Will everything perish when Doomsday strikes?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

There is no clear decree regarding the issue but some scholars hold the view that everything will perish when Doomsday strikes. They give the following verse as evidence:

“Everything (that exists) will perish except His (Allah’s) own Face.” (al-Qasas, 88)

However, some scholars translated/interpreted the word “halikun” in the verse as “perishable”. That is, everything was created in a form that is perishable but Allah Almighty will destroy something if He wishes or He will allow it to exist.

However, if it is considered that the new period that will start with Doomsday is called “nash’a al-ukhra”, that is, the second creation, and that everything in this world will be weak like shadows compared to those in the world, there is no doubt that everything will assume a new form in compliance with that realm even if they are not destroyed. As Badiuzzaman Said Nursi puts it, that realm is “alive with its stones and soil. If you call a tree, it will come to you.” 

In the realm of the hereafter where stones and trees will change so much, everything will undergo change. The gardens of Paradise do not resemble the ones in the world; the fire in Hell does not resemble the one in the world either. With this change, the states of the things in the world will perish in a sense and will be eliminated. 

Verse 48 of the chapter of Ibrahim expresses this fact as follows:  

“One day the earth will be changed to a different earth, and so will be the heavens, and (men) will be marshalled forth, before Allah, the One, the Irresistible.”

Acting upon the information that the earth and the heavens will become different, the scholars concluded that they would all perish during Doomsday. However, there is no definite decree whether this “transformation” will take place in the form of elimination as a whole or assuming a different nature.

We will quote three different translations of the verse in question here:

Yusuf Ali: ...  Everything (that exists) will perish except His (Allah’s) own Face...

Asad: … Everything is bound to perish save His [eternal] Self...

Malik: …  Everything is perishable except Him... 

Badiuzzaman Said Nursi interprets this verse as follows in the addendum of Qadar Booklet of the 26th Word:

Everything will perish not in signified meaning but in literal meaning.  For instance, if man’s life has been spent in the way of Allah, it will not perish; it will be transformed into a better life. A life that has been spent in wrong ways will definitely perish and be destroyed.

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