Paradise and Hell

A friend of mine said something disturbing to me today. She said she knows she is going to have to spend some time in hell and have her hair burnt off because she doesn’t wear the headscarf, and sometimes she wears short sleeves.

I voiced my concerns that I didn’t think that this is mentioned in the Quran, but she went on to say that after this time in hell for the burning of the hair, then people can go to Paradise.

It was a concept I’d not come across before. I thought Hell and Paradise were “either / or” – either you go to one or the other for eternity. I will have to look up some references to see if there is any truth to this idea that we could spend some time in one before being sent to the other (for whatever reason – headscarf / short sleeves aside), and whether it works both ways. Eg could you go to Paradise for a brief spell and then be sent to Hell for the rest of the time.

Please feel welcome to comment or discuss on the Qnet forum

How can we practise the Quran if we spend our lives trying to understand it?

Quranists, more than any other Muslim group in my opinion, have no ending in sight when it comes to constantly studying and revising their views on Quranic interpretation. It’s not that anything is wrong with us. It’s just that other Muslims don’t really think there’s anything more to the Quran than the interpretations which already exist. This is not to insult them but it’s not in their sphere of concerns. Try going into a Sunni or Shia bookshop and ask for a book which analyses the rendition of the story of Musa from chapter to chapter. You will draw a blank because the subject simply isn’t important enough.

But that leaves us with the question of the title:  How can we practise the Quran if we spend our lives trying to understand it?

To me, it works like this: We can practise the Quran immediately by simply reading some short chapters like al-fatiha, al-asr and al-ikhlas. Basically it tells us to believe in God, be good and what life is basically about. Practice according to your knowledge.

However, as you go on through life, you will experience more signs of God. The Quran is the clarification of these signs. We read the Quran, read our lives, then read the Quran, then practise and on and on.

The Quran’s depth in unfathomable. There are an unlimited number of angles which we can explore in the course of lives. Living must of course continue but the Quran acts as like God’s council to us. It keeps us on the straight path.

This is a very organic process and very individual. No two people read the same way so it’s good to share notes. The Quran is the perfect map for the travel of life.