Is paradise expanding?

The Details of the Question

The universe is expanding; is Paradise expanding too since Paradise is as large as the earth and the skies? Is Paradise larger that the expanding universe?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

As far as we can see, there is no verse or hadith regarding the issue. Therefore, it is not appropriate to express a definite opinion regarding issue. However, it is possible to say the following using the clues of different evidences:

a) The fact that the "Universe" is expanding mentioned in the Qur'an is not in question for Paradise because Paradise is in the Realm of Everlastingness; it cannot be compared to the position of the "Universe/this world".

b) “Be quick in the race for forgiveness from your Lord, and for a Garden whose width is that (of the whole) of the heavens and of the earth, prepared for the righteous.” (Aal-i Imran, 3/133) There is a description in the verse above that people can grasp mentally, but it is not appropriate to deduce from it that Paradise will expand in parallel with their expansion.

c) An allusive point in Risale-i Nur also indicates an answer to the question. That is, without the need for the realm of the hereafter to expand with the world, saplings, gardens, ranges are grown in the garden of system and order in which the Universe is located for the hereafter:

“If the universe is studied carefully, it will be seen that within it are two elements that have spread everywhere and become rooted; with their traces and fruits like good and evil, beauty and ugliness, benefit and harm, perfection and defect, light and darkness, guidance and misguidance, light and fire, belief and unbelief, obedience and rebellion, and fear and love, opposites clash with one another in the universe. They are constantly manifested through change and transformation. Their wheels turn like the workshop of the crops of some other world. Of a certainty, the branches and results, which are opposites, of those two elements will continue into eternity; they will become concentrated and separate from one another. Then they will be manifested in the form of Paradise and Hell. Since it is out of this transient world that the permanent world will be made, its fundamental elements will certainly go to eternity and permanence. Indeed, Paradise and Hell are the two fruits of the branch of the tree of creation, which stretches, inclines, and goes towards eternity; they are the two results of the chain of the universe; the two storehouses of this flood of Divine activity; the two pools of beings, which flow in waves towards eternity; and the place of manifestation, the one of Divine favor, the other of Divine wrath. When the hand of power shakes up the universe with a violent motion, those two pools will fill up with the appropriate matters.” (Sözler, 531-532)

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