Sufism, Rumi, Heaven, hell, universal salvation or it's irrelevance?

Fry

Established Member
Messages
39
Reaction score
1
Points
8
Per Sufism and it's articulators like Rumi, is hell an everlasting horror where the wicked burn forever?

Or is universal salvation possible?

Or are all of the above irrelevant because the mystic understands God in a way that transcends such notions?
 

muhammad_isa

Save Our Souls
Messages
3,272
Reaction score
702
Points
108
Location
Worcester UK
Per Sufism and it's articulators like Rumi, is hell an everlasting horror where the wicked burn forever?

Or is universal salvation possible?

Or are all of the above irrelevant because the mystic understands God in a way that transcends such notions?

The true "mystic path" does not negate important concepts such as heaven & hell. To do so would be to negate the Qur'an,
something which scholars like Rumi certainly didn't do.
It's about putting these concepts into a correct context. Rather than a shallow, literal understanding of religion, these sufis
delved deeper into the soul, trying to achieve a nearness to their Creator. They did not claim that nobody will go to hell.
They also didn't claim that others, who didn't share their "way" were going to hell.

The bottom line is that only Allah, the Most High, knows who is destined for hell .. and how long they will remain there.
Hell is a concept .. it is not a case of "a literal god person" torturing people in "a literal blazing fire".
Allah is warning us of the consequences of evil .. "Allah wrongs nobody .. mankind wrong their own souls"
 

Cino

Big Love! (Atheist mystic)
Admin
Messages
3,766
Reaction score
2,022
Points
108
Location
Germany
Per Sufism and it's articulators like Rumi, is hell an everlasting horror where the wicked burn forever?

Or is universal salvation possible?

Or are all of the above irrelevant because the mystic understands God in a way that transcends such notions?

I've spoken to Sufis. They might tell you that Rumi is tricky to understand without proper grounding in Islam. They might also point out that your question seems to be "am I loved?" when it could be "do I love?".

And I'd be interested in @Arif Ghamiq 's thoughts!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Fry

Fry

Established Member
Messages
39
Reaction score
1
Points
8
The true "mystic path" does not negate important concepts such as heaven & hell. To do so would be to negate the Qur'an,
something which scholars like Rumi certainly didn't do.
It's about putting these concepts into a correct context. Rather than a shallow, literal understanding of religion, these sufis
delved deeper into the soul, trying to achieve a nearness to their Creator. They did not claim that nobody will go to hell.
They also didn't claim that others, who didn't share their "way" were going to hell.

The bottom line is that only Allah, the Most High, knows who is destined for hell .. and how long they will remain there.
Hell is a concept .. it is not a case of "a literal god person" torturing people in "a literal blazing fire".
Allah is warning us of the consequences of evil .. "Allah wrongs nobody .. mankind wrong their own souls"

Thank you. It does sound like you are saying the Sufis do not teach the literal eternal hellfire version as found in some schools of Islam?

Is there a specific work by a Sufi sage or other written work stating the impermanence, and/or non literal interpretation of hell?
 

Fry

Established Member
Messages
39
Reaction score
1
Points
8
You can start by reading a brief introduction to the Sufi viewpoint -----> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jahannam#Sufism

Thank you.

So, if we take the position of ibn Arabi, this answers all three questions neatly:

1.) Per Sufism and it's articulators like Rumi, is hell an everlasting horror where the wicked burn forever?

"According to ibn Arabi, the Hell and the Heaven refer, in fact, to distance from, and proximity to, God, respectively. The Hell which is home to wrong-doers is their conception of their distance from God, and the painful punishment and humility is that of distance. Such a distance is caused by one's indulgence in their natural desires and the illusion of things other than God as existent. But such a distance is only illusory, since everything is a form of the degrees of the Divine Existence, and thus, everything other than God is but illusion."

2.) Or is universal salvation possible?

"...everything other than God is but illusion."

3.) Or are all of the above irrelevant because the mystic understands God in a way that transcends such notions?

"...everything other than God is but illusion."
 

RJM

God Feeds the Ravens
Admin
Messages
9,283
Reaction score
2,194
Points
108
"According to ibn Arabi, the Hell and the Heaven refer, in fact, to distance from, and proximity to, God, respectively. The Hell which is home to wrong-doers is their conception of their distance from God, and the painful punishment and humility is that of distance. Such a distance is caused by one's indulgence in their natural desires and the illusion of things other than God as existent. But such a distance is only illusory, since everything is a form of the degrees of the Divine Existence, and thus, everything other than God is but illusion."
Bingo! Imo ...
 
Last edited:

RJM

God Feeds the Ravens
Admin
Messages
9,283
Reaction score
2,194
Points
108
Imagine denying God exists? In the sense of some sort of higher overeaching power -- something higher than man? Imagine knowing all this came into existence as some sort of mathematical coincidence? Imagine knowing that man is the highest intelligence in the whole universe? Imagine knowing human consciousness exists as a coincidence side effect of chemical brain activity?

The gulf is so wide ...
 
Last edited:

RJM

God Feeds the Ravens
Admin
Messages
9,283
Reaction score
2,194
Points
108
Imagine setting yourself up against all that? Will it smite you, will it destroy you, will it burn you? Or will it just leave you learn to find out in your own time, your own tears, your own bitter regrets? The ones you hurt most whom you loved most? The time you can't turn back ...
 
Last edited:

muhammad_isa

Save Our Souls
Messages
3,272
Reaction score
702
Points
108
Location
Worcester UK
3.) Or are all of the above irrelevant because the mystic understands God in a way that transcends such notions?

"...everything other than God is but illusion."

That's not an answer to your question..
Suffering in hell is as real as the suffering one might experience in this life.
It is more of "a condition" than a place. We reap what we sow.
 
  • Like
Reactions: RJM

Fry

Established Member
Messages
39
Reaction score
1
Points
8
That's not an answer to your question..
Suffering in hell is as real as the suffering one might experience in this life.
It is more of "a condition" than a place. We reap what we sow.

Regardless, you'd agree that, from a Sufi perspective, specifically that of ibn Arabi, hell is not eternal?
 

Fry

Established Member
Messages
39
Reaction score
1
Points
8
Bingo! Imo ...
Hey! I thought of how you explained your faith to me when I read that! Very similar! I'm pleased you noticed too :)

Edit: I had you confused with someone else lol! Sorry!
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: RJM

RJM

God Feeds the Ravens
Admin
Messages
9,283
Reaction score
2,194
Points
108
@powessy
Talks about the human existence as a chance to 'figure ourselves out' and to find time for ourselves -- to bring time into ourselves here in the physical that we will keep when we have to let go the physical ... something like that?
 

Cino

Big Love! (Atheist mystic)
Admin
Messages
3,766
Reaction score
2,022
Points
108
Location
Germany
The gulf is so wide ...

The gulf is only wide insofar as there is an other side to it.

3.) Or are all of the above irrelevant because the mystic understands God in a way that transcends such notions?

"...everything other than God is but illusion."

If by "transcend" you mean "improve upon" such notions, then as far as this mystic is concerned, no. It is not at all about understanding. It is instead a gesture of what the Sufis might call the "heart".

On the other hand, by discounting everything that goes away when not believed in any more (to paraphrase a popular phrase by P.K. Dick), i.e. by discounting illusion, a good intellectual approximation may be arrived at. Which still leaves the work of the heart to be done.

IMO. ;)
 

RJM

God Feeds the Ravens
Admin
Messages
9,283
Reaction score
2,194
Points
108
@powessy
Talks about the human existence as a chance to 'figure ourselves out' and to find time for ourselves -- to bring time into ourselves here in the physical that we will keep when we have to let go the physical ... something like that?
Is the sense that if we die with no time then we are gone, cease to exist ...
 

muhammad_isa

Save Our Souls
Messages
3,272
Reaction score
702
Points
108
Location
Worcester UK
Regardless, you'd agree that, from a Sufi perspective, specifically that of ibn Arabi, hell is not eternal?

I'm not an expert on ibn Arabi or Sufism .
I do know that God is "the First & the Last" .. meaning He has always been and always will be.
.. "God is" [ and the Jewish "I am" ]
or another way of putting it .. God is infinite.

Looking at hell as a sort of incarceration, one might consider the case of a person who is serving life imprisonment and refuses to repent.
It IS possible that a soul might be in that state forever .. no?
 

RabbiO

הרב יונה בן זכריה
Messages
401
Reaction score
371
Points
63
I do know that God is "the First & the Last" .. meaning He has always been and always will be.
.. "God is" [ and the Jewish "I am" ]
or another way of putting it .. God is infinite.
It would be more accurate to say"and the Jewish 'I will be'."
 
  • Like
Reactions: Fry

Fry

Established Member
Messages
39
Reaction score
1
Points
8
I'm not an expert on ibn Arabi or Sufism .
I do know that God is "the First & the Last" .. meaning He has always been and always will be.
.. "God is" [ and the Jewish "I am" ]
or another way of putting it .. God is infinite.

Looking at hell as a sort of incarceration, one might consider the case of a person who is serving life imprisonment and refuses to repent.
It IS possible that a soul might be in that state forever .. no?



Universal Salvations

Quranic exegesis (tafsir), the hadith and the kalam tradition offered a vast and varied arsenal of arguments in favour of the end of hell; Ibn 'Arabi, Ibn Taymiyya and Ibn al-Qayyim take advantage of all of these arguments in different degrees.

-CHAPTER 9 Ibn ʿArabī, Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, and the Political Functions of Punishment in the Islamic Hell
Samuela Pagani page 177

Many theologians present the doctrine of everlasting damnation, or damnationism...

...Yet upon closer examination, we find that we cannot label as damnationists some of the most prominent theologians in the history of Islam. These include giants such as Muhyi al-Din Ibn al-'Arabi (d. 638/1240), Taqi al-Din Ibn Taymiyya (d. 728/1328), Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya (d. 751/1350), and, in modern times, Muhammad Rashid Rida (d. 1935) and Yusuf al-Qaradawi. With the exception of al-'Arabi, these scholars were open to the possibility that all of humanity might one day be delivered from hell and granted admission into the everlasting Garden (al-janna)-a position henceforth referred to as universalism. As for Ibn al-'Arabi, although he affirmed the everlastingness of the Fire, he maintained that the damned will be relieved of all physical torments and will in fact experience some form of contentment in hell - a position I call quasi-universalism.

...

In what follows, I shall present the scriptural arguments for universalism put forth by Ibn Taymiyya and his student Ibn al-Qayyim-traditionalist scholars who produced the most developed medieval articulation of Islamic universalism.

-CHAPTER 8 Is Hell Truly Everlasting?: An Introduction to Medieval Islamic Universalism
Mohammad Hassan Khalil
pages 165-166
 
Last edited:

muhammad_isa

Save Our Souls
Messages
3,272
Reaction score
702
Points
108
Location
Worcester UK

As for Ibn al-'Arabi, although he affirmed the everlastingness of the Fire, he maintained that the damned will be relieved of all physical torments and will in fact experience some form of contentment in hell..

I don't subscribe to philosophising as to what MIGHT happen to us after our death.
I've heard the argument before .. "Does anybody really deserve everlasting torment?"
Allah knows best. The best way of avoiding trouble is to "fear God" .. take His guidance seriously and avoid sin.

What eventually happens to a soul that scoffs, and turns away from righteousness, I wouldn't like to say.
It seems to me that the result could be serious indeed.
What righteous person is going to trust them unless they repent?
 

Thomas

Administrator
Admin
Messages
12,586
Reaction score
2,749
Points
108
... is hell an everlasting horror where the wicked burn forever?
I rather think Isla in particular, the Abrahamics broadly, and religions generally, paint quite nuanced pictures of the eschaton, about which we know nothing in any concrete detail.

So when we run with infernal images of everlasting horror, etc., we are rather speaking only of the (sometimes over-passionate) emotions, rather than the cooler light of the intellect.

Having said that, it's a given that the population as whole responds very poorly to the intellect, we are driven by, and often the prisoners of, our emotions and especially our passions.

Or is universal salvation possible?
"with God, anything is possible", as the Christian Scriptures have it (Matthew 19:26)

Or are all of the above irrelevant because the mystic understands God in a way that transcends such notions?
Understanding in a way that transcends does not necessarily mean that the idea, or the image, is untrue?

We have to be cautious of assuming mystics 'think outside the box', as it is often the case, or at least it seems that way to me, that the mystic sees deeper into 'the box', rather than the populist assumption that somehow the mystic has risen above it.

As a by-word, 'thinking outside the religious box' rather denotes a failure to fully comprehend religion as such, as religion deals with the Infinite and the Eternal. Indeed, by comparison, every other human pursuit is necessarily boxed by the nature of its object.
 
  • Like
Reactions: RJM
Top