ^ Imam Malik. "Chapter 57 Hadith 2". 92. ^ Ghazali, Abu Hamid Muhammad (1989). On the Remembrance of Death and the Afterlife. Cambridge, U.K.: Islamic Texts Society. 93. ^ Ford, Khadija, and Reda Bedeir (1425). Paradise and Hell-fire in Imm Al-Qurtub. El-Mansoura Egypt: Dar Al-Manarah. 94. ^ Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah, Layla Mabrouk (1987). The Soul's Journey after Death. Dar Al-Taqwa.

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Barzakh: The "isthmus" between this world and the Next

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Barzakh (Arabic: )is a Persian and Arabic Word meaning "obstacle", "hindrance", "separation",[1] or "barrier".[2] In Islamic eschatology, though largely up to interpretation, Al-Barzakh is generally viewed as the barrier between the physical and spiritual worlds, in which the soul awaits after death and before resurrection onQiyamah (Judgement Day).

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1 Sources in Qur'an and Hadith 2 Significance of Body and Soul Separation 3 Barzakh and Christian Purgatory 4 Interpretations

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4.1 Mainstream Discourse 4.2 Sufism 4.3 Shi'ism 4.4 Contemporary Interpretations and Uses

5 See also 6 References


in Qur'an and Hadith

Barzakh is mentioned only three times in the Quran, and just once specifically as the barrier between the corporeal and ethereal. A place in which, after death, the spirit is separate from the body, freed to contemplate the wrongdoings of its former life. Despite the gain of recognizance, it cannot utilize

action.[3] The other two occurrences refer to Barzakh as an impassible barrier between fresh and salt water.[4][5] Whilst fresh and salt water may intermingle, an ocean remains distinct from a river. Pertaining to Al-Barzakh, this notion implies that although the physical and spiritual realms are distinctly separate, transmigration through Al-Barzakh between the two is possible, as later expanded by Sufi Mystics. In Hadith, Ibn al-Qayyim cites that, albeit not mentioned in the Quran, souls in Al-Barzakh would be grouped with others matching in purity or impurity.[6]


of Body and Soul Separation

In Islam, the soul and the body are dependent upon one another. This is significant in Barzakh, because only a person's soul goes to Barzakh and not their physical bodies.[7] Since one's soul is divorced from their body in Barzakh, the belief is that no progress or improvements to one's past life can be made. [7] If a person experienced a life of sin and worldly pleasures, one cannot try to perform good deeds in order to reach Jannah. Whatever one does in his or her lifetime is final and cannot be changed or altered in Barzakh.


and Christian Purgatory

The idea of purgatory is that it is a place where people go after death that holds punishment and purification for those who are not fit to enter Paradise just yet. People who are in this place do not have enough sins to warrant their entrance into Hell, but they do not have enough good deeds to go to Paradise quite yet. This is a temporary place, similar to barzakh.[8] Because they have this in common, some believe that they are the same idea or concept.[9] Barzakh is actually closer to the idea of limbo, a place that is between life and the true afterlife.[9] In this place, people await their final judgment, much like in barzakh. The Quranic idea of arf or heights is closer to that of Christian purgatory. Arf is also thought of as a place where souls go whose good and bad deeds are too evenly matched to go directly to Paradise or the Fire.[8]

[edit]Interpretations [edit]Mainstream


Some Muslim scholars stress the importance of Barzakh, while others simply look past its existence.

Modern Muslim thinkers de-emphasize Barzakh, and focus instead on a person's individual life and the Day of Judgment. In this view, the state of Barzakh is simply looked past and skipped once a person dies.[10]

Muslim scholars who do believe in Barzakh still have varying interpretations of this intermediate state based on different traditions. Some traditions suggest that a person's deeds in their life will have an impact on their experience in Barzakh. In these traditions, there are two states of Barzakh. In the state known as "Azhaalbul-Qabr," a person will be punished for his or her deeds in their past life. [11] In the other state known as "Tan'eemu Ahlit-Taa'ah Fil Qabr," a person will receive the blessings and bounties of Allah because of his or her faith and good deeds.[11] Other traditions suggest that people in

Barzakh are given temporary bodies. In this view, a person is either given a bright body or a dark body. These bodies are believed to be prepared from either the light or darkness of their deeds.[7] If a person is given a bright body then this indicates that a person will go to heaven, while a dark body represents hell.[7] In these traditions, Muslim scholars believe that once a person is given their body in Barzakh, they will already know their fate for the Day of Judgment. It is worth noting that in these traditions where Muslim scholars believe in Barzakh, they are basically saying that a person will be familiar with his or her fate prior to the Day of Judgment. This is based on what a person experiences in this intermediate state.

Al-Ghazl states, "After the First Blast, all created beings shall abide for forty years in the Intermediate Realm [barzakh]. Then shall God quicken Seraphiel, and command him to deliver the Second Blast, as He has said (Exalted is He!): Then shall it be blown again, and lo! they stand, beholding : they shall be on their feet, watching the Resurrection." [12]

Al-Zamakhshari explains Barzakh to mean h'il, "an obstacle." His adaptation of the meaning of the word coincides with Barzakh meantionings in Qur'an literature: 25:53.

Abdullah Yusuf Ali referred to a Barzakh state as a "quiescent state." The soul lies in a resting state until Yawm al-Qiymah.

In Sufism, the or Barzakh or Alam-e-Araf (Astral plane), is not only where the human soul resides after death but it is also a place that the soul can visit during sleep and mediation.

Ibn 'Arabi explains Barzakh can also be the "Perfect Human Being"

Major Scholar, Ibn 'Arabi, defines Barzakh as the intermediate realm or "isthmus". It is between the World of Corporeal Bodies and the World of Spirits, and is a means of contact between the two worlds. Without it, there would be no contact between the two and both would cease to exist. It is described as simple and luminous, like the World of Spirits, but also able to take on many different forms just like the World of Corporeal Bodies can. In broader terms Barzakh, is anything that separates two things. It has been described as the dream world in which the dreamer is in both life and death. [13] Barzakh can also refer to a person. Chronologically between Jesus and Mohammad is the contested Prophet Khalid. Ibn 'Arabi considers this man to be a Barzakh or the Perfect Human Being. Chittick explains that the Perfect

Human acts as the Barzakh or "isthmus" between God and the world.[14] Ibn 'Arabi's story of Prophet Khalid is a story of Perfect Human being. Khalid's story is of a Prophet whose message never emerged because before he died, he told his sons to open his tomb forty days after his death to receive the message of Barzakh. The sons, however, feared they would be looked down upon for opening their dead father's tomb, therefore they decided not to exhume their father. Thus, his message was never shared. An Ottoman Scholar explained that for Khalid to give the knowledge of Barzakh he would have to travel through the different worlds and then return, but because he was not exhumed, his message was never heard. Ibn 'Arabi explains that because this mission ended in failure, it does not conflict with The Prophet Mohammeds statement: am nearest of men to Jesus son of Mary, for there is no prophet between him and me.[13]

The idea of Barzakh in Shiism is far less significant than it is in Sufism. Shia Muslims spend very little time contemplating Barzakh because it is their belief that it is incomprehensible until one actually reaches the realm beyond our physical world. A common analogy used is that of a baby in the womb. Just as the baby cannot possibly begin to understand the vast outside world until they experience it for themselves, we cannot hope to understand what Barzakh entails until we transition their ourselves.[15] In this belief, anything written about the condition of Barzakh is viewed as purely speculation, and Shia scholars shy away from making bold claims about Barzakh that may be seen as controversial.


Interpretations and Uses

The term has also found its way into more contemporary, non-religious sectors of life. At least two bands have adopted the name Barzakh, including an Indonesian Jakarta black metal band and a Tunisian Oriental metal band. Additionally, Barzakh was used as the title of a 2011 documentary following citizens of a war-torn Chechan community searching for a lost friend who they believe may have transitioned from our physical world to the realm of Barzakh.[16]



Bardo Intermediate zone Punishment of the Grave



Aztec mythology Mictlan

Buddhism Naraka

Chinese mythology Diyu

Persian mythology Duzakh

Christianity Purgatory



Ancient Egyptian religion Duat

Germanic and Norse paganism Hel


Greek mythology Hades


Hinduism Naraka


Islam Barzakh


Jainism Naraka

Judaism Gehenna


Slavic paganism Nav

Shinto Yomi

Turkic-Mongolian Erlik

1. ^ The Encyclopedia of Islam. 1960. pp. 10711072. 2. ^ Ali, Abdullah Yusuf. The Qu'ran. Elmhurst, NY. Sur 23: 99-100: Tahrike Tarsile Qu'ran, Inc. 3. ^ Ali, Abdullah Yusuf. The Qu'ran. Elmhurst, NY. Sur 23: 99-100: Tahrike Tarsile Qu'ran, Inc. 4. ^ Ali, Abdullah Yusuf. The Qu'ran. Elmhurst, NY. Sur 25: 53: Tahrike Tarsile Qu'ran, Inc.

5. ^ Ali, Abdullah Yusuf. The Qu'ran. Elmhurst, NY. Sur 55: 19-20: Tahrike Tarsile Qu'ran, Inc. 6. ^ al-Qayyim, Ibn. "Section 63. Burial". Fiqh-us Sunnah. 7. ^
a b c d

Khan, Sir Muhammad (December 2011). "The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam-

Part12". The Review of Religions. 8. ^

a b

Smith, Jane I. "Afterlife: An Overview". Encyclopedia of Religion. GaleGroup Online. Retrieved 5

December 2012. 9. ^
a b

Qader, Nasrin (Fall 2002). "Fictional Testimonies or Testimonial Fictions: Moussa Ould Ebnou's

Barzakh". Research in African Literatures 33 (3): 1431. Retrieved 28 November 2012. 10. ^ "Barzakh, al-". The Oxford Dictionary of Islam. 11. ^
a b

Islam, Maulana. "Al Barzakh - The Realm After Death in Islam". Retrieved

June 24, 2008. 12. ^ Ghazali, Al- (1989). The Remembrance of Death and the Afterlife. The Islamic Text Society. p. 176. 13. ^
a b

Ibn Al-Arabi, Muhyiddin (2006). In Angela Jaffray. The Universal Tree and The Four Birds. Anqa

Publishing. pp. 29n,50n, 59, 648, 73, 758, 82, 102. 14. ^ Chittick, William C. (1979). "The Perfect Man as the Prototype of the Self in the Sufism of Jmi". Studia Islamica (Maisonneuve & Larose) (49): 135157. 15. ^ Ayatullah Shaheed Sayyid Abdul Husain Dastghaib. "Barzakh is the Veil of this World". Retrieved 7 December 2012. 16. ^ "Barzakh". Retrieved 7 December 2012.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Jannat" redirects here. For the city in Iran, see Jannat Shahr. For the village in Iran, see Jannat, South Khorasan. For the 2008 Bollywood film, see Jannat (film). "Firdaus" redirects here. For the city in Iran, see Ferdows.

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Jannah (Arabic:

Jannah), is the Islamic conception of paradise. The Arabic word Jannah is a shortened

version meaning simply "Garden". According to Islamic eschatology, after death, one will reside in the grave until the appointed resurrection on Yawm al-Qiymah. Muslims believe that the treatment of the individual in the life of the grave will be according to his or her deeds in the worldly life. Jannah is often compared to Christian concepts of Heaven. According to Muslim belief, everything one longs for in this world will be there in Paradise.[1] Paradise itself is commonly described in the Qur'an. The highest level of Paradise is Firdaws () , which is where the prophets, the martyrs and the most truthful and pious people will dwell. In contrast to Jannah, the words Jahannam and Nr are used to refer to the concept of hell.

1 Descriptions of Paradise 2 Conditions of going to Paradise 3 Qur'anic names of Paradise (heaven) 4 How many will enter heaven 5 Doors of Jannah 6 See also 7 References


of Paradise

The descriptions of paradise are mentioned in significant detail in the Qur'an, hadiths and traditional tafsr (exegesis). Paradise is described as surrounded by eight principal gates, each level generally being divided into a hundred degrees. The highest level is known as firdaws (sometimes called Eden). It will be entered first by Muhammad, then those who lived in poverty, and then the most pious. Entrants will be greeted by angels with salutations of peace or As-Salamu Alaykum.[2] Gardens of perpetual bliss: they shall enter there, as well as the righteous among their fathers, their spouses, and their offspring: and angels shall enter unto them from every gate (with the salutation): "Peace unto you for that ye persevered in patience! Now how excellent is the final home!" Qur'an, sura 13 (al-Rad), ayat 23-24[3] The Islamic texts describes life for its immortal inhabitants as: one that is happy without hurt, sorrow, fear or shame where every wish is fulfilled. Traditions relate that inhabitants will be of the same age (33 years), and of the same standing/equal. Their life is one of bliss including: wearing fancy robes, bracelets, perfumes as they partake in exquisite banquets, served in priceless vessels by immortal youths, as they recline on couches inlaid with gold or precious stones. They will eat foods and fruits continuously up to 40 years, every bowl will have a new taste. They will take eructation which will digest the food and there will be perfumed sweating for the digestion of water. Inhabitants will rejoice in the company of their parents, spouses, and children (provided they were admitted to paradise) conversing and recalling the past. The food in Jannah is reported by the companions of the Prophet as never rotting and so sweet it will make any person on earth live without feeling hunger forever. The dwellings for inhabitants will be pleasant, with lofty gardens, shady valleys, fountains scented with camphor or ginger; rivers of water, milk, honey and Sharabun Tahoora (pure drink); delicious fruits of all seasons without thorns; One day in paradise is considered equal to a thousand years on earth. Palaces are made from bricks of gold, silver, pearls, among other things. Traditions also note the presence of horses andcamels of "dazzling whiteness", along with other creatures. Large trees are described, mountains made of musk, between which rivers flow in valleys of pearl and ruby.[2] The names of four rivers are Saihan (Syr Darya), Jaihan (Amu Darya), Furat (Euphrates) and Nil (Nile).[4] Salsabil is the name of a spring that is the source of the rivers of Rahma (mercy) and AlKawthar(abundance).[5] Sidrat al-Muntaha is a Lote tree that marks the end of the seventh heaven, the boundary where no creation can pass. In spite of the goodly dwellings given to the inhabitants of paradise, the approval of God and nearness to him is considered greater. According to the Qur'an, God will bring the elect near to his throne (arsh), a day on which "some faces shall be shining in contemplating their Lord." The vision of God is regarded as the greatest of all rewards, surpassing all other joys.[2]


of going to Paradise

According to the Qur'an, the basic criteria for salvation in afterlife is the belief in one God (tawd), Last Judgment, good deeds, and in all the messengers of God, as well as believing that Muhammad is thefinal prophet of God. Though one must do good deeds and believe in God, salvation can only be attained through God's judgement.[6] Conditions of going to Paradise according to the Qur'an: Those who spend (freely), whether in prosperity, or in adversity; who restrain anger, and pardon (all) men;for Allah loves those who do good;And those who, having done something to be ashamed of, or wronged their own souls, earnestly bring Allah to mind, and ask for forgiveness for their sins,- and who can forgive sins except Allah?- and are never obstinate in persisting knowingly in (the wrong) they have done. For such the reward is forgiveness from their Lord, and Gardens with rivers flowing underneath,- an eternal dwelling: How excellent a recompense for those who work (and strive)! Qur'an, sura 3 (Al-i-Imran), ayat 134 - 136[7] Allah did aforetime take a covenant from the Children of Israel, and we appointed twelve captains among them. And Allah said: "I am with you: if ye (but) establish regular prayers, practise regular charity, believe in my messengers, honour and assist them, and loan to Allah a beautiful loan, verily I will wipe out from you your evils, and admit you to gardens with rivers flowing beneath; but if any of you, after this, resisteth faith, he hath truly wandered from the path or rectitude." Qur'an, sura 5 (al-Midah) ayah 12[8] As in life there are many trials which one must face. This is also a condition individuals must encounter in order to enter Jannah. Or do ye think that ye shall enter the Garden (of bliss) without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? they encountered suffering and adversity, and were so shaken in spirit that even the Messenger and those of faith who were with him cried: "When (will come) the help of Allah?" Ah! Verily, the help of Allah is (always) near! Qur'an, sura 2 (al-Baqarah), ayah 214[9] Did ye think that ye would enter Heaven without Allah testing those of you who fought hard (In His Cause) and remained steadfast? Qur'an, sura 3 (Al-i-Imran), ayah 142[10] The Qur'an also asserts that those who reject the Prophets of God with their best knowledge are damned in afterlife[6] and if they reject in front of the Messenger of God, then they also face dreadful fate in this world and in afterlife (see Itmam al-hujjah). Conversely, a person who discovers monotheism not having been reached by a messenger is called Hanif.


names of Paradise (heaven)

Firdaws The Highest Gardens of the Paradise (al-Kahf,[11] Al-Muminoon[12]) Dr al-maqmah The Home (Fir[13]) Dr al-salm Home of Peace (Ynus[14]) Dr al-khirah The Home in the Hereafter (al-Ankabt[15]) al-Jannah This is the most commonly used term in the Qur'an and Hadith. (al-Baqarah,[16] l
Imran,[17][10] al-Maidah[18])

Jannat al-adn Gardens of Everlasting Bliss (al-Tawbah:[19] 72, al-Rad[20]) Jannat al-Khuld The Eternal Gardens (al-Furqn[21]) Jannat al-Maw Garden of Abode (al-Najm[22]) Jannat al-Nam The Gardens of Delight (al-Midah,[23] Ynus,[24] al-ajj[25]) Maqad al-idq Assembly of Truth (al-Qamar[26]) al-Maqm al-Amn The House of Security (al-Dukhn[27])


many will enter heaven

A few hadith, for example those narrated by Sahl bin Sad, `Abd Allah ibn `Abbas, and Abu Hurairah, suggest that some who were born before Islam, during the "Period of Ignorance", but who then believed in God in the Islamic period, would be allowed into heaven without a full reckoning of their behavior. [28]


of Jannah

According to hadith, there are eight doors of Jannah. Their names are as following:[29] 1. Bb al--alh: For those who were punctual in prayer. 2. Bb al-Jihd: For those who took part in jihad. 3. Bb al-adaqah: For those who gave charity more often. 4. Bb al-Rayyn: For those who fasted (sawm). 5. Bb al-ajj: For those participated in the annual pilgrimage. 6. Bb al-Kimn al-Ghay wa-al-fn an al-Ns: For those who withheld their anger and forgave others. 7. Bb al-Aymn: For those who by virtue of their faith are saved from reckoning and chastisement. 8. Bb al-Dhikr: For those who showed zeal in remembering God.



Elysium Garden of Eden Riy al-Jannah (Garden of Heaven) is a part of Al-Masjid al-Nabawi (Mosque of the Prophet)



^ Annemarie Schimmel. Islam and The Wonders of Creation: The Animal Kingdom. Al-Furqan Islamic Heritage Foundation, 2003. Page 46

2. 3. 4.

a b c

"Jannah", Encyclopaedia of Islam Online

^ Quran 13:2324 ^ Hughes, Patrick (1995). "EDEN". A Dictionary of Islam. New Delhi, India: Asian Educational Services. p. 106. ISBN 81-206-0672-8.


^ Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi (2004). Divine sayings (Mishkat al-Anwar). Oxford, UK: Anqa Publishing. pp. 105, note 7. ISBN 0-9534513-5-6.


a b

Moiz Amjad. "Will Christians enter Paradise or go to Hell?". Renaissance - Monthly Islamic

journal 11(6), June, 2001. 7. 8. 9. ^ Quran 3:134136 ^ Quran 5:12 ^ Quran 2:214
a b

10. ^

Quran 3:142

11. ^ Quran 18:107 12. ^ Quran 23:11 13. ^ Quran 35:35 14. ^ Quran 10:25 15. ^ Quran 29:64 16. ^ Quran 2:35 17. ^ Quran 3:133 18. ^ Quran 5:72 19. ^ Quran 3:72 20. ^ Quran 13:23 21. ^ Quran 25:15 22. ^ Quran 53:15 23. ^ Quran 5:65 24. ^ Quran 10:9 25. ^ Quran 22:56 26. ^ Quran 54:55 27. ^ Quran 44:51 28. ^ Sahih al-Bukhari, 4:54:470, Sahih al-Bukhari, 7:71:605,Sahih al-Bukhari, 7:71:648, Sahih alBukhari, 7:72:702 29. ^ The Eight Doors of Jannah

Garden of Eden
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For other uses, see Garden of Eden (disambiguation).

"The Garden of Eden" by Lucas Cranach der ltere, a 16th century German depiction of Eden.

The Garden of Eden (Hebrew

, Gan Edhen) is the biblical "garden of God", described most notably

in the Book of Genesis (Genesis 2-3), but also mentioned, directly or indirectly, in Ezekiel, Isaiah and elsewhere in the Old Testament.[1] In the past, the favoured derivation of the name "Eden" was from the Akkadian edinnu, itself derived from a Sumerian word meaning "plain" or "steppe", but it is now believed to be more closely related to anAramaic root meaning "fruitful, well-watered."[1] The Eden of Genesis has been variously located at the headwaters of the Tigris and Euphrates in northern Iraq, in Africa, and in the Persian Gulf. The Eden in Ezekiel, however, is unequivocally located in Lebanon. For many medieval writers, the image of the Garden of Eden also creates a location for human love and sexuality, often associated with the classic and medieval trope of the locus amoenus.[2]

1 Summary

o o

1.1 Genesis 2:4-3:24 1.2 Ezekiel and elsewhere

2 Assyrian-Babylonian and Sumerian parallels 3 Location

o o o o

3.1 Lebanon 3.2 Iran (Tabriz) 3.3 Jackson County, Missouri, North America 3.4 Sri Lanka

4 From Eden to Paradise 5 Jewish eschatology 6 Art

7 See also 8 References 9 Bibliography 10 External links

[edit]Summary [edit]Genesis


"Expulsion from Paradise", marble bas-relief by Lorenzo Maitani on the Orvieto Cathedral, Italy

The second part of the Genesis creation narrative opens with God creating the first human, whom he places in a garden "in the east, in Eden". God tasks the man to tend the garden, but forbids him to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God then forms a woman from a rib of the man to be a companion to the man. The first man and woman break God's command and eat the fruit of the forbidden tree, and God expels them from the garden to prevent them from eating of a second tree, the tree of life, and living forever. God then placed cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth on the east side of the Garden of Eden to guard the way to the tree of life.


and elsewhere

Main article: Ezekiel's cherub in Eden In Ezekiel 28:12-19 the prophet Ezekiel (the "son of man") sets down God's word against the king of Tyre: the king was the "seal of perfection", adorned with precious stones from the day of his creation, placed by God in the garden of Eden on the holy mountain as a guardian cherub. But the king sinned through wickedness and violence, and so he was driven out of the garden and thrown to the earth, where now he is consumed by God's fire: "All the nations who knew you are appalled at you, you have come to a horrible end and will be no more." The "garden of God" is mentioned in Genesis 14, and the trees of the garden are mentioned in Ezekiel 31, and scattered passages from Ezekiel, Zechariah and the Psalms refer to trees and water in relation to the Temple without explicitly mentioning Eden.[3]


and Sumerian parallels

Map showing the Tigris and Euphrates rivers

Sumerian mythology had a parallel to the Eden garden in Dilmun, the dwelling-place of the immortals where sickness and death were unknown.[4]


Spanish-Arabic world map from 1109 AD with Eden in east (at top)

Genesis 2-3 locates the garden with reference to four rivers and the regions they flow through: "A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers. The name of the first is the Pishon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. And the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there. The name of the second river is the Gihon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Cush. And the name of the third river is the Tigris, which flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates." Genesis 2:10-14

"Kush" is often incorrectly translated as Ethiopia, which was also known as Cush, but in this case thought to be referring to Cossaea, a Greek name for the Kassite lands north of Elam, immediately to the east of ancient Babylon, which, unlike Ethiopia, does lie within the region being described. [5] InAntiquities of the Jews by the first-century Jewish historian Josephus, he identifies the Pishon as what "the Greeks called Ganges," and the Geon as the Nile.[6]

Ezekiel 31 appears to identify Eden with Lebanon.[7] "[I]t appears that the Lebanon is an alternative placement in Phoenician myth (as in Ez 28,13, III.48) of the Garden of Eden",[8] and there are connections between paradise, the garden of Eden and the forests of Lebanon (possibly used symbolically) within prophetic writings.[9] Edward Lipinski and Peter Kyle McCarter have suggested that the Garden of the gods (Sumerian paradise), the oldest Sumerian version of the Garden of Eden, relates to a mountain sanctuary in the Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon ranges.[10]



David M. Rohl (British Egyptologist and former director of the Institute for the Study of Interdisciplinary Sciences) posits a location for the legendary Garden of Eden in Iranian Azerbaijan, in the vicinity of Tabriz upon which the Genesis tradition was based. According to Rohl, the Garden of Eden was then located in a long valley to the north of Sahand volcano, near Tabriz. He cites several geographical similarities and toponyms which he believes match the biblical description. These similarities include the nearby headwaters of the four rivers of Edin, the Tigris (Heb. Hiddekel, Akk. Idiqlat), Euphrates (Heb. Perath, Akk. Purattu), Gaihun-Aras (Heb., Gihon), and Uizun (Heb. Pishon)[11]


County, Missouri, North America

See also: Adam and Eve (LDS Church) Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as the Mormons or Latter-day Saints) believe that the Garden of Eden was located in present-day Jackson County, Missouri.[12]



Sri Pada is named after a footprint-like formation found near the summit of a conical mountain in Sri Lanka. The Buddhist tradition deems it to be the footprint of the Buddha, the Hindu tradition considers it that of Shiva, and in Muslim and Christian tradition the footprint is that of Adam. Moreover, there are four rivers starting from this mountain.


Eden to Paradise

"The Garden of Eden" by Thomas Cole(c.1828)

The Expulsion illustrated in the EnglishCaedmon manuscript, c. AD 1000

The Garden of Eden as depicted in the first or left panel ofBosch's The Garden of Earthly Delights Triptych. The panel includes many imagined and exotic African animals.[13]

After c.500 BC the Persian term "paradise" (Hebrew , pardes), meaning a royal garden or huntingpark, gradually became a synonym for Eden. The word "pardes" occurs three times in the Old Testament, but always in contexts other than a connection with Eden: in the Song of Solomon iv. 13: "Thy plants are an orchard (pardes) of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard"; Ecclesiastes 2. 5: "I made me gardens and orchards (pardes), and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits"; and in Nehemiah ii. 8: "And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king's orchard (pardes), that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the wall of the city." In these examples pardes clearly means "orchard" or "park", but in theapocalyptic literature and in the Talmud, "paradise" gains its associations with the Garden of Eden and its heavenly prototype, and in the New Testament "paradise" becomes the realm of the blessed (as opposed to the realm of the cursed) among those who have already died, with literary Hellenistic influences. The Greek Garden of the Hesperides was somewhat similar to the Christian concept of the Garden of Eden, and by the 16th century a larger intellectual association was made in the Cranach painting (see illustration at top). In this painting, only the action that takes place there identifies the setting as distinct from the Garden of the Hesperides, with its golden fruit.



In modern Jewish eschatology, it is believed that history will complete itself and the ultimate destination will be when all mankind returns to the Garden of Eden.[14] In the Talmud and the Jewish Kabbalah,[15] the scholars agree that there are two types of spiritual places called "Garden in Eden". The first is rather terrestrial, of abundant fertility and luxuriant vegetation, known as the "lower Gan Eden". The second is envisioned as being celestial, the habitation of righteous, Jewish and non-Jewish, immortal souls, known as the "higher Gan Eden". The Rabbanim differentiate between Gan and Eden. Adam is said to have dwelt only in the Gan, whereas Eden is said never to be witnessed by any mortal eye.[16] According to Jewish eschatology,[17][18] the higher Gan Eden is called the "Garden of Righteousness". It has been created since the beginning of the world, and will appear gloriously at the end of time. The righteous dwelling there will enjoy the sight of the heavenly chayot carrying the throne of God. Each of the righteous will walk with God, who will lead them in a dance. Its Jewish and non-Jewish inhabitants are "clothed with garments of light and eternal life, and eat of the tree of life" (Enoch 58,3) near to God and His anointed ones.[19] This Jewish rabbinical concept of a higher Gan Eden is opposed by the Hebrew terms gehinnom[20] and sheol, figurative names for the place of spiritual purification for the wicked dead in Judaism, a place envisioned as being at the greatest possible distance from heaven.[21]

Garden of Eden motifs most frequently portrayed in illuminated manuscripts and paintings are the "Sleep of Adam" ("Creation of Eve"), the "Temptation of Eve" by the Serpent, the "Fall of Man" where Adam takes the fruit, and the "Expulsion". The idyll of "Naming Day in Eden" was less often depicted. Much of Milton's Paradise Lostoccurs in the Garden of Eden. Michelangelo depicted a scene at the Garden of Eden in the Sistine Chapel ceiling.



Antelapsarianism Christian naturism Epic of Gilgamesh Eridu Fertile Crescent Golden Age Jannah Persian gardens Tamoanchan The Summerland Utopia


1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

a b

Cohen 2011, pp. 228229

^ Curtius 1953, p. 200,n.31 ^ Luttikhuizen 1999, p. 37 ^ Cohen 2011, p. 229 ^ Speiser, 1994. ^ Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews. Book I, Chapter 1, Section 3. ^ Stordalen 2000, p. 164 ^ Brown 2001, p. 138 ^ Swarup 2006, p. 185

10. ^ Smith 2009, p. 61 11. ^ Cline, Eric H. (2007). From Eden to Exile: Unraveling Mysteries of the Bible. National Geographic. p. 10. ISBN 978-1-4262-0084-7. 12. ^ Bruce A. Van Orden, I Have a Question: What do we know about the location of the Garden of Eden?, Ensign, Jan. 1994, 5455 13. ^ Gibson, Walter S. Hieronymus Bosch. New York: Thames and Hudson, 1973. p. 26. ISBN 0-50020134-X 14. ^ "End of Days". End of Days. Aish. Retrieved 1 May 2012. 15. ^ Gan Eden - JewishEncyclopedia; 02-22-2010. 16. ^ Gan Eden - JewishEncyclopedia; 02-22-2010. 17. ^ Olam Ha-Ba - The Afterlife -; 02-22-2010. 18. ^ Eshatology - JewishEncyclopedia; 02-22-2010. 19. ^ Eshatology - JewishEncyclopedia; 02-22-2010. 20. ^ "Gehinnom is the Hebrew name; Gehenna is Yiddish." Gehinnom - Judaism 101 websourced 02-102010. 21. ^ "Gan Eden and Gehinnom". Retrieved 2011-06-30.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

She'ol (pron.: /iol/ SHEE-ohl or /il/ SHEE-l; Hebrew l), translated as "grave", "pit", or "abode of the dead", is the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible's underworld, a place of darkness to which all the dead go, both the righteous and the unrighteous, regardless of the moral choices made in life, a place of stillness and darkness cut off from God.[1] The inhabitants of Sheol were the "shades" (rephaim), entities without personality or strength.[2] Under some circumstances they could be contacted by the living, as the Witch of Endor contacts the shade ofSamuel for Saul, but such practices are forbidden (Deuteronomy 18:10).[3] While the Old Testament writings describe Sheol as the permanent place of the dead, in the Second Temple period (roughly 500 BCE-70 CE) a more diverse set of ideas developed: in some texts, Sheol is the home of both the righteous

and the wicked, separated into respective compartments; in others, it was a place of punishment, meant for the wicked dead alone.[4] When the Hebrew scriptures were translated into Greek in ancient Alexandria around 200 BC the word "Hades" (the Greek underworld) was substituted for Sheol, and this is reflected in the New Testament where Hades is both the underworld of the dead and the personification of the evil it represents.[5]

1 In popular culture 2 See also 3 References 4 Bibliography 5 External links


popular culture

In the animated series Chris Colorado, Sheol is the name given to the apocalyptic meteorite that causes the Great Crash and later gives mad cult leader Thanatos his powers by producing the cursed Black Torrent. Sheol is also the name of an area in the computer game The Binding of Isaac.


Table of Contents

Position and Form. Biblical Data: God Its Ruler. Etymology. Critical View: Origin of Biblical Concept.

Position and Form.

Hebrew word of uncertain etymology (see Sheol, Critical View), synonym of "bor" (pit), "abaddon" and "shaat" (pit or destruction), and perhaps also of "tehom" (abyss).

Biblical Data:
It connotes the place where those that had died were believed to be congregated. Jacob, refusing to be comforted at the supposed death of Joseph, exclaims: "I shall go down to my son a mourner unto Sheol" (Gen. xxxvii. 36, Hebr.; comp. ib. xlii. 38; xliv. 29, 31). Sheol is underneath the earth (Isa. vii. 11, lvii. 9; Ezek. xxxi. 14; Ps. lxxxvi. 13; Ecclus. [Sirach] li. 6; comp. Enoch, xvii. 6, "toward the setting of the sun"); hence it is designated as (Deut. xxxii. 22; Ps. lxxxvi. 13) or (Ps. lxxxviii. 7; Lam. iii. 55; Ezek. xxvi. 20, xxxii. 24). It is very deep (Prov. ix. 18; Isa. lvii. 9); and it marks the point at the greatest possible distance from heaven (Job xi. 8; Amos ix. 2; Ps. cxxxix. 8). The dead descend or are made to go down into it; the revived ascend or are brought and lifted up from it (I Sam. ii. 6; Job vii. 9; Ps. xxx. 4; Isa. xiv. 11, 15). Sometimes the living are hurled into Sheol before they would naturally have been claimed by it (Prov. i. 12; Num. xvi. 33; Ps. lv. 16, lxiii. 10), in which cases the earth is described as "opening her mouth" (Num. xvi. 30). Sheol is spoken of as a land (Job x. 21, 22); but ordinarily it is a place with gates (ib. xvii. 16, xxxviii. 17; Isa. xxxviii. 10; Ps. ix. 14), and seems to have been viewed as divided into compartments (Prov. vii. 27), with "farthest corners" (Isa. xiv. 15; Ezek. xxxii. 23, Hebr.; R. V. "uttermost parts of the pit"), one beneath the other (see Jew. Encyc. v. 217, s. v. Eschatology). Here the dead meet (Ezek. xxxii.; Isa. xiv.; Job xxx. 23) without distinction of rank or conditionthe rich and the poor, the pious and the wicked, the old and the young, the master

and the slaveif the description in Job iii. refers, as most likely it does, to Sheol. The dead continue after a fashion their earthly life. Jacob would mourn there (Gen. xxxvii. 35, xlii. 38); David abides there in peace (I Kings ii. 6); the warriors have their weapons with them (Ezek. xxxii. 27), yet they are mere shadows ("rephaim"; Isa. xiv. 9, xxvi. 14; Ps. lxxxviii. 5, A. V. "a man that hath no strength"). The dead merely exist without knowledge or feeling (Job xiv. 13; Eccl. ix. 5). Silence reigns supreme; and oblivion is the lot of them that enter therein (Ps. lxxxviii. 13, xciv. 17; Eccl. ix. 10). Hence it is known also as "Dumah," the abode of silence (Ps. vi. 6, xxx. 10, xciv. 17, cxv. 17); and there God is not praised (ib. cxv. 17; Isa. xxxviii. 15). Still, on certain extraordinary occasions the dwellers in Sheol are credited with the gift of making knowntheir feelings of rejoicing at the downfall of the enemy (Isa. xiv. 9, 10). Sleep is their usual lot (Jer. li. 39; Isa. xxvi. 14; Job xiv. 12). Sheol is a horrible, dreary, dark, disorderly land (Job x. 21, 22); yet it is the appointed house for all the living ( ib. xxx. 23). Return from Sheol is not expected (II Sam. xii. 23; Job vii. 9, 10; x. 21; xiv. 7 et seq.; xvi. 22; Ecclus. [Sirach] xxxviii. 21); it is described as man's eternal house (Eccl. xii. 5). It is "dust" (Ps. xxx. 10; hence in the Shemoneh 'Esreh, in benediction No. ii., the dead are described as "sleepers in the dust").

God Its Ruler.

God's rulership over it is recognized (Amos ix. 2; Hos. xiii. 14; Deut. xxxii. 22; I Sam. ii. 6 [Isa. vii. 11?]; Prov. xv. 11). Hence He has the power to save the pious therefrom (Ps. xvi. 10, xlix. 16, the text of which latter passage, however, is recognized as corrupt). Yet Sheol is never satiated (Prov. xxx. 20); she "makes wide her soul," i.e., increases her desire (Isa. v. 14) and capacity. In these passages Sheol is personified; it is described also as a pasture for sheep with death as the shepherd (Ps. xlix. 15). From Sheol Samuel is cited by the witch of En-dor (I Sam. xxviii. 3 et seq.). As a rule Sheol will not give up its own. They are held captive with ropes. This seems to be the original idea underlying the phrase (II Sam. xxii. 6; Ps. xviii. 6; R. V., verse 5, "the cords of Sheol") and of the other expression, (Ps. cxvi. 3; R. V. "and the pains of Sheol"); for they certainly imply restraint or capture. Sheol is used as a simile for "jealousy" (Cant. viii. 7). For the post-Biblical development of the ideas involved see Eschatology.

Etymology.Critical View:
The word "Sheol" was for some time regarded as an Assyro-Babylonian loan-word, "Shu'alu," having the assumed meaning "the place whither the dead are cited or bidden," or "the place where the dead are ingathered." Delitzsch, who in his earlier works advanced this view, has now abandoned it; at least in his dictionary the word is not given. The non-existence of "Shu'alu" has been all along maintained by Jensen ("Kosmologie," p. 223), and recently again by Zimmern (in Schrader," K. A. T." 3d ed., p. 636, note 4) even against Jastrow's explanation (in "Am. Jour. Semit. Lang." xiv. 165-170) that "sha'al" = "to consult an oracle," or "to cite the dead" for this purpose, whence the name of the place where the dead are. The connection between the Hebrew "Sheol" and the Assyro - Babylonian "shillan" (west), which Jensen proposed instead (in "Zeitschrift fr Assyriologie," v. 131, xv. 243), does not appear to be acceptable. Zimmern (l.c.) suggests "shilu" (= "a sort of chamber") as the proper Assyrian source of the Hebrew word. On the other hand, it is certain that most of the ideas covered by the Hebrew "Sheol" are expressed also in the Assyro-Babylonian descriptions of the state of the dead, found in the myths concerning Ishtar's descent into Hades, concerning Nergal and Ereshkigal (see Jensen in Schrader, "K. B." vi., part 1, pp. 74-79) and in the Gilgamesh epic (tablets ii. and xii.; comp. also Craig, "Religious Texts," i. 79; King, Magic," No. 53). This realm of the dead is in the earth ("eritu" = ; comp. Job, x. 21, 22), the gateway being in the west. It is the "land without return." It is a dark place filled with dust (see Sheol, Biblical Data); but it contains a palace for the divine ruler of this shadow-realm (comp. Job xviii. 13, 14). Seven gates guard successively the approach to this land, at the first of which is a watchman. A stream of water flows through Sheol (comp. Enoch, xvii. 6, xxii. 9; Luke xvi. 24; Ps. xviii. 5; II Sam. xxii. 5).

Origin of Biblical Concept.

The question arises whether the Biblical concept is borrowed from the Assyrians or is an independent development from elements common to both and found in many primitive religions. Though most of the passages in which mention is made of Sheol or its synonyms are of exilic or post-exilic times, the latter view, according to which the Biblical concept of Sheol represents an independent evolution, is the more probable. It reverts to primitive animistic conceits. With the body in the grave remains connected the soul (as in dreams): the dead buried in family graves continue to have communion (comp. Jer. xxxi. 15). Sheol is practically a family grave on a large scale. Graves were protected by gates and bolts; therefore Sheol was likewise similarly guarded. The separate compartments are

devised for the separate clans, septs, and families, national and blood distinctions continuing in effect after death. That Sheol is described as subterranean is but an application of the custom of hewing out of the rocks passages, leading downward, for burial purposes. Bibliography: Stade, Ueber die A. T. Vorstellungen vom Zustande nach dem Tode, Leipsic, 1877; idem, Gesch. des Volkes Israel, i. 418 et seq.; idem, Biblische Theologie des A. T. pp. 183 et seq., Tbingen, 1905; F. Schwally, Das Leben nach dem Tode, Giessen, 1892; A. Bertholet, Die Israelitischen Vorstellungen vom Zustande nach dem Tode, Freiburg, 1899; G. Beer, Der Biblische Hades, Tbingen, 1902; idem, in Guthe, Kurzes Bibelwrterbuch, s.v. Hlle; Zimmern, in K. A. T. 3d ed., ii. 641, 642, Berlin, 1903 (where the Assyrian literature is given).