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9 Rejuvenation and Paradisiacal Youth

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Chapter Summary

Real rejuvenation is deemed possible only in Paradise by divine power: the old become young and white hair turns black. Eternal youth is perhaps the greatest divine bounty reserved for the blessed in Paradise. Chapters devoted to shayb (gray hair) in the sources often include a section on khiḍāb (hair dyeing). The story of al-Khaḍir (the green man) is a complex one, and this rather brief treatment is intended to deal with only one of its many aspects. The sources stress immortality as his salient attribute, but they pass over the question of whether he attained his immortality as a youth or as an old man. Paradise is set in opposition to hell-fire, and the ḥadīth specifies the denizens of each. Eternal youth is one of the rewards that Islam reserves for those deserving of bliss in the next world.

Keywords: ḥadīth; al-Khaḍir; eternal youth; immortality; Islam; khiḍāb; real rejuvenation; shayb



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