When Did Allah Most High Create Heaven, Hell, and the Barzakh?

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question

When did Allah Most High create Heaven, Hell, and the Barzakh?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

Affirming What Has Been Affirmed

It is important to know, regarding questions of this nature, that we can only affirm that which has been affirmed in the core texts of the religion. That said, anything that is not affirmed there, amongst the affairs of the unseen, must be consigned to Allah Most High.

What Was Created in the Six Days?

Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, Allah created the land (i.e. the Earth) on Saturday; He created the mountains into it on Sunday; He created the trees on Monday; He created difficulties on Tuesday; He created light on Thursday; He spread throughout it creatures on Thursday; He created Adam (upon him peace) after ‘Asr on Friday as the final creation in the final hour of the day between Asr and the night. [Muslim]

From this narration, we can affirm what Allah Most High did create during these six days. Beyond this, there are no clear indications that Allah Most High created the stages of the Hereafter: Paradise, Hell, etc… within this period. It is possible that they were created prior to these six days.

Paradise and Hell Have Been Created and Currently Exist

Another point that we can affirm is that Paradise and Hell have been created and currently exist.

In commenting on the following statement of Allah Most High in the Quran — “And hasten towards forgiveness from your Lord and a Paradise as vast as the heavens and the earth, prepared for those mindful ˹of Allah˺.” [Quran, 3:133]

Imam al-Qurtubi (Allah have mercy on him) said:

“Majority of the scholars are of the opinion that Paradise (and by extension Hell) is created and existent (now). This is due to the His statement: ‘prepared for those mindful of Allah.’ Further support of this opinion, is the various narrations of the Night Journey and Ascension, and other narrations from the authentic collections.” Furthermore, Imam Qurtubi quotes Ibn ‘Atiyya and affirms his statement that “Paradise will be increased on the Day of Judgment. An increase on the Day of Judgment supports the opinion of Paradise being currently present.” [Qurtubi, Al-Jami li-Ahkam al-Quran]

What Will Be Destroyed by the Horn Blast?

The Hornblast will cause all living creatures to die with the exception of a select few.

Allah Most High says, “And ˹beware of˺ the Day the Trumpet will be blown, and all those in the heavens and all those on the earth will be horrified ˹to the point of death˺, except those Allah, wills ˹to spare˺. And all will come before Him, fully humbled.” [Quran, 27:87]

The Arabic word-man-translated above as ‘those’  is used in the Arabic language by living beings. There is no indication from this specific verse that the destruction of the remainder of creation (al-Dunya) is clearly mentioned separately from the Hornblast throughout the Quran, thus there is no need to assume they are together in one event.

Summary

The above is something of what is affirmed in the Quran and Hadith regarding your questions. There is much that we were not made privy to by Allah Most High of the affairs of the Hereafter and the specifics therein. I would advise myself first and foremost and all Believers to focus efforts on achieving the good pleasure of Allah Most High prior to our transition to the Next World.

Hope this helps
Allah knows best

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a teacher of Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he then completed four years at the Darul Uloom seminary in New York where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences. He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he stayed for three years studying in Dar Al-Mustafa under some of the greatest scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib. In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Qur’an and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Qur’anic exegesis, Islamic history, and a number of texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.


١٨٥٤ – وعنه، قال: أخَذَ رسُولُ اللهِ – صلى الله عليه وسلم – بِيَدِي فَقَالَ: «خَلَقَ اللهُ التُّرْبَةَ يَومَ السَّبْتِ، وَخَلَقَ فيها الجِبَالَ يَومَ الأحَدِ، وَخَلَقَ الشَّجَرَ يَومَ الإثْنَينِ، وَخَلَقَ المَكْرُوهَ يَومَ الثُّلَاثَاءِ، وَخَلَقَ النُّورَ يَوْمَ الأربِعَاءِ، وَبَثَّ فِيهَا الدَّوابَّ يَومَ الخَمِيسِ، وَخَلَقَ آدَمَ – صلى الله عليه وسلم – بَعْدَ العَصْرِ مِنْ يَومِ الجُمُعَةِ في آخِرِ الخَلْقِ فِي آخِرِ سَاعَةٍ مِنَ النَّهَارِ فِيمَا بَيْنَ العَصْرِ إِلَى اللَّيْلِ» (١). رواه مسلم. (٢)
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ص516 – كتاب رياض الصالحين ت الفحل – باب أحاديث الدجال وأشراط الساعة وغيرها – المكتبة الشاملة