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When we die, our bodies die and our rooh/arwah/soul goes to a place known as barzakh. Everything is destined to die, even the Angel of Death. Then Allah will ask if there is anybody alive, and there will be silence. However, at that time won't our souls still be alive?

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  • We'll never know.
    – NVZ
    Apr 9, 2016 at 17:12
  • There is no clear text or verse in Islam where this is mentioned. Therefore no one knows but Allah. May 4, 2021 at 19:25
  • Not about Islam, but about semantics: what is the difference you make between dead and unconscious? And, what is TIME? You asked a question that goes very deep and does not have an easy answer but a thousand new questions springing up with each new aspect discovered. May 4 at 22:34

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And those who disbelieve and deny Our signs – those will be companions of the Fire; they will abide therein eternally. [Al-Baqarah: 2-39]

Say, “Shall I inform you of [something] better than that? For those who fear Allah will be gardens in the presence of their Lord beneath which rivers flow, wherein they abide eternally, and purified spouses and approval from Allah. And Allah is Seeing of (His) servants. [Aal-I-Imraan 3:15]

So , how can souls die if they have to live forever eternally in heaven/hell ?

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According to these verses, hell is not necessary eternal but heaven is everlasting and eternal:

"As for those bound for misery, they will be in the Fire, where they will be sighing and gasping, staying there forever, as long as the heavens and the earth will endure, except what your Lord wills. Surely your Lord does what He intends. And as for those destined to joy, they will be in Paradise, staying there forever, as long as the heavens and the earth will endure, except what your Lord wills—a ˹generous˺ giving, without end." (Surah Hud, 106-108).

After mention of Hell we find "as long as the heavens and the earth will endure, except what your Lord wills. Surely your Lord does what He intends." Which seems to indicate that hell is not necessarily eternal and after some time God would be satisfied with their punishment and take them out of hell. However, commentators have differed on whether this applies to everyone or only to sinful Muslims. Or if there is a different meaning altogether and hell is still eternal. Regardless, there remains some debate on the nature of hell's eternity.

After mention of Heaven we find "as long as the heavens and the earth will endure, except what your Lord wills—a ˹generous˺ giving, without end." indicating that heaven is forever and the blessings will never be cut off. Other verses indicate that no one will be granted two deaths – after one death the soul will live forever in the company of its Lord.

"They will not taste death therein, other than the first death. And He will save them from the punishment of the blazing Fire" (44:56)

But if souls will stay forever then doesn't that go against the idea that only God is forever? Well, no, since Allah has no start but souls were created. So souls are not infinite as Allah is.

It should be noted that the concept of infinity in general is hard to wrap our mind around. An interesting analogy is that there are an infinite number of decimal numbers between 1 and 2. For example, 1.1, 1.01, 1.001, 1.0001, etc. up to 2.9, 2.99, 2.999, 2.999. So these sets of numbers go on forever. But can you say that these numbers are the same as 1,2,3,4, etc. up to infinity? So the eternal nature of the soul, even if it lasts forever, would not be the same as God's eternal nature. At least for me, this analogy gives me enough reassurance to sleep at night.

It is only God's grace that He made souls eternal and He will only grant us one death. All the more reason to always be grateful to our Lord.

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