Author [EN] [PL] [ES] [PT] [IT] [DE] [FR] [NL] [TR] [SR] [AR] [RU] Topic: Does Paradise Already Exist?

Offline Reader Questions

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 505
    • View Profile
Does Paradise Already Exist?
« on: May 07, 2014, 01:30:20 AM »
Question asked of Joseph Islam on Facebook:

Post: https://www.facebook.com/joseph.a.islam/posts/415563135247486?stream_ref=10


"Joseph Islam: for point no. 3-- what about 21:30 Have those who disbelieved not considered that the "heavens and the earth were a joined entity, and We separated them" and made from water every living thing? Then will they not believe? Could you share some light I was reading this Surah, came across this verse. does this not suggest that paradise exists. how can u separate a thing which doesnt exist?"

Offline Reader Questions

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 505
    • View Profile
Re: Does Paradise Already Exist?
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2014, 01:31:21 AM »
Response by Joseph Islam:

Post: https://www.facebook.com/joseph.a.islam/posts/415563135247486?stream_ref=10


"In article [1] below, I argued that the English word 'Heavens' was used in two main contexts:

(a) It is applied as a reference to the cosmic space, all intergalactic material, planets, billions of stars, galaxies, wormholes, black holes, the sky and the seemingly endless expanse of the universe and everything within it.

(b) Usually known as 'heaven', it is applied as a reference for an existence in the afterlife, the holiest place attainable by people of various standards of goodness, piety, faith, righteousness and belief; a state of complete felicity

However, The Quran makes a DISTINCTION between the two concepts by attributing TWO DIFFERENT TERMS, 'Samaa' and 'Jannah' to two very different concepts. The word Samawaat(i) (a plural of 'Samaa') refers to the sky and any part of the wider expanse of the universe. Nearly every Surah of the Quran makes a reference to it as can be noted in the following examples: 10.101; 11:108; 12:101; 14:19; 15:85; 16:49; 17:102; 18:51 etc.

On the other hand, 'Jannah' literally means a 'garden' irrespective of whether it is an abode in the afterlife or elsewhere" [2]

Verse 21:104 clearly mentions that the existing universe (samaa) will cease to exist and a new world will be created. It does not say that 'paradise' already exists. According to this verse, the second creation implies a world other than the existing one.

In the verse (21:30) that you have kindly shared, it only mentions the existing world (samawaat). There is no mention of the next world in this verse.

I hope that clarifies God willing,
Joseph

REFERENCES:

[1] HEAVEN(S) AND PARADISE - THE DIFFERENCE
http://quransmessage.com/articles/heaven%20and%20paradise%20FM3.htm
[2] ADAM (pbuh) AND JANNAH - AN EARTHLY ABODE OR PARADISE?
http://quransmessage.com/articles/adam%20and%20jannah%20FM3.htm"

Offline Deliverance

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 254
    • View Profile
Re: Does Paradise Already Exist?
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2014, 04:00:07 AM »
"Verse 21:104 clearly mentions that the existing universe (samaa) will cease to exist and a new world will be created. It does not say that 'paradise' already exists. According to this verse, the second creation implies a world other than the existing one.

In the verse (21:30) that you have kindly shared, it only mentions the existing world (samawaat). There is no mention of the next world in this verse.

"
Maybe Paradies still exist outer Space in another Dimension possibly beacuse in Sura 7:23 There you read that Adam/his spouse and the People coming after him will live on earth for a while ,but he did not mention that he will destroy the Paradies.

(23) He said: Go down (from hence), one of you a foe unto the other. There will be for you on earth a habitation and provision for a while. (24) He said: There shall ye live, and there shall ye die, and thence shall ye be brought forth.

We live and die on earth but Paradies still exist

Offline ahmad

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 211
    • View Profile
Re: Does Paradise Already Exist?
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2014, 06:25:34 AM »
Salam

Upon reading this thread I thought of the following verses.

Saheeh International*

[36:26]
It was said, "Enter Paradise." He said, "I wish my people could know
[36:27] Saheeh International
Of how my Lord has forgiven me and placed me among the honored."


Here I believe his "people" were still living on earth. Therefore does his mean that paradise exists right now ?

[3:169]
And never think of those who have been killed in the cause of Allah as dead. Rather, they are alive with their Lord, receiving provision,
[3:170]
Rejoicing in what Allah has bestowed upon them of His bounty, and they receive good tidings about those [to be martyred] after them who have not yet joined them - that there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve.
[3:171]
They receive good tidings of favor from Allah and bounty and [of the fact] that Allah does not allow the reward of believers to be lost


In the above it is clear that those who have died are alive with God while other people are still living on earth. So where can they be  ? Paradise ?

Offline Joseph Islam

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1858
    • View Profile
    • The Quran and its Message
Re: Does Paradise Already Exist?
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2014, 06:46:52 AM »
Maybe Paradies still exist outer Space in another Dimension possibly beacuse in Sura 7:23 There you read that Adam/his spouse and the People coming after him will live on earth for a while ,but he did not mention that he will destroy the Paradies.

(23) He said: Go down (from hence), one of you a foe unto the other. There will be for you on earth a habitation and provision for a while. (24) He said: There shall ye live, and there shall ye die, and thence shall ye be brought forth.

We live and die on earth but Paradies still exist

Dear Deliverance,

As-salam alaykum

What has been shared on this thread are my humble perspectives to a question that was asked of me on Facebook.

With respect, I cannot comment on 'maybe's' unless you can provide me explicit references from the Quran to the contrary of a 'Jannah' already existing that will be inherited by God's righteous slaves.

With regards to verses 7:24-25 that you have cited, I have already discussed this in the article [2] quoted above, which elaborated as follows:

"A more plausible explanation given the text and the context of the narratives is that Adam (pbuh) was only placed on Earth, the intended location and therein given volition to make choices.  Indeed, the state Adam (pbuh) was introduced into was one where he would neither have to toil to gather necessary provisions for sustenance, felt the heat or thirst, nor would he have felt ashamed of his nakedness (much like the animal kingdom). For all intent and purposes, this was a state of felicity irrespective of being an Earthly abode.
 
It was this state that he was removed from after he had sinned.
 
002:036
Then did Satan make them slip from it (garden), and get them out of the state (of felicity) in which they had been. We said: "Get down, (all of you), with enmity between yourselves and for you in the earth will (is) a dwelling-place and your means of livelihood for a time."


Regards,
Joseph
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline Joseph Islam

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1858
    • View Profile
    • The Quran and its Message
Re: Does Paradise Already Exist?
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2014, 07:08:34 AM »
Salam

Upon reading this thread I thought of the following verses.

Saheeh International*

[36:26]
It was said, "Enter Paradise." He said, "I wish my people could know
[36:27] Saheeh International
Of how my Lord has forgiven me and placed me among the honored."


Here I believe his "people" were still living on earth. Therefore does his mean that paradise exists right now ?

[3:169]
And never think of those who have been killed in the cause of Allah as dead. Rather, they are alive with their Lord, receiving provision,
[3:170]
Rejoicing in what Allah has bestowed upon them of His bounty, and they receive good tidings about those [to be martyred] after them who have not yet joined them - that there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve.
[3:171]
They receive good tidings of favor from Allah and bounty and [of the fact] that Allah does not allow the reward of believers to be lost


In the above it is clear that those who have died are alive with God while other people are still living on earth. So where can they be  ? Paradise ?

Dear brother Ahmad,

Wa alaikum assalam

The Arabic word used in verse 36:26 is 'Jannah' and it is clear that the individual became aware of the state of felicity that he had earned through this righteousness and wished that his people also knew what awaited him (i.e. that he was granted forgiveness and was honoured) and by inference, what they had lost due to their manifest error. This is confirmed by the following verse, 36:27.

This does not mean that the individual was transported straight to 'jannah' (paradise) as it already existed. He would first enter 'barzakh' (as all souls do after death), a quiescent state of sleep where the concept of time is lost and before he is awakened on the Day of resurrection.

The Quran explicitly makes it clear that souls will enter a state of 'barzakh' (23:100) after death and even the righteous will sleep until they are awoken on the Day of Resurrection (89:27-30).

With regards verses 3:169-171, I have discussed and elaborated on this in the forum post [1] below.

I hope that clarifies, God willing.

Regards,
Joseph


REFERENCE:

[1] Is the Prophet Muhammad Alive?
http://quransmessage.com/forum/index.php?topic=1084.msg4510#msg4510
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline ahmad

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 211
    • View Profile
Re: Does Paradise Already Exist?
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2014, 07:27:32 AM »
Dear brother Joseph,

Thank you for taking the time to explain the verses.  :)

Offline Deliverance

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 254
    • View Profile
Re: Does Paradise Already Exist?
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2014, 03:35:16 PM »
Salam Joseph,

The Vers i have quoted "(23) He said: Go down (from hence), one of you a foe unto the other. There will be for you
on earth a habitation and provision for a while. (24) He said: There shall ye live, and there shall ye die, and thence shall ye be brought forth. "

It Shows that Paradies is elsewhere but not on earth it must be somwhere up there are versese that mention something between earth and heaven (Paradies?)

greetings

Offline Joseph Islam

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1858
    • View Profile
    • The Quran and its Message
Re: Does Paradise Already Exist?
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2014, 05:58:19 PM »
Salam Joseph,

The Vers i have quoted "(23) He said: Go down (from hence), one of you a foe unto the other. There will be for you
on earth a habitation and provision for a while. (24) He said: There shall ye live, and there shall ye die, and thence shall ye be brought forth. "

It Shows that Paradies is elsewhere but not on earth it must be somwhere up there are versese that mention something between earth and heaven (Paradies?)

greetings

Dear Deliverance,

Wa alaikum assalam

Please see verse 2:61 where the same expression ''ih'bitu' (Go down) is used for the Children of Israel.

"...Go down to Egypt..." (2:61)

Does this now mean that the Children of Israel were wandering in paradise and were told to go to Egypt?

The verb 'habata' (ih'bit) simply means a change of state from one (arguably better) to another, to descend from a better state of being to a lower one, a lower rank, state of dignity or a change in condition, to become degraded, or to go forth (11:48).

I hope that clarifies, God willing.

Regards,
Joseph
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline Deliverance

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 254
    • View Profile
Re: Does Paradise Already Exist?
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2014, 07:12:53 PM »
Thank you Joseph for clarifing the expression ''ih'bitu' (Go down)

There is one Vers which makes me think that Paradies still exist ,it is in Sura 11:108
"And as for those who will be glad (that day) they will be in the Garden, abiding there so long as the heavens and the earthendure save for that which thy Lord willeth: a gift unfailing. (108) "

In my Translation is a footnote explaining that "...as Long as heaven and earth endure" is arabic Idiom which means forever.



Offline Joseph Islam

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1858
    • View Profile
    • The Quran and its Message
Re: Does Paradise Already Exist?
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2014, 07:27:24 PM »
Thank you Joseph for clarifing the expression ''ih'bitu' (Go down)

There is one Vers which makes me think that Paradies still exist ,it is in Sura 11:108
"And as for those who will be glad (that day) they will be in the Garden, abiding there so long as the heavens and the earthendure save for that which thy Lord willeth: a gift unfailing. (108) "

In my Translation is a footnote explaining that "...as Long as heaven and earth endure" is arabic Idiom which means forever.

Dear Deliverance,

As-salam alaykum

As was noted in my original response above, the Quran makes it clear that once this universe ends, a new world will be created as the first. (21:104).

This new world (paradise) will be as wide as the existing universe (3:133).

003.133
"And hasten (race) for forgiveness from your Lord, and for a Garden whose width (is like that) of the heavens and of the earth, prepared for the righteous"

The Quran presents a similitude of the new world (paradise) with the existing universe (heavens and the earth). This is the place that the righteous will inherit as verse 3:133 and the verse that you cite (11:108) mention. Therefore, referring to the new world as 'heavens and earth' as a similitude is not unusual from the Quran's perspective.

This does not mean that paradise currently exists. This will only come into existence once the first one ceases to exist as verse 21:104 clearly states.

021:104
"(The) Day when We will fold the heaven like the folding of a scroll.  As We began the first creation, WE WILL REPEAT IT. [That is] a promise binding upon Us. Indeed, We will do it."

I have presented you with the best evidence I can and responded to your comments with a view to offer clarifications. The rest is of course, up to you what you want to believe which is your prerogative that I completely respect.  :)

Regards,
Joseph
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline good logic

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 519
    • View Profile
Re: Does Paradise Already Exist?
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2014, 02:20:01 AM »
Greetings.

 THE RIGHTEOUS DO NOT DIE; when their lives on this earth come to the predetermined end, the angel of death simply invites them to leave their earthly bodies and move on to Heaven, the same Paradise where Adam and Eve once lived. Heaven is  in existence; We learn from 89:27-30 that God invites the believers' souls: "Enter My Paradise." 

Qoran 3:169] Do not think that those who are killed in the cause of God are dead; they are alive at their Lord, enjoying His provisions.
وَلا تَحسَبَنَّ الَّذينَ قُتِلوا فى سَبيلِ اللَّهِ أَموٰتًا بَل أَحياءٌ عِندَ رَبِّهِم يُر[زَقونَ

[Qoran 2:154] Do not say of those who are killed in the cause of God, "They are dead." They are alive at their Lord, but you do not perceive.
وَلا تَقولوا لِمَن يُقتَلُ فى سَبيلِ اللَّهِ أَموٰتٌ بَل أَحياءٌ وَلٰكِن لا تَشعُرونَ

[Qoran 8:24] O you who believe, you shall respond to God and to the messenger when he invites you to what gives you life.* You should know that God is closer to you than your heart, and that before Him you will be summoned.
يٰأَيُّهَا الَّذينَ ءامَنُوا استَجيبوا لِلَّهِ وَلِلرَّسولِ إِذا دَعاكُم لِما يُحييكُم وَاعلَموا أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَحولُ بَينَ المَرءِ وَقَلبِهِ وَأَنَّهُ إِلَيهِ تُحشَرونَ
 
[Qoran 44:56] They do not taste death therein - beyond the first death - and He has spared them the retribution of Hell.
لا يَذوقونَ فيهَا المَوتَ إِلَّا المَوتَةَ الأولىٰ وَوَقىٰهُم عَذابَ الجَحيمِ

[Qoran 36:26] (At the time of his death) he was told, "Enter Paradise." He said, "Oh, I wish my people knew.
قيلَ ادخُلِ الجَنَّةَ قالَ يٰلَيتَ قَومى يَعلَمونَ
 [Qoran 36:27] "That my Lord has forgiven me, and made me honorable."
بِما غَفَرَ لى رَبّى وَجَعَلَنى مِنَ المُكرَمينَ



GOD bless you.
Peace.
Total loyalty to GOD
In GOD i TRUST.
https://total-loyalty-to-god-alone.co.uk/?page_id=197

Offline Joseph Islam

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1858
    • View Profile
    • The Quran and its Message
Re: Does Paradise Already Exist?
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2014, 03:48:46 AM »
Greetings.

 THE RIGHTEOUS DO NOT DIE; when their lives on this earth come to the predetermined end, the angel of death simply invites them to leave their earthly bodies and move on to Heaven, the same Paradise where Adam and Eve once lived. Heaven is  in existence; We learn from 89:27-30 that God invites the believers' souls: "Enter My Paradise." 

Qoran 3:169] Do not think that those who are killed in the cause of God are dead; they are alive at their Lord, enjoying His provisions.
وَلا تَحسَبَنَّ الَّذينَ قُتِلوا فى سَبيلِ اللَّهِ أَموٰتًا بَل أَحياءٌ عِندَ رَبِّهِم يُر[زَقونَ

[Qoran 2:154] Do not say of those who are killed in the cause of God, "They are dead." They are alive at their Lord, but you do not perceive.
وَلا تَقولوا لِمَن يُقتَلُ فى سَبيلِ اللَّهِ أَموٰتٌ بَل أَحياءٌ وَلٰكِن لا تَشعُرونَ

[Qoran 8:24] O you who believe, you shall respond to God and to the messenger when he invites you to what gives you life.* You should know that God is closer to you than your heart, and that before Him you will be summoned.
يٰأَيُّهَا الَّذينَ ءامَنُوا استَجيبوا لِلَّهِ وَلِلرَّسولِ إِذا دَعاكُم لِما يُحييكُم وَاعلَموا أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَحولُ بَينَ المَرءِ وَقَلبِهِ وَأَنَّهُ إِلَيهِ تُحشَرونَ
 
[Qoran 44:56] They do not taste death therein - beyond the first death - and He has spared them the retribution of Hell.
لا يَذوقونَ فيهَا المَوتَ إِلَّا المَوتَةَ الأولىٰ وَوَقىٰهُم عَذابَ الجَحيمِ

[Qoran 36:26] (At the time of his death) he was told, "Enter Paradise." He said, "Oh, I wish my people knew.
قيلَ ادخُلِ الجَنَّةَ قالَ يٰلَيتَ قَومى يَعلَمونَ
 [Qoran 36:27] "That my Lord has forgiven me, and made me honorable."
بِما غَفَرَ لى رَبّى وَجَعَلَنى مِنَ المُكرَمينَ



GOD bless you.
Peace.


Dear Good Logic,

As-salam alaykum

With respect, I find absolutely no warrant for your assertions. None of the verses you have quoted explicitly state that there is an existing paradise. I have discussed many of the verses you have quoted and provided context.

You have also completely failed to address the context of verse 89:27 which from previous verses is clear is a reference to the Day of Judgement. These righteous souls have been resting till the Day of Judgement.

Finally, you have also completely failed to address the clear explicit verse of the Quran which categorically states: "EVERY SOUL SHALL TASTE DEATH…" (29:57). Therefore, your statement "The righteous do not die" finds absolutely no support from the Quran and is clearly negated by explicit text.

You are of course free to believe what you want. This is a prerogative of yours which I respect.

Regards,
Joseph


'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline good logic

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 519
    • View Profile
Re: Does Paradise Already Exist?
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2014, 01:33:00 AM »
Greetings brother Joseph.
Thank you for your post.

Let  us  take  one step at a time.
 The death of the" righteous":
[Qoran 44:56] They do not taste death therein - beyond the first death - and He has spared them the retribution of Hell.
لا يَذوقونَ فيهَا المَوتَ إِلَّا المَوتَةَ الأولىٰ وَوَقىٰهُم عَذابَ الجَحيمِ


Now compare it to the death of the" disbelievers":

40:10
Those who disbelieve will be told, "God's abhorrence towards you is even worse than your own abhorrence towards yourselves. For you were invited to believe, but you chose to disbelieve."
إِنَّ الَّذينَ كَفَروا يُنادَونَ لَمَقتُ اللَّهِ أَكبَرُ مِن مَقتِكُم أَنفُسَكُم إِذ تُدعَونَ إِلَى الإيمٰنِ فَتَكفُرونَ

 The Disbelievers Suffer Two Deaths*
40:11
They will say, "Our Lord, you have put us to death twice,* and You gave us two lives; now we have confessed our sins. Is there any way out?"
قالوا رَبَّنا أَمَتَّنَا اثنَتَينِ وَأَحيَيتَنَا اثنَتَينِ فَاعتَرَفنا بِذُنوبِنا فَهَل إِلىٰ خُروجٍ مِن سَبيلٍ
The disbelievers go through two deaths, while the righteous believers do not.In fact the life and death of the believers and disbelievers are not the same. GOD is saying to us:

DO you think We treat the righteous like we treat the wicked?
As far as this life is concerned the " righteous" die because the body is gone , however the angel of death invites the " soul" to paradise.
GOD bless you.
Peace.
Total loyalty to GOD
In GOD i TRUST.
https://total-loyalty-to-god-alone.co.uk/?page_id=197

Offline Joseph Islam

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1858
    • View Profile
    • The Quran and its Message
Re: Does Paradise Already Exist?
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2014, 04:38:26 AM »
Greetings brother Joseph.
Thank you for your post.

Let  us  take  one step at a time.
 The death of the" righteous":
[Qoran 44:56] They do not taste death therein - beyond the first death - and He has spared them the retribution of Hell.
لا يَذوقونَ فيهَا المَوتَ إِلَّا المَوتَةَ الأولىٰ وَوَقىٰهُم عَذابَ الجَحيمِ


Now compare it to the death of the" disbelievers":

40:10
Those who disbelieve will be told, "God's abhorrence towards you is even worse than your own abhorrence towards yourselves. For you were invited to believe, but you chose to disbelieve."
إِنَّ الَّذينَ كَفَروا يُنادَونَ لَمَقتُ اللَّهِ أَكبَرُ مِن مَقتِكُم أَنفُسَكُم إِذ تُدعَونَ إِلَى الإيمٰنِ فَتَكفُرونَ

 The Disbelievers Suffer Two Deaths*
40:11
They will say, "Our Lord, you have put us to death twice,* and You gave us two lives; now we have confessed our sins. Is there any way out?"
قالوا رَبَّنا أَمَتَّنَا اثنَتَينِ وَأَحيَيتَنَا اثنَتَينِ فَاعتَرَفنا بِذُنوبِنا فَهَل إِلىٰ خُروجٍ مِن سَبيلٍ
The disbelievers go through two deaths, while the righteous believers do not.In fact the life and death of the believers and disbelievers are not the same. GOD is saying to us:

DO you think We treat the righteous like we treat the wicked?
As far as this life is concerned the " righteous" die because the body is gone , however the angel of death invites the " soul" to paradise.
GOD bless you.
Peace.


Dear Good Logic,

As-salam alaykum

Notwithstanding my intimation in the last post to respectfully agree to disagree, again, with respect, I cannot concur with your response due to lack of cogency.

Having shared with you a clear verse that explicitly negates your claim that the 'righteous don't die' you have now relied heavily on 'interpretative licence' to separate aspects of death when faced with the explicit verse which says: "EVERY SOUL SHALL TASTE DEATH…" (29:57).

You now claim when faced with this explicit verse that "As far as this life is concerned the " righteous" die because the body is gone , however the angel of death invites the " soul" to paradise."

This is respectfully, simply your interpolation in the face of an explicit verse and from what it appears, an attempt to interpret the Quran to fit your beliefs.

Verse 44:56 that you share simply cites a situation in paradise where the righteous will not feel death, other than the 'former' death that THEY HAVE experienced which brought them into paradise. Please kindly note that the phrase 'al-mawtata-l-ula' can easily be read as a reference to the 'previous', 'former' or 'erstwhile' death and not necessarily 'first' death as you have stated in your translation.

'Awwal' (ula) is a nuanced term and depending on context, can imply 'former' as in al-quruna-ula (i.e. former generations - 28:43) or 'al-suhufil'ula' (former scrolls - '20:133'). This nuance is often missed in translations but better understood in Arabic. Please note that the plural of 'awwal' awwalun is used throughout the Quran to describe former generations (e.g. 8:38).

This is also supported by the righteous souls that speak about their former death in verses 37:58-59 and the triumph (37:60) that they have received which will mean they will not die again and will enjoy felicity as a gift unfailing (Ata'an ghayra majdud - 11:108).

037.058-60
"Are we then not to die, except for our former death? and are not to be punished? Indeed, this surely is the attainment great"

[Please note how different translators translate verse 37:59 and the inconsistency at times with verse 44:56 and regards the word 'awwal'].

As I mentioned in another post, the 'two lives' and 'two deaths' are as follows:

Quote
"...we had an existence at some location (or in some state) prior to our 'physical' birth. (Our physiological state is different from our spiritual state (nafs)). We took a primordial covenant with God at some point before our physical birth (7:172, see also 33:72). This is where our 'innate' belief of some kind of Creator comes from (our 'fitrah'). We also find a reminder of this in verse 57:8. Then we were put to sleep (1st death). We were then given life in our physical state (1st life). We will then be tested in our lives where God will show us His signs in multifaceted forms. We will not be left without purpose (75:36). We will then pass away, 29:57 (2nd death). On the day of resurrection (on the second 'calling' 39:68, 79:6-7) we will be brought back to life (2nd life).

As you can see there are two 'deaths' and two 'lifes'. This understanding also finds some support from the following verse:

040:011
"They say: Our Lord! Twice have You made us die, and twice have You made us live. Now we confess our sins. Is there any way to go out?" "
[1]

Therefore, the disbelievers are only expressing a reality on the Day of Judgement which is that they have had two deaths and two lives. It appears you are forgetting the part where the verse also says 'two lives' which can only happen if there are two deaths. From your logic, if the righteous only receive 1 death, does that now mean that they only have one life as well? Of course not, as I am sure many would agree.

Furthermore, on the Day of Judgement, there will be three kinds (56:7) of which two groups that will delight in the gardens. One group will be from those foremost in the race (56:10) and the other group will be from those on the right hand (56:27). It would be arguably pointless to have these groups if souls could already enter paradise before the Day of Judgement without having their souls are accounted for. Even the righteous will be accounted for to distinguish the best from the best.

It also appears you have taken a translation of verse 40:11 and simply transposed it onto verse 44:56 (which speaks about a former death) and read into it two separate kinds of deaths, one for the righteous and the other for the unrighteous where there is no distinction. Such an interpretation / interpolation in my humble view, remains unsupported.

As to your comment "Do you think We treat the righteous like we treat the wicked?", the answer is of course not. The wicked will be punished for their sins and in accordance to their ill deeds whereas the righteous, will find felicity in accordance to their good deeds. This has nothing to do with your assertion that a paradise already exists or that the number of deaths souls will experience.

Once again, my intention is not to have a debate on this matter. You and I are of course, free to believe what we want to. My original response was simply shared to a question that was specifically asked of me.

I trust that clarifies my position at least, God willing.

Regards,
Joseph
 

REFERENCE:

[1] First life in the Heavens, Second life in Earth
http://quransmessage.com/forum/index.php?topic=116.msg301#msg301



'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell