Islamic eschatology

From Academic Kids

Islamic eschatology is concerned with the Qiyamah (end of the world) and the final judgement of humanity. Eschatology is one of the three main principles of Islam, alongside tawhid (the unity of Allah) and nubuuwa (prophecy). Like the other Abrahamic religions, Islam teaches the bodily resurrection of the dead, the fulfillment of a divine plan for creation, and the immortality of the human soul; the righteous are rewarded with the pleasures of Jannah (Heaven), while the unrighteous are punished in Jahannam (Hell). A significant fraction of the Quran deals with these beliefs, with many hadith elaborating on the themes and details.

According to the Islamic view Jesus (Isa, in Arabic) is not the son of God, but he was a very important prophet and is the messiah (Islamic definition of messiah is different). It is believed that Isa never died and he was not crucified; instead he was raised into heaven still physically alive, where he lives now. At the time appointed by Allah, Isa will physically return to this world, end all wars, and usher in an era of peace, a messianic era. Minority views held by the Ahmadiyya movement, who most muslims regard as heretics, state that Jesus did not die on the cross. He was removed from the cross while still alive after which he died a natural death in Kashmir. Their belief is that the references to the Second coming of Jesus in Islamic eschatology literature are allegorical. This propechy according to them was fulfilled by the coming of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.

Islamic descriptions of Jannah (Heaven) are couched in the language of physical pleasure, sometimes interpreted literally, sometimes allegorically. Heaven is most often described as a cool, well-shaded, and well-watered garden. The rewards of the righteous are also described in explicitly physical terms; they include unlimited food and drink. Some interpretations also promise enormous palaces staffed with multitudes of servants, and perfect, perpetually-virgin spouses (see houri).

Muslims stress the belief that it is only the five pillars of faith that bring one to Heaven. Muslims believe that Allah knows best who will enter Heaven and that some people of the other Abrahamic faiths (regarded as "People of the book") will also get into heaven.

Those Muslims who do not inherit heaven will be punished with a temporary stay in Hell, and will go to heaven later as long as there is "one atom of faith in their hearts" as stated by the Prophet Muhammed. Some, but not all, muslims also believe that people who do not accept the Prophet Muhammed after hearing his message, will receive eternal damnation in hell; just as those who did not believe in Jesus and Moses at their respective periods after hearing of their messages will also receive eternal damnation in hell.

The descriptions in the Qur'an of punishment for unbelief (Hell) are, like the descriptions of Heaven, very descriptive. Skin is burned off the person's body and then they are given new skin so it can be burned off again. Boiling water is poured down people's throats and it rips their bowels apart. Nevertheless, extremes of heat and cold are applied to the body as punishment.

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