Are the “immortal boys” or “boys of everlasting youth” Muslim children who died in infancy?.
Praise be to Allaah.
Allaah says concerning the people of Paradise (interpretation of the meaning):
“Immortal boys will go around them (serving)”
And Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And round about them will (serve) boys of everlasting youth. If you see them, you would think them scattered pearls”
Ibn Katheer (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: This means that some of the children of Paradise will go around to serve the people of Paradise. Mukhalladoon (translated here as “immortal” and as “of everlasting youth”) means that they will appear in one form which will never change; they will not grow older than that age. Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: They are young boys who will never die.
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Abu ‘Ubaydah and al-Fara’ said: Mukhalladoon means that they will not grow old or change. If a man has grown old and has not turned grey, the Arabs describe him as mukhallad; or if a man still has his teeth when he has grown old, they call him mukhallad.
The verse in Soorat al-Insaan, where Allaah describes them as (interpretation of the meaning):“If you see them, you would think them scattered pearls”
means, if you saw them as they go about tending to their masters’ needs, because there are so many of them, their faces are so bright and their colours and their garments are so beautiful, you would think that they were scattered pearls. There can be no more beautiful comparison or more beautiful scene than pearls scattered in a place of beauty.
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Allaah likens them to scattered pearls because of their whiteness and beautiful appearance.
The fact that they are scattered means two things:
1 – It indicates that they are not idle, rather they are moving about, serving and tending to the people’s needs
2 – If pearls are scattered, especially against a background of gold or silk, it enhances their beauty more than if they are gathered in one place.
The scholars differed as to who these boys are.
It was narrated from ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib (may Allaah be pleased with him) and al-Hasan al-Basri that what is meant by these boys is the children of the Muslims who died in infancy and have no good or bad deeds on their records.
It was narrated that Salmaan (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The children of the mushrikeen are the servants of the people of Paradise.
Al-Hasan said: They have no good deeds for which they are to be rewarded and no bad deeds for which they are to be punished, so they are put in this situation.
Shaykh al-Islam (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: There is no basis for this opinion. Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 4/279
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: A hadeeth was narrated concerning that which cannot be proven.
And it was said that these boys are created by Allaah for the people of Paradise, to go around among them as He wills, without being born (in the usual manner).
This final view is the one which was favoured by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him). He was asked about these boys: Are they the children of the people of Paradise?
He replied: The boys who will go around among the people of Paradise are among those who are created for Paradise; they are not the children of people of this world. Rather if the children of people of this world enter Paradise, they will given a perfect form like the other people of Paradise, in the form of Adam, aged thirty-three and sixty cubits tall. It was also narrated that their width will be seven cubits.
See Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 4/312.
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) also preferred this view and said: It is most likely that these boys will be created from Paradise, like al-hoor al-‘ayn, as servants for them… They are not their children. By Allaah's grace He will cause their children to be served alongside them, not to become servants to them.
See also the answer to question no. 6496And Allaah knows best.