As far as I can see, there are two different ways to express immortality in the Qur'an, one is by using the root خلد (khuld), which as far as I can see is used for people.

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Surat Ash-Shu`arā' 129

And the other one (لَا يَمُوتُ -- la yamut) is used for Allah (Azza wa Jall). For example.

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Surat Al-Furqān -- 58

What is the difference in the meaning of these two terms, and why one suits better with people and other with Allah (Azza wa Jall)?


2 Answers 2


Khuld is translated: everlasting, eternity, and also immortality. This word can refer to both living or non-living creatures. For example consider two Ayah below, in which Khuld refers to non-livings things:

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Then it will be said to those who had wronged, "Taste the punishment of eternity; are you being recompensed except for what you used to earn?" - Yunus 52

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Say, "Is that better or the Garden of Eternity which is promised to the righteous? It will be for them a reward and destination. - Al Furqan, 15

And this is an example of the reference to living people:

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Allah will say, "This is the Day when the truthful will benefit from their truthfulness." For them are gardens [in Paradise] beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever, Allah being pleased with them, and they with Him. That is the great attainment. - Al Maidah 119

Yamut means dies and La Yamut means does not die. They can be used only for living things, because dead or aliveness do not make sense for non-living objects. Allah is the only one who does not die, so La Yamut can be used only for Allah:

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Everyone upon the earth will perish * And there will remain the Face of your Lord, Owner of Majesty and Honor. - Al Rahman 26, 27


There is a very subtle difference between the two words.

The root خلد can be translated to English as "Ever lasting". It is used to describe objects that do not go away, and not necessarily people. The gardens of paradise are described as جنات خلد (Ever lasting gardens). Something like a memory can be described that was as well: ذكرى خالدة. Actual physical death might not come into the meaning. For instance, the name Khalid (such as from the famous companion Khalid ibn Al-Waleed) is derived from that root. It does not imply that the person is physically immortal, but that his other aspects (his reputation, piety, deeds ... etc) will be ever lasting.

On the other hand لا يموت is actually the combination of two words: the negative لا and the verb يموت (die). Here it is more concrete what we mean: immortality. Never dying.

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