Category: Miscellaneous
Fatwa#: 39742
Asked Country: United Arab Emirates

Answered Date: Feb 12,2018

Title: Is time circular or linear? Are there people living in Jannat and Jahannum?


As-Salaam-Alaikum, I read somewhere that time is circular and not linear. According to this theory, past, present and future is all taking place at the same time. This is also the basis for the possibility of time travel. Is this view correct according to Islam? In a related question, the Prophet PBUH during his Miraj saw people in heaven and hell. Does this mean that there are people living there who have already experienced qiyamat? Please clarify. JazakAllah.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.

As-salaamu `alaykum wa-ramatullahi wa-barakatuh.

There is no basis of time being circular or linear in Islaam.

It is logically understood that there was a past, there is a present and whatever will happen is the future.

You enquired about “time travel”,  “Time travel is the concept of movement between certain points in timeanalogous to movement between different points in space by an object or a person, typically using a hypothetical device known as a time machine, in the form of a vehicle or of a portal connecting distant points in spacetime, either to an earlier time or to a later time, without the need for the time-traveling body to experience the intervening period in the usual sense. Time travel is a widely-recognized concept in philosophy and fiction. It was popularized by H. G. Wells' 1895 novel The Time Machine, which moved the concept of time travel into the public imagination…”[1]

It is clear from the above that time travel is a fiction and just an imagination.

You enquire about Nabi (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) having seen people in heaven and hell during Me`raaj and from that you deduced that their qiyaamat may have taken place and somewhat relate that to time travel.  In explaining the incident of seeing people in heaven and hell, Hafiz Ibnu Hajar Al asqalaani, Allama Ayni and Mulla Ali Qaari (rahimahumullah) say that the souls of people destined to go to Jannah (heaven) are in Illiyyeen. The souls of people destined to go to Jahannum (hell) are in Sijjen. Only Allah and his Rasul know the reality of Rasulullah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) seeing the souls in heaven and hell. However, it is possible that some souls are presented before Adam (alayhis salaam) at various times. This coincided with the incident of Me`raaj wherein Allah showed heaven and hell to Nabi (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) and the punishments that will be mete on them. It is also possible that they were souls in the world of souls (Aalamul arwaah) before the souls could come into the bodies and in this world and were shown to Rasulullah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) before coming to this world.[2]

And Allah Ta`ala Knows Best.

Hussein Muhammad.

Student Darul Iftaa

Arusha, Tanzania

Checked and Approved by:

Mufti Ebrahim Desai


فتح الباري لابن حجر (1/ 461)

وَظَاهِرُهُ أَنَّ أَرْوَاحَ بَنِي آدَمَ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ وَالنَّارِ فِي السَّمَاءِ وَهُوَ مُشْكِلٌ قَالَ الْقَاضِي عِيَاضٌ قَدْ جَاءَ أَنَّ أَرْوَاحَ الْكُفَّارِ فِي سِجِّينٍ وَأَنَّ أَرْوَاحَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ مُنَعَّمَةٌ فِي الْجَنَّةِ يَعْنِي فَكَيْفَ تَكُونُ مُجْتَمِعَةً فِي سَمَاءِ الدُّنْيَا وَأَجَابَ بِأَنَّهُ يُحْتَمَلُ أَنَّهَا تُعْرَضُ عَلَى آدَمَ أَوْقَاتًا فَصَادَفَ وَقْتَ عَرْضِهَا مُرُورُ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَيَدُلُّ عَلَى أَنَّ كَوْنِهِمْ فِي الْجَنَّةِ وَالنَّارِ إِنَّمَا هُوَ فِي أَوْقَاتٍ دُونَ أَوْقَاتٍ قَوْلُهُ تَعَالَى النَّارُ يُعْرَضُونَ

 عَلَيْهَا غُدُوًّا وَعَشِيًّا


عمدة القاري شرح صحيح البخاري (4/ 43)

 وَقَالَ القَاضِي عِيَاض: فِيهِ دلَالَة أَن نسم أهل النَّار فِي السَّمَاء ثمَّ قَالَ: قد جَاءَ أَن أَرْوَاح الْكفَّار فِي سِجِّين، وَأَن أَرْوَاح الْمُؤمنِينَ منعمة فِي الْجنَّة، فَكيف تكون مجتمعة فِي السَّمَاء؟ وَأجَاب بِأَنَّهُ يحْتَمل أَنَّهَا تعرض على آدم أوقاتاً فصادف وَقت عرضهَا مُرُور النَّبِي


مرقاة المفاتيح شرح مشكاة المصابيح (9/ 3769)

قَالَ الْقَاضِي: قَدْ جَاءَ أَنَّ أَرْوَاحَ الْكُفَّارِ مَحْبُوسَةٌ فِي سِجِّينٍ وَأَرْوَاحَ الْأَبْرَارِ مُنَعَّمَةٌ فِي عِلِّيِّينَ، فَكَيْفَ تَكُونُ مُجْتَمِعَةً فِي السَّمَاءِ؟ وَأُجِيبُ: بِأَنَّهُ يَحْتَمِلُ أَنَّهَا تُعْرَضُ عَلَى آدَمَ أَوْقَاتًا، فَصَادَفَ وَقْتُ عَرْضِهَا مُرُورَ النَّبِيِّ - صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ - وَبِأَنَّ الْجَنَّةَ كَانَتْ فِي جِهَةِ يَمِينِ آدَمَ، وَالنَّارَ فِي جِهَةِ شِمَالِهِ، وَكَانَ يُكْشَفُ لَهُ عَنْهُمَا، وَيَحْتَمِلُ أَنَّ النَّسَمَ الْمَرْئِيَّةَ هِيَ الَّتِي لَمْ تَدْخُلِ الْأَجْسَادَ بَعْدُ، وَهِيَ مَخْلُوقَةٌ قَبْلَ الْأَجْسَادِ، وَمُسْتَقَرُّهَا عَنْ يَمِينِ آدَمَ وَشِمَالِهِ،

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