What is the wisdom behind “except as thy Lord willeth” in verses 107 and 108 of the chapter of Hud after the sentence “They will dwell therein for all the time”? If our Lord wills, will He make an exception for us to allow us to stay there forever?

The Details of the Question

What is the wisdom behind the phrase “except as thy Lord willeth” in verses 107 and 108 of the chapter of Hud after the sentence “They will dwell therein for all the time”? If our Lord wills, will He make an exception for us to allow us to stay there forever?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The translation of the verses in question is as follows:

“106. Those who are wretched shall be in the Fire: There will be for them therein (nothing but) the heaving of sighs and sobs.”

“107. They will dwell therein for all the time that the heavens and the earth endure, except as thy Lord willeth: for thy Lord is the (sure) accomplisher of what He planneth.”

“108. And those who are blessed shall be in the Garden: They will dwell therein for all the time that the heavens and the earth endure, except as thy Lord willeth: a gift without break.”

In the expressions in the verse, it comes to mind that there is a time determination for the people of Paradise and that it will contradict the verses about dwelling there forever. Elmalılı Hamdi Yazır makes the following explanation regarding the issue:

What is meant by the heavens and earth in the verses above is not this world and these heavens. They are the earth and the heavens mentioned in the following verse: “One day the earth will be changed to a different earth, and so will be the heavens.” (Ibrahim, 14/48) It is clear that the life in the hereafter will have its own skies and earth. There is no doubt that it does not mean eternity in the traditional and metaphorical sense but rather eternity in the real sense since it does not have a limited time like in this world, and its continuation is endless like the continuation of the life in the hereafter.

When we view the verses of the Quran about the blessings of Paradise and the torment of Hell, we see that it is clearly stated in many verses that believers will stay in Paradise forever and unbelievers will stay in Hell forever.

The phrase “the will of the Lord” mentioned in the verses can be understood as follows:

a. Allah is the one that is able to do what He wills. There is no one to limit Him in this regard. Undoubtedly, Allah has the power to do whatever He wills; there is no obstacle for Him; however, He clearly states that He will not forgive the polytheists and unbelievers and that they will remain in Hell forever. (an-Nisa 4/14,116) He has imposed His decree about them like that.

b. On the other hand, after sinful Muslims stay in Hell for a certain period of time, Allah will remove them and place them in Paradise. According to what is stated in a hadith, a layer of Hell that is reserved for sinful believers will be emptied one day.

c. As long as the heavens and the earth remain, (that is, forever) the people of Paradise will all remain there except for what our Lord wills. In other words, the continuation and eternity of Paradise is not from itself like Allah’s existence, but depends on Allah’s will. If Allah wills, it might not be so. However, Allah wills eternal Paradise for believers. That is His decree about them. (Elmalılı, the interpretation of the verses in question)

Will you please click on the link given below;

Will you explain the eternity of life in the hereafter, Paradise and Hell with verses of the Quran and hadiths?

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