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Odobknarf

Is Hell In Islam Eternal?

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This topic was brought about as a result of addressing the "Torture in Hell, is it Just?" topic in the "Answering Anti-Islamic Allegations" section. The assumption was that torture in hell is eternal in Islam. I questioned this assertion with the following:

 

1. There are 19 angels guarding hell: Why do you need angels guarding hell unless presumably it is possible to escape from it or allow people to leave it.

2. There is a door out of hell: Again, a door implies the inherent ability to exit.

3. There will be no escape from Hell on this Day (implying the Day of Judgment) and that a Day for God is like 50,000 years by human reckoning. Again, implying that after this Day, however long it is, those in hell may be allowed to leave.

 

Sister Haqqul-Yaqeen replied with:

 

 

Assalaamu 'alaykum brother odobknarf,

 

I completely agree with you that there are two points of view, theist and atheist. I would also be interested in seeing how you may respond to this question from the atheist point of view.

 

Åöäøó ÇáøóÃöíäó ßóÃóÑõæÇú æóÙóáóãõæÇú áóãú íóßõäö Çááøåõ áöíóÛúÃöÑó áóåõãú æóáÇó áöíóåúÃöíóåõãú ØóÑöíÞÇð

 

ÅöáÇøó ØóÑöíÞó Ìóåóäøóãó ÎóÇáöÃöíäó ÃöíåóÇ ÃóÈóÃðÇ æóßóÇäó Ãóáößó Úóáóì Çááøåö íóÓöíÑðÇ

 

 

Those who reject Faith and do wrong,- Allah will not forgive them nor guide them to any way-

Except the way of Hell, to dwell therein for ever. And this to Allah is easy.

 

[surat An-Nisaa', Ayah 168-169]

 

The words "khaalideena feehaa abadaa" do not imply a "lengthy period of time" but rather they most closely translate to "dwell therein forever" and Allah knows best.

 

This brings us up to speed.

 

Sister I shall answer your question, but first, can you address my 3 references above?

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:sl:

 

Sheikh Ashraf Ali Thanvi mentions in one of his books, that the reason one may reside in hell forever, is because, if the person was alive in this world forever, he would have gone on to forever reject God. In other words, although apparently someone is getting eternal punishment for the disbelief of this short world, in essence however, if the person was alive for eternity, he would have continued in his disbelief for eternity. That's one explaination of why a disbeliever will be punished forever in the afterlife.

 

And Allah knows best.

:sl:

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:sl:

 

Sheikh Ashraf Ali Thanvi mentions in one of his books, that the reason one may reside in hell forever, is because, if the person was alive in this world forever, he would have gone on to forever reject God. In other words, although apparently someone is getting eternal punishment for the disbelief of this short world, in essence however, if the person was alive for eternity, he would have continued in his disbelief for eternity. That's one explaination of why a disbeliever will be punished forever in the afterlife.

 

And Allah knows best.

:sl:

 

Thank you brother...but with all due respect, this is one person's opinion based on his own rationale, however correct or flawed it may be, sheikh, scholar or otherwise. It is not referencing the Qur'an which is God's literal word. You will note that both sister Haqqul_Yaqeen and I have reference only the Qur'an.

 

To keep this discussion pure and true, I am requesting we use our own minds, our own reasoning and use only the Qur'an as reference.

 

By the way sister, I do not speak Arabic, what Sura number is An-Nisaa?

 

Peace.

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Salamz

 

I'm interested to see some refrences too .

I often come across people that believe that disbelief or even something way more trivial can lead to eternity in hellfire.

 

PEace

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:sl:

 

Brother, An-Nisaa' is Surah #4. Inshaa'Allah I'll address your points after some research. I'm no scholar so I do not want to say anything I am not sure of.

 

:sl:

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:sl:

I'll bring up some writings from the scholars to refute those points (especially the first one). Insha'Allah, I will be able to do so when I return home later in the day.

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:sl:

I'll bring up some writings from the scholars to refute those points (especially the first one). Insha'Allah, I will be able to do so when I return home later in the day.

Thank you sister Redeem. I have read and enjoyed many of your other posts...so I look forward to your well reasoned response.

 

I want to stress that this is not about proving one's own point...but about seeking Truth. If through this investigation the evidence suggests that Hell indeed is for eternity...may God guide me to be the first to accept it and the last to deny it.

 

If it turns out that Hell is for a limited time, may God guide me to have the strength to maintain my position and the last to change it.

 

Peace.

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:sl: brother

 

I know that eternal punishment is a hard concept to swallow, but I believe that there is sufficient evidence in the Qur'an and the Hadiths to show that it will be the destination of some. Who exactly will spend eternity in Hellfire, Allah knows best.

 

1. There are 19 angels guarding hell: Why do you need angels guarding hell unless presumably it is possible to escape from it or allow people to leave it.

 

That is a good point, but we should take a look at all other Angels who have different roles. Did Allah appoint an Angel to the matter of death because it is possible to escape from it? Did Allah appoint two Angels to the recording of our deeds because it is possible to have our deeds go unnoticed? Did Allah appoint one Angel to the task of blowing the horn because it is possible to avoid the Day of Judgement?

 

I agree that Allah has a purpose for putting guardians over Hellfire, but I do not agree that it signifies the possibility of escape. This would suggest that:

1) Allah is unaware of the whereabouts of His creation.

2) Allah IS aware of the whereabouts of His creation, but condones jailbreaking (or Hellbreaking, in this case). If Allah deemed someone worthy of His forgiveness, He would not put them through the hardships of trying to sneak past 19 Angels (If 8 Angels are able to lift the throne of Allah, the biggest of creation, imagine what 19 of them are capable of). Nor would Allah pretend not to be aware of the fact that someone was escaping from Hellfire.

 

O you who believe! Protect yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe, who disobey not the commands they receive from Allah, but do that which they are commanded. [66:6]

 

And We have set none but angels as guardians of the Fire. And We have fixed their number only as a trial for the disbelievers, in order that the People of the Scripture may arrive at a certainty and that the believers may increase in faith, and that no doubt may be left for the People of the Scripture and the believers, and that those in whose hearts is a disease and the disbelievers may say: "What does Allah intend by this example'' Thus Allah leads astray whom He wills and guides whom He wills. And none can know the hosts of your Lord but He. And this is nothing but a reminder to mankind. [74:31]

 

Ibn Kathir's statement on the second verse:

Allah says,

 

[æóãóÇ ÌóÚóáúäóÂ ÃóÕúÃóÜÈó ÇáäøóÇÑö]

 

(And We have set none as (Ashab) guardians of the Fire) meaning, its guardians.

 

[ÅöáÇøó ãóáóÜÆößóÉð]

 

(but angels.) Guardian angels, stern and severe. This is a refutation of the idolators of the Quraysh when they mentioned the number of guardian angels. Abu Jahl said, "O people of Quraysh! Are not every ten among you able to defeat one of them'' So Allah said,

 

[æóãóÇ ÌóÚóáúäó ÃóÕúÃóÜÈó ÇáäøóÇÑö ÅöáÇøó ãóáóÜÆößóÉð]

 

(And We have set none but angels as guardians of the Fire.) meaning, extremely strong in their creation. They cannot be stood against nor defeated. It has been said that Abu Al-Ashaddayn, and his name was Kaladah bin Usayd bin Khalaf, said, "O people of Quraysh! You defend me against two of them and I will defend you against seventeen of them.'' He said this thinking himself to be very great. For they claimed that he achieved such strength that he would stand on a skin of cow hide and ten people would try to pull it out from under his feet, but the skin would be torn to pieces and still not be removed from under him.

 

Az-Zukhruf

74. Verily, the criminals will be in the torment of Hell to abide therein forever.

75. (The torment) will not be lightened for them, and they will be plunged into destruction with deep regrets, sorrows and in despair therein.

76. We wronged them not, but they were the wrongdoers.

77. And they will cry: "O Malik (keeper of Hell)! Let your Lord make an end of us.'' He will say: "Verily, you shall abide forever.''

 

There is a Hadith (or was it an ayah, I don't remember) that speaks of the strength of Hell, and how the Angels are physically restraining it, and I'll bring that up if and when I find it.

 

2. There is a door out of hell: Again, a door implies the inherent ability to exit.

 

It also implies the ability to enter, as shown in this verse:

 

And those who disbelieved will be driven to Hell in groups till when they reach it, the gates thereof will be opened. And its keepers will say: "Did not the Messengers come to you from yourselves, reciting to you the Ayat of your Lord, and warning you of the meeting of this Day of yours'' They will say: "Yes,'' but the Word of torment has been justified against the disbelievers! It will be said: "Enter you the gates of Hell, to abide therein. And what an evil abode of the arrogant!''[39:71-72]

 

The gates also signify the different levels of Hellfire. And this verse, just like the last, says nothing about the possibility of escape through them.

 

And surely, Hell is the place promised for them all. It has seven gates, for each of those gates is a class assigned. [15:43-44]

 

And lastly, this verse makes it clear that Hellfire will be a closed space.

But those who disbelieved in Our Ayat, they are those on the Left. Upon them Fire will Mu'sadah. [90:19]

 

Mu'sadah means to be sealed, or shut.

 

As for the third point, it would take quite a while to pull up all the various Hadiths and Ayat that speak of eternal punishment. But perhaps you could remind us of what verse it was that speaks of the punishment in terms of "Day" (You are right that there is such a verse, I simply cannot remember what Surah it is in).

 

I want to stress that this is not about proving one's own point...but about seeking Truth. If through this investigation the evidence suggests that Hell indeed is for eternity...may God guide me to be the first to accept it and the last to deny it.

 

I agree wholeheartedly, and I pray that Allah gives us all absolute guidance. But at the moment, it seems that the verses of the Qur'an, the teachings of prophet Muhammad, the words of His companions, and the comments given by the scholars of the past and present have never entertained the idea of an escapable Hellfire. Yes, it is possible to imagine an afterlife with a Hellfire that can be escaped from. But aside from theories and ideas, there isn't much else to go on. There are no straightfoward words that explicitly state "Hellfire can be escaped from", as is the case with the eternity of Hell.

 

Salam.

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...I agree wholeheartedly, and I pray that Allah gives us all absolute guidance. But at the moment, it seems that the verses of the Qur'an, the teachings of prophet Muhammad, the words of His companions, and the comments given by the scholars of the past and present have never entertained the idea of an escapable Hellfire. Yes, it is possible to imagine an afterlife with a Hellfire that can be escaped from. But aside from theories and ideas, there isn't much else to go on. There are no straightfoward words that explicitly state "Hellfire can be escaped from", as is the case with the eternity of Hell.

 

AA Redeem,

 

If I gave the wrong impression that Hell was something we could escape from let me clarify. It is not that we could escape from it...for that would imply God is fallible. Rather, it is that God would let us out after we have served our appropriate time that correlates with our balance on the scales of justice.

 

I will think about the things you have written...they seem to have considerable merit...and yet I feel there is something missing, something very essential.

 

Peace.

 

P.S. It sure is a pleasure not being in the Atheists section...it was rather pointless.

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:sl:

 

The following verse also points to an everlasting chastisement for unbelievers:

 

To those who reject Our Signs and treat them with arrogance, no opening will there be of the gates of Heaven, nor will they enter the Garden, until the camel can pass through the eye of the needle: such is Our reward for those in sin. {7:40}

 

Exegesis of Al Jalalayn: "Those who deny Our signs and scorn them, not believing in them, indeed the gates of heaven shall not be opened for them, when their spirits are carried up to it after death, for instead they are taken down into Sijjīn [cf. Q. 83:7f.] — in contrast to the believer, for whom the gates are opened, and his spirit is carried up into the seventh heaven, as is stated in one hadīth — nor shall they enter Paradise until the camel passes through the eye of the needle, which is impossible, and so is their entry [into Paradise]. So, with this requital, We requite those who are sinful, through disbelief."

 

Exegesis of Ibn abbass: "(Lo! they who deny Our revelations) Muhammad (pbuh) and the Qur'an (and scorn them) scorn believing in them, (for them the gates of Heaven will not be opened) to receive their works or souls (nor will they enter the Garden until the camel goeth through the needle's eye) they will not enter Paradise just as a camel cannot pass through the eye of a needle; it is also said that this means: they will not enter Paradise until a rope goes through a needle's eye. (Thus do We requite the guilty) the idolaters."

 

Exegesis of Ibn Kathir: "(for them the gates of heaven will not be opened,) "(The gates of heaven) will not be opened for their deeds or souls.'' This explanation combines the two meanings we gave above, and Allah knows best."

 

Now one might try and interpret the meaning of verse 7:40 by saying that by the power of Allah, Majestic in His praise, a camel will eventually pass through the eye of a needle, though this would contradict the tafsir of all the Scholars of the Qur'an.

 

As for the believing sinners admitted into Paradise,

 

Narrated Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri:

 

"The Prophet said, 'When the people of Paradise will enter Paradise and the people of Hell will go to Hell, Allah will order those who have had faith equal to the weight of a grain of mustard seed to be taken out from Hell. So they will be taken out but (by then) they will be blackened (charred). Then they will be put in the river of Haya' (rain) or Hayat (life) (the Narrator is in doubt as to which is the right term), and they will revive like a grain that grows near the bank of a flood channel. Don't you see that it comes out yellow and twisted?' " {Bukhari}

 

Wa' salaam

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:sl:

 

I am not sure if your question was meant to address only the kaafireen (rejectors/deniers of truth) and mushrikeen (polytheists) or anyone in general. So to clear this up, here is the following fatwa taken from (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetislamonline(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/servlet/Satellite?pagename=IslamOnline-English-Ask_Scholar/FatwaE/FatwaE&cid=1119503546800"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetislamonline(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/servlet/Satelli...d=1119503546800[/url]

 

Question

 

Can the Muslim who testifies that that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah enter Paradise, whatever bad acts he or she has committed?

Answer

 

Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

 

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

 

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

 

Dear questioner, we are greatly pleased to receive your question, which shows the confidence you place in us. May Allah reward you abundantly for your interest in knowing the teachings of Islam.

 

To begin, we would like to stress that the Muslim enters Paradise through the Mercy and Grace of Allah that He bestows on His servants because nobody’s actions are comparable to or even get close to the reward that Allah Almighty gives.

 

Still, we are asked to do good deeds during our lifetime. That is why many verses in the Qur’an and Hadiths encourage us to do good deeds and avoid the bad ones so as to enter Paradise. Allah has prepared for His believing servants in Paradise that which no eye has seen, no ear has heard, nor anyone imagined, to the extent that even the person who has the least blessings in Paradise will think that he is the most blessed among them.

 

Abu Sa`id al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
"The lowest of people in status in Paradise will be a man whose face Allah turns away from the Fire towards Paradise, and shows him a tree giving shade. He will say, ‘O Lord, bring me closer to that tree so that I may be in its shade… Then he will enter his house (in Paradise) and his two wives from among Al-Hoor Al-`een (houris) will come in and say to him, ‘Praise be to Allah who brought you to life for us and brought us to life for you.’ Then he will say, ‘No one has been given what I have been given.’"
(Reported by Muslim)

 

In his response to the question,
Sheikh `Atiyyah Saqr
, former head of Al-Azhar Fatwa Committee, states the following:

 

"Before tackling the point raised in the question, I would like to mention the following Prophetic Hadith.

 

Abu Dharr (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: I came to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) while he was wearing white clothes and sleeping. I went back to him again after he had got up from his sleep. He said,
"Nobody says, ‘None has the right to be worshipped but Allah’ and then later on he dies while believing in that, except that he will enter Paradise.”
I said, "Even if he had committed illegal sexual intercourse and theft?" He said,
“Even if he had committed illegal sexual intercourse and theft."
I said, “Even if he had committed illegal sexual intercourse and theft?” He said,
“Even if he had committed illegal sexual intercourse and theft, in spite of Abu Dharr’s disliking (it).”
Abu `Abdullah said, "This is at the time of death or before it if one repents and regrets and says, ‘None has the right to be worshipped but Allah.’ He will be forgiven his sins."

 

In light of the above Hadith, it has become clear now that as long as one believes in Allah and dies as a believer, then he will enter Paradise, in sha’ Allah. If that Muslim dies while he has committed sins of which he did not repent, then his fate is left to the Mercy of Allah, Who may forgive him according to His Will. Also, that person may enter the Hellfire for some time as a punishment for the sins he committed. At last, that sinful person will enter Paradise, in sha’ Allah as Allah Almighty says,
“Lo! Allah forgiveth not that a partner should be ascribed unto Him. He forgiveth (all) save that to whom He will. Whoso ascribeth partners to Allah, he hath indeed invented a tremendous sin.”
(An-Nisa’: 48)

 

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said,
“Allah Almighty has forbidden the one who utters, ‘
La Ilaha Illa Allah
(there is no god but Allah)’ for Allah’s Sake to enter the Hellfire.”
“Enter the Hellfire” in this Hadith means having it as a permanent abode.

 

Having clarified the above, I add that there is no contradiction between what is stated above and the Prophetic Hadiths such as
“The adulterer is not a believer at the moment when he is committing adultery; the wine-drinker is not a believer at the moment when he is drinking wine; the thief is not a believer at the moment when he is stealing; the robber is not a believer at the moment when he is robbing and the people are looking on.”
(Narrated by Al-Bukhari, 2475; Muslim, 57).

 

The unbelief referred to in the above Hadith doesn’t constitute complete unbelief. Rather, it refers to the fact that with such sins, the person’s faith is not categorically cancelled, although it decreases.

 

Also, we can’t call the person who does such sins a disbeliever as long as he does not deem or declare the permissibility of what he is doing as lawful."

 

If you have any further comments, please don't hesitate to write back!

 

May Allah guide you to the straight path, and guide you to that which pleases Him, Amen.

Anyway alhamdulillah sister Redeem responded to your first two points, jazaaki Allahu khayran sister.

 

As for your third point:

 

3. There will be no escape from Hell on this Day (implying the Day of Judgment) and that a Day for God is like 50,000 years by human reckoning. Again, implying that after this Day, however long it is, those in hell may be allowed to leave.

The only verses I can think of with my limited knowledge that you may be referring to are the following:

 

إِنَّ جَهَنَّمَ كَانَتْ مِرْصَادًا

 

لِلطَّاغِينَ مَآبًا

 

لَابِثِينَ فِيهَا أَحْقَابًا

[using large font size is not allowed]

 

"Truly, Hell is a place of ambush - A dwelling place for the transgressors, They will abide therein for ages"

 

[surat An-Naba', Ayahs 21-23]

 

The companions have commented on this verse, for example when Abdullah ibn Amr (may Allah be pleased with him) said that each "age" or "era" is forty years and each day from it is a thousand years from what we count. Others have described it as 80 years, others have said 300 years each day a thousand years from what we count.

 

And remember that the companions were referring to just one "huqb" or "era." In the verse the plural is used "ahqaabaa" ("eras"). Allah knows how many. And remember this is for the "transgressors."

 

Allah used the words "al-ladheena kafaru" ("those who denied/rejected") straightforwardly to describe those who will dwell in Hellfire forever. [surat An-Nisaa']

 

Allah knows best.

 

:sl:

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:sl: brother

That is a good point, but we should take a look at all other Angels who have different roles. Did Allah appoint an Angel to the matter of death because it is possible to escape from it? Did Allah appoint two Angels to the recording of our deeds because it is possible to have our deeds go unnoticed? Did Allah appoint one Angel to the task of blowing the horn because it is possible to avoid the Day of Judgement?

 

I agree that Allah has a purpose for putting guardians over Hellfire, but I do not agree that it signifies the possibility of escape. This would suggest that:

1) Allah is unaware of the whereabouts of His creation.

2) Allah IS aware of the whereabouts of His creation, but condones jailbreaking (or Hellbreaking, in this case). If Allah deemed someone worthy of His forgiveness, He would not put them through the hardships of trying to sneak past 19 Angels (If 8 Angels are able to lift the throne of Allah, the biggest of creation, imagine what 19 of them are capable of). Nor would Allah pretend not to be aware of the fact that someone was escaping from Hellfire.

 

AA Sister Redeem, please accept my apologies. I should have been more clear. I stated "presumably it is possible to escape from it or allow people to leave it." Understandably, you have focused on the escape part, which as we both know is impossible without God's permission. It is letting people out that needs to be focused on because this would support God's merciful nature; he has put gates with Guards so that by his permission and mercy, he will allow certain people to leave and prevent others from leaving according to the scales of His justice. So, unfortunately, though you have put in much effort, the above does not apply including much of what is to follow.

 

O you who believe! Protect yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe, who disobey not the commands they receive from Allah, but do that which they are commanded. [66:6]

 

And We have set none but angels as guardians of the Fire. And We have fixed their number only as a trial for the disbelievers, in order that the People of the Scripture may arrive at a certainty and that the believers may increase in faith, and that no doubt may be left for the People of the Scripture and the believers, and that those in whose hearts is a disease and the disbelievers may say: "What does Allah intend by this example'' Thus Allah leads astray whom He wills and guides whom He wills. And none can know the hosts of your Lord but He. And this is nothing but a reminder to mankind. [74:31]

 

Ibn Kathir's statement on the second verse:

Allah says,

 

[æóãóÇ ÌóÚóáúäóÂ ÃóÕúÃóÜÈó ÇáäøóÇÑö]

 

(And We have set none as (Ashab) guardians of the Fire) meaning, its guardians.

 

[ÅöáÇøó ãóáóÜÆößóÉð]

 

(but angels.) Guardian angels, stern and severe. This is a refutation of the idolators of the Quraysh when they mentioned the number of guardian angels. Abu Jahl said, "O people of Quraysh! Are not every ten among you able to defeat one of them'' So Allah said,

 

[æóãóÇ ÌóÚóáúäó ÃóÕúÃóÜÈó ÇáäøóÇÑö ÅöáÇøó ãóáóÜÆößóÉð]

 

(And We have set none but angels as guardians of the Fire.) meaning, extremely strong in their creation. They cannot be stood against nor defeated. It has been said that Abu Al-Ashaddayn, and his name was Kaladah bin Usayd bin Khalaf, said, "O people of Quraysh! You defend me against two of them and I will defend you against seventeen of them.'' He said this thinking himself to be very great. For they claimed that he achieved such strength that he would stand on a skin of cow hide and ten people would try to pull it out from under his feet, but the skin would be torn to pieces and still not be removed from under him.

 

Thank you...but this does not address hell being eternal vs. limited. I believe you are trying to address the impossibility of escape, which I addressed above.

 

Az-Zukhruf

74. Verily, the criminals will be in the torment of Hell to abide therein forever.

75. (The torment) will not be lightened for them, and they will be plunged into destruction with deep regrets, sorrows and in despair therein.

76. We wronged them not, but they were the wrongdoers.

77. And they will cry: "O Malik (keeper of Hell)! Let your Lord make an end of us.'' He will say: "Verily, you shall abide forever.''

 

I think it depends on which English translation you refer to. I have attempted to read English translations of the Qur'an before but with little success; I found the English too awkward and too "fire and brimstone" like.

 

As an aside, somehow, God by his grace, when I was in the very depth of misguidance, answered my prayers and put in my hands a new English tranlsation by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem, Oxford University Press, 2004. It changed my life. Instead of saying "Fear and Submission" which slants the emphasis on a punishing God, it spoke of "Mindfulness and Devotion" which stresses a caring God. This is in keeping with how God wants us to remember Him most as well as the most used descriptor God chose for himself in the Qur'an; "The Merciful". This newest translation has received recognition as the first translation that begins to do justice, in contemporary English, to the beauty of the original Arabic (if this is how beautiful the English is I can only imagine what the Arabic must be like), and I highly recommend it be read by all English speaking muslims. As I said, this translation was the single biggest reason why I became a Believer.

 

Please find below Abdel Haleem's translation of the above verses, sura 43, 74:78

 

..."But the evildoers will remain in Hell's punishment, from which there is no relief: they will remain in utter despair. We never wronged them; they were the ones who did wrong. They will cry, 'Malik, if only your Lord would finish us off, but he will answer, 'No! You are here to stay.' We have brought you the Truth but most of you despise it."

 

Notice how fluent the English is. Abdel Haleem would never break the English off into verses, but uses superscripts to denote the verses and allow the ayat to flow freely.

 

Getting back to the subject at hand, notice there is no use of the word "forever", only "But the evildoers will remain in Hell's punishment." But it doesn't say how long they will "remain" and leaves the door open for the possibility of a limited period of time.

 

There is a Hadith (or was it an ayah, I don't remember) that speaks of the strength of Hell, and how the Angels are physically restraining it, and I'll bring that up if and when I find it.

It also implies the ability to enter, as shown in this verse:

 

And those who disbelieved will be driven to Hell in groups till when they reach it, the gates thereof will be opened. And its keepers will say: "Did not the Messengers come to you from yourselves, reciting to you the Ayat of your Lord, and warning you of the meeting of this Day of yours'' They will say: "Yes,'' but the Word of torment has been justified against the disbelievers! It will be said: "Enter you the gates of Hell, to abide therein. And what an evil abode of the arrogant!''[39:71-72]

 

Notice "...to abide therein", not the use of 'forever'.

 

The gates also signify the different levels of Hellfire. And this verse, just like the last, says nothing about the possibility of escape through them.

 

And surely, Hell is the place promised for them all. It has seven gates, for each of those gates is a class assigned. [15:43-44]

 

And lastly, this verse makes it clear that Hellfire will be a closed space.

 

But those who disbelieved in Our Ayat, they are those on the Left. Upon them Fire will Mu'sadah. [90:19]

 

Mu'sadah means to be sealed, or shut.

 

I believe you are still addressing 'escape' here.

 

As for the third point, it would take quite a while to pull up all the various Hadiths and Ayat that speak of eternal punishment. But perhaps you could remind us of what verse it was that speaks of the punishment in terms of "Day" (You are right that there is such a verse, I simply cannot remember what Surah it is in).

Sura 70, The Ways of Ascent, 1:6

 

"A man (mockingly) demanded the punishment. It will fall on the disbelievers - none can deflect it - from God, the Lord of the Ways of Ascent, by which the angels and the Spirit ascend to Him, on a Day whose length is fifty thousand years. So be patient, (Prophet), as befits you. The disbelievers think it is distant, but We know it to be close."

 

So we see here the Day of Judgement is very long...around 50,000 years of our days. I will demonstrate in a later post, verses upon verses, that strongly suggest the punishment of hell will be limited for this day only. But for now, just to illustrate the point, sura 30, The Byzantines, 55:57

 

"On the Day the Hour comes, the guilty will swear they lingered no more than an hour - they have always been deluded - but those endowed with knowledge and faith will say, 'In accordance with God's decree, you actually lingered till the Day of Resurrection: this is the Day of Resurrection, yet you did not know. On the Day the evildoers' excuses will be of no use to them; they will not be allowed to make amends."

 

Focus on the last line; this strongly implies that the evildoers will not be allowed to make amends On the Day of Judgement, which is about 50,000 years...a very very long time. Way longer than the existence of all human civilizations combined - but a limited time period nonetheless. Nowhere, does it say, "On the Day of Judgement and beyond". Nowhere. It always talks about "On the Day..". In fact, there is a suggestion, however subtle, that they may be allowed to make amends after the Day of Judgement. And this is why God is indeed, All-Merciful!

 

 

I agree wholeheartedly, and I pray that Allah gives us all absolute guidance. But at the moment, it seems that the verses of the Qur'an, the teachings of prophet Muhammad, the words of His companions, and the comments given by the scholars of the past and present have never entertained the idea of an escapable Hellfire. Yes, it is possible to imagine an afterlife with a Hellfire that can be escaped from. But aside from theories and ideas, there isn't much else to go on. There are no straightfoward words that explicitly state "Hellfire can be escaped from", as is the case with the eternity of Hell.

 

Again, I think the basis of your entire argument focuses on escape rather than being allowed out by God's leave. It is the latter that matters...the former for all intents and purposes should be disregarded, otherwise God is fallible and people/jinn can escape from hellfire without God's knowledge, which is an impossibility.

 

The point is that God is all Merciful, and Heaven, Hell and Mercy are strongly interlinked concepts. My intention was not to have this topic as the first topic of discussion on my blog soon to come...though I may now not have a choice. This is not my last post on this most intriguing of subjects by any means. Indeed, it is only a primer.

 

I look forward to our continued discussion of this topic. May Allah inspire us to that which is more rightly guided.

 

Peace.

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:sl:

 

Here are some of the verses I've found...

 

Speaking of Hell’s eternity, Allah (swt) says:

 

“They will long to leave the Fire, but never will they leave there from; and theirs will be a lasting torment.†(Quran 5:37)

 

“…And they will never leave of the Fire.†(Quran 2:167)

 

“Surely, those who disbelieve and did wrong; God will not forgive them, nor will He guide them to any way except the way of Hell, to dwell therein forever.†(Quran 4:168-169)

 

“Surely, God has cursed the disbelievers, and has prepared for them a flaming Fire wherein they will abide forever.†(Quran 33:64)

 

“And whosoever disobeys God and His Messenger, then surely, for him is the fire of Hell, he shall dwell therein forever.†(Quran 72:23)

 

*Allah (swt) knows best, and may he guide us all to the right path* Ameen.

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:sl:

 

You might also want to consider this verse:

 

"Eternally they abide therein (Hell), for as long as the heavens and the earth endure, in accordance with the will of your Lord. Your Lord is doer of whatever He wills." (Hud: 107) < this is a matter beyond the human mental process of thinking and therefore it should be left to Allah (we, as humans have limitations in reasoning and knowledge). Isn't this the important ingredient of faith in the Unseen? Allahu a'lam. Anyway, thought I'd bring this verse to your attention.

 

:sl:

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:sl:

 

Speaking of Hell’s eternity, Allah (swt) says:

 

“They will long to leave the Fire, but never will they leave there from; and theirs will be a lasting torment.†(Quran 5:37)

 

Abdel Haleem's Translation, 5:36-37

 

"If the disbelievers possessed all that is in the earth and twice as much again and offered it to ransom themselves from torment on the Day of Resurrection, it would not be accepted from them - they will have a painful torment. They will wish to come out of the Fire but they will be unable to do so: theirs will be a lasting torment".

 

Would someone like to explain what "....ransom themselves from torment on the Day of Resurrection" means? This is the limitor. It does not state, the Day of Resurrection and beyond or afterwards. Surely, this is undeniable and something that must be addressed if we are to seek Truth. Further, it states "theirs will be a lasting torment." Well, we already know the Day of Resurrection is like 50,000 years measured by our days. So, if 50,000 years isn't 'lasting torment' then I don't know what is.

 

"Eternally they abide therein (Hell), for as long as the heavens and the earth endure, in accordance with the will of your Lord. Your Lord is doer of whatever He wills." (Hud: 107) < this is a matter beyond the human mental process of thinking and therefore it should be left to Allah (we, as humans have limitations in reasoning and knowledge). Isn't this the important ingredient of faith in the Unseen? Allahu a'lam. Anyway, thought I'd bring this verse to your attention.

 

Yes sister Aamina, it is true that there comes a point where we must concede it is beyond our reasoning, but not without contemplation, reflection, steadfastness and praying to God for understanding. I don't believe we've reached that point on this topic...yet. It may come, but not yet. God does not want us to give up so easily, regardless of what the Scholars may have us believe. That is why, a hadith says to go to China if you must in regards to seeking knowledge. So onwards we go:

 

Abdel Haleem, Hud, 11:106-108

 

"The wretched ones will be in the Fire, signing and groaning, there to remain for as long as the heavens and earth endure, unless your Lord wills otherwise: your Lord carries out whatever He wills. As for those who have been blessed, they will be in Paradise, there to remain as long as the heavens and earth endure, unless your Lord will otherwise - an unceasing gift."

 

What do you suppose "...unless your Lord wills otherwise..." is suggesting? Think about it. Isn't He the All-Merciful? If God wills otherwise, and God is the All-Merciful - remember these are God's own words - what do you think this is adding up to?

 

Notice God says "...your Lord carries out whatever He wills..." after the description of potential release from Hell, as if to support this possibility. Yet, after the same statement made in reference to Heaven, God says "...an unceasing gift". He doesn't say "...whatever He wills", which would support the statement that Heaven will end, but rather "unceasing gift" supports the continuation of Heaven.

 

In other words, God is demonstrating that His Mercy is greater than his Punishment, a theme that runs throughout the Qur'an. God is very subtly suggesting, that he will release people from Hell but Heaven will be an unceasing gift.

 

“…And they will never leave of the Fire.†(Quran 2:167))

 

Abdel Haleem's translation, 2:166-167

 

"When those who have been followed disown their followers, when they all see the suffering, when all bonds between them are severed, the followers will say, 'If only we had one last chance, we would disown them as they now disown us.' In this way, God will make them see their deeds as a source of bitter regret: they shall not leave the Fire."

 

It does not say forever. Only that they shall not leave the Fire.

 

“Surely, God has cursed the disbelievers, and has prepared for them a flaming Fire wherein they will abide forever.†(Quran 33:64)

 

Abdel Haleem, 33:64-66

 

"God has rejected the disbelievers and prepared a blazing fire for them. There they will stay permanently, with no one to befriend or support them. On the Day when their faces are being turneed about in the Fire, they will say, 'If only we had obeyed God and the Messenger,"

 

It does say 'permanently', but it follows it with "On the Day...". As in, permanently on the Day of Resurrection.

 

“And whosoever disobeys God and His Messenger, then surely, for him is the fire of Hell, he shall dwell therein forever.†(Quran 72:23)

 

Abdel Haleem, 72:23

 

"...Whoever disobeys God and His Messenger will have Hell's Fire as his permanent home."

 

“Surely, those who disbelieve and did wrong; God will not forgive them, nor will He guide them to any way except the way of Hell, to dwell therein forever.†(Quran 4:168-169)

 

Abdel Haleem, 4:168-169

 

"God will not forgive those who have disbelieved and do evil, nor will He guide them to any path except that of Hell, where they will remain forever - this is easy for God."

 

I agree, the above two sura's, 72:23 and 4:168-169, suggest a permanency or forever.

 

CONCLUSION

 

Now I know this has been exhausting for any of you that actually have had the patience to follow along, so let's do a summary:

1. We know the Day of Judgement is about 50,000 years.

2. We know the verses can be categorized into 3 types:

A. Those that seem to reference or be limited to the Day of Judgement. And no verse under this category ever says "On the Day of Judgement and beyond".

B. Those that seems to suggest forever or permanency.

C. That God may change this state of "forever" if He wills. He further puts more emphasis on ending Hell and on continuing Heaven endlessly.

4. We know that God is All Merciful.

5. Don't you think that burning in Hell for 50,000 years will feel like 'forever'? I mean, 5 minutes will feel like forever let alone 50,000 years.

Now what I'm asking you to do, is to dump your old ideas out, and just look at this objectively as if you didn't know anything. What would you conclude?

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:sl: brother

 

I apologize for being picky but you did not respond to my post, and it clearly states the answer to the "50,000 years" point you brought up.

 

The companions have commented on the Ayah 23 from Surat An-Naba' and the shortest length - from the commentary of Ibn Kathir - that one of them described an "age" to be is 40 years. Like I previously mentioned, others have described it as 80 years or 300 years. In all cases, each day of those years is the equivalent of 1000 years from what we count (as the companions have stated). So just do the math.

 

40 years * 360 days * 1000 years

 

=14,400,000 years

 

And that is just one "age" whereas Allah says that the transgressors will abide therein for "ages" in the plural.

 

:sl:

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:sl:

 

The following verse also points to an everlasting chastisement for unbelievers:

 

To those who reject Our Signs and treat them with arrogance, no opening will there be of the gates of Heaven, nor will they enter the Garden, until the camel can pass through the eye of the needle: such is Our reward for those in sin. {7:40}

 

Yes, but later on in the same Sura, in reference to the same event, 7:51

 

"...those who took their religion for distraction, a mere game, and were deluded by worldly life. Today We shall ignore them, just as they have ignored thier meeting with this Day and denied Our Revelations."

 

Twice, in this verse, it is limiting it to the Day of Judgement - in italics above.

 

Exegesis of Al Jalalayn: "Those who deny Our signs and scorn them, not believing in them, indeed the gates of heaven shall not be opened for them, when their spirits are carried up to it after death, for instead they are taken down into Sijjīn [cf. Q. 83:7f.] — in contrast to the believer, for whom the gates are opened, and his spirit is carried up into the seventh heaven, as is stated in one hadīth — nor shall they enter Paradise until the camel passes through the eye of the needle, which is impossible, and so is their entry [into Paradise]. So, with this requital, We requite those who are sinful, through disbelief."

 

Same Sura, 83:14-17

 

"No indeed! Their hearts are encrusted with what they have done. No indeed! On that Day they will be screened off from their Lord, they will burn in Hell, and they will be told, 'This is what you called a lie.'

 

The same limitor, "On that Day"...which is 50,000 years. Feels like forever.

 

Exegesis of Ibn abbass: "(Lo! they who deny Our revelations) Muhammad (pbuh) and the Qur'an (and scorn them) scorn believing in them, (for them the gates of Heaven will not be opened) to receive their works or souls (nor will they enter the Garden until the camel goeth through the needle's eye) they will not enter Paradise just as a camel cannot pass through the eye of a needle; it is also said that this means: they will not enter Paradise until a rope goes through a needle's eye. (Thus do We requite the guilty) the idolaters."

 

Exegesis of Ibn Kathir: "(for them the gates of heaven will not be opened,) "(The gates of heaven) will not be opened for their deeds or souls.'' This explanation combines the two meanings we gave above, and Allah knows best."

Sorry, you'll have to give me sura and verse numbers.

 

Now one might try and interpret the meaning of verse 7:40 by saying that by the power of Allah, Majestic in His praise, a camel will eventually pass through the eye of a needle, though this would contradict the tafsir of all the Scholars of the Qur'an.

 

Joseph, if you haven't already deduced, I don't limit myself to any scholar's tafsir. I believe this is one of our root evils. In effect, we have delegated away the right to reason. Case in point. If Abdel Haleem had this view, he wouldn't have come up with his own new translation of the above verse along with an explanation. 7:40,

 

"The gates of Heaven will not be open to those who rejected Our revelations and arrogantly spurned them; even if a thick rope were to pass through the eye of a needle they would not enter the Garden." In the footnote, he writes "Not 'camel'. The roots of the word for 'camel' and 'thick twisted rope' are the same in Arabic and 'rope' makes more sense here (Razi). I have already addressed the rest with 7:51 above.

 

As for the believing sinners admitted into Paradise,

 

Narrated Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri:

 

"The Prophet said, 'When the people of Paradise will enter Paradise and the people of Hell will go to Hell, Allah will order those who have had faith equal to the weight of a grain of mustard seed to be taken out from Hell. So they will be taken out but (by then) they will be blackened (charred). Then they will be put in the river of Haya' (rain) or Hayat (life) (the Narrator is in doubt as to which is the right term), and they will revive like a grain that grows near the bank of a flood channel. Don't you see that it comes out yellow and twisted?' " {Bukhari}

 

Well, you folks can get all over me for what I'm about to say, but here it goes. I'm not a big Hadith fan. I've very briefly attempted to read some, but they were so ridiculous, rather than being turned off the faith, I decided not to read them. In my experience, I have never faced a situation that I didn't find an answer to in Abdel Haleem's translation of the Qur'an. Never. And I've faced some very tough situations. Either the answer was clear or the Qur'an, by its very nature, inspired the right course of action.

 

The issue is this, and you've heard it before, the Hadith is not God's words. Period. As far as I know, they were not formally accumulated...well who knows really...until some 200 years after Muhammad's death, PBUH, others say less, still others more. So let's add this up. They are not God's words to begin with, they were accumulated some 200 years or so after...yikes...I'm not going to base my belief system on something that may or may not be right. Look what the Christians made Jesus Christ into. How long before our own faith split into sects because people decided not to follow the exact words of the Qur'an? I believe if you start following the Hadith, it can and has led to great amounts of trouble. Simply because it's virtually impossible to know what Hadith is true and what Hadith is untrue. Yes yes yes, I know about the 'science" but there can be no science that can compensate for the inherent fallability of human beings.

 

The other day, I heard my nephew and his mom talking about some huge snake, several hundred miles long buried by God underneath the earth's crust or something. And this snake was going to come out at some point in the future. I asked him where he got this from, and his mom answered the Hadith. I asked his mom if she really believed it. She said, "of course, it's the Hadith." And then she told me if I give money to a new Masjid, and if that money goes towards a stone in the Masjid. Then for every person that comes to the Masjid to pray, we will get our portion of the stone's worth of good deeds; or something like that. And I asked where did you get this from, and she said "why the Hadith of course". She reads the Hadith, which these two examples show are clearly nonsense, at the expense of reading the Qur'an, which are God's literal words. Doesn't make any sense to me...but I'm not going to post this as a new topic.

 

Peace.

 

Peace.

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:sl:

 

I am not sure if your question was meant to address only the kaafireen (rejectors/deniers of truth) and mushrikeen (polytheists) or anyone in general. So to clear this up, here is the following fatwa taken from (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetislamonline(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/servlet/Satellite?pagename=IslamOnline-English-Ask_Scholar/FatwaE/FatwaE&cid=1119503546800"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetislamonline(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/servlet/Satelli...d=1119503546800[/url]

AA sister, you raise a good question. I did not think to differentiate as the idea didn't even enter my mind. Well it looks like there is a difference according to Hadith...though you know my view on Hadith from my earlier post. I think the point is that God is letting some people out. As for those who were the worst of evildoers, the ones that did not believe in God and transgressed beyond all bounds, do these people ever get released? This is the acid test sort to speak. And I think the answer is clear:

 

The companions have commented on the Ayah 23 from Surat An-Naba' and the shortest length - from the commentary of Ibn Kathir - that one of them described an "age" to be is 40 years. Like I previously mentioned, others have described it as 80 years or 300 years. In all cases, each day of those years is the equivalent of 1000 years from what we count (as the companions have stated). So just do the math.

 

40 years * 360 days * 1000 years

 

=14,400,000 years

 

And that is just one "age" whereas Allah says that the transgressors will abide therein for "ages" in the plural

 

Abdel Haleem, 78:21-27

 

"Hell lies in wait, a home for oppressors to stay in for a long, long time, where they will taste no coolness nor drink except one that is scalding and dark - a fitting requital, for they did not fear a reckoning..."

 

Sister, I don't know how those number you have listed can be derived from this verse...maybe I'm not understanding something. If it has to do with strictly the Hadith...again you know my position on that. But either way, it is clear. This verse says "a long, long time." And even if the answer was 14Million, 400Thousand Years and not 50,000 years - it is still not forever.

 

Everything is pointing to a limited time period, however long it may be. Can anyone dispute this? Can anyone explain how "a long, long time" can be interpreted in any other way except that time in Hell is not forever? I would really appreciate it if you responded to this specific question. Can anyone explain, even if the Hadith is correct, how 14,400,000 years can be considered anything but a very long but limited time? And if you reject this Hadith, then on what basis do you accept other Hadith? Either way, there's some "splain'in to do."

 

Peace.

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For the Muslims they will be released from the Hell fire eventually for the non-believers they will be for eternal hell fire.

 

If a Muslim brother kills another Muslim brother for fun or for evil purpose then they will be for eternal in hell fire.

 

For a Muslim brother or a Muslim sister who find that the Islamic law giving to them is unfair where it be the distribution of wealth, etc and prefer to use the non-Muslim court because it favors them then they have left the fold of Islam and will live in in eternal hell fire. However, be it 14 million years is still very long time to be in the hell fire, so avoid hell fire if you can do it.

 

For the non-Muslim or unbeliever hell fire will be their home for eternity.

Edited by foody

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Asalaamualaikum

 

I was always told by my mother and aunties that EVERY muslim will go to heaven. Those who were bad, would spend their designated time in hell. When they would enter heaven they would have a mark on their forehead which meant that they had done some time in hell.

 

Now i'm not sure where they go this from...but i will ask them when i get the chance. Has anyone else ever heard of this?

 

Walikumasalaam

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A retraction...sorry Joseph, don't know what I was thinking. Ignore my request for sura and verse numbers below...but I believe I did manage to address the exegesis with 7:51.

Peace

 

Exegesis of Ibn abbass: "(Lo! they who deny Our revelations) Muhammad (pbuh) and the Qur'an (and scorn them) scorn believing in them, (for them the gates of Heaven will not be opened) to receive their works or souls (nor will they enter the Garden until the camel goeth through the needle's eye) they will not enter Paradise just as a camel cannot pass through the eye of a needle; it is also said that this means: they will not enter Paradise until a rope goes through a needle's eye. (Thus do We requite the guilty) the idolaters."

 

Exegesis of Ibn Kathir: "(for them the gates of heaven will not be opened,) "(The gates of heaven) will not be opened for their deeds or souls.'' This explanation combines the two meanings we gave above, and Allah knows best."

 

Sorry, you'll have to give me sura and verse numbers.

 

Now one might try and interpret the meaning of verse 7:40 by saying that by the power of Allah, Majestic in His praise, a camel will eventually pass through the eye of a needle, though this would contradict the tafsir of all the Scholars of the Qur'an.

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Asalaamualaikum

 

I was always told by my mother and aunties that EVERY muslim will go to heaven. Those who were bad, would spend their designated time in hell. When they would enter heaven they would have a mark on their forehead which meant that they had done some time in hell.

 

Now i'm not sure where they go this from...but i will ask them when i get the chance. Has anyone else ever heard of this?

 

Walikumasalaam

 

 

Yes for the Muslims who will be released from the Hell fire and head to heaven to heaven the people who are already in heaven will point out that these Muslims was in Hell fire first.

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Yes sister Aamina, it is true that there comes a point where we must concede it is beyond our reasoning, but not without contemplation, reflection, steadfastness and praying to God for understanding. I don't believe we've reached that point on this topic...yet. It may come, but not yet. God does not want us to give up so easily, regardless of what the Scholars may have us believe. That is why, a hadith says to go to China if you must in regards to seeking knowledge. So onwards we go:

 

Abdel Haleem, Hud, 11:106-108

 

"The wretched ones will be in the Fire, signing and groaning, there to remain for as long as the heavens and earth endure, unless your Lord wills otherwise: your Lord carries out whatever He wills. As for those who have been blessed, they will be in Paradise, there to remain as long as the heavens and earth endure, unless your Lord will otherwise - an unceasing gift."

 

What do you suppose "...unless your Lord wills otherwise..." is suggesting? Think about it. Isn't He the All-Merciful? If God wills otherwise, and God is the All-Merciful - remember these are God's own words - what do you think this is adding up to?

 

Notice God says "...your Lord carries out whatever He wills..." after the description of potential release from Hell, as if to support this possibility. Yet, after the same statement made in reference to Heaven, God says "...an unceasing gift". He doesn't say "...whatever He wills", which would support the statement that Heaven will end, but rather "unceasing gift" supports the continuation of Heaven.

 

In other words, God is demonstrating that His Mercy is greater than his Punishment, a theme that runs throughout the Qur'an. God is very subtly suggesting, that he will release people from Hell but Heaven will be an unceasing gift.

 

Assalaamu 'alaykum brother, Thank you for your input - here's what I can offer by my extensive research.

 

From my limited knowledge, I decided to compare this verse with the story of Prophet Yunus (AS).

 

"But had he not been of those who glorify, he would have stayed in its belly to the day of resurrection." (37: 143-144)

 

Allah sends a great fish, some describe it as a whale, to swallow Yunus whole. Once in its belly, Yunus descends to the bottom of the sea, filled with total despair. How can he possibly survive this disaster? What way out of his situation could there possibly be? He is engulfed by darkness: the darkness of the creature's stomach; the darkness of the deep; and, worst of all, the darkness of despair. Even though he was a religious man, called upon to be a prophet, he experiences doubt, and it is when he is in the depths of despair that things change for him. In the noble Qur'an, we read that Yunus "cried through the darkness." He realized that Almighty Allah, not he, was in control of things. He cries out, "there is no god but You," and asks for help. Allah helped him.

 

Yunus (AS) and the whale are ofcourse mortal creatures and wouldn't live on Earth until the day of ressurection; that being said, if Yunus (AS) didn't die, his destiny would be to stay and die in the whale's belly even though the whale eventually dies as well. If that were the case, the whale is not eternal, rather Yunus (AS)'s ultimate destiny of life would be to stay in the belly eternally (as in, throughout his life). But that didn't happen as he realized and his doubts were cleansed. If you apply this to "eternal punishment of disbelievers" and "eternal Hell", in light of the verse:

 

"The wretched ones will be in the Fire, signing and groaning, there to remain for as long as the heavens and earth endure, unless your Lord wills otherwise: your Lord carries out whatever He wills. As for those who have been blessed, they will be in Paradise, there to remain as long as the heavens and earth endure, unless your Lord will otherwise - an unceasing gift."

 

you'll probably comprehend, with your limited knowledge and reasoning ofcourse, that Hell may cease to exist by Allah's will, leaving only the punishment of Hell eternal. Otherwise, falsehood perishes forever - and it has been said that the inhabitants of Hell neither live nor die, so they may eventually be taken out once cleansed, no? Whereas truth lives on, and it gives life:

 

"O you who believe, respond to God and the messenger when he calls you to that which grants you life. You should know that God in between a man and his heart, and that before Him you will be gathered" (8:24).

 

This suggests that the truth gives life - eternal life, in other words Paradise, as for Hell:

 

"But those who disbelieve (in the Oneness of Allaah), for them will be the Fire of Hell. Neither will it have a complete killing effect on them so that they die, nor shall its torment be lightened for them. Thus do We requite every disbeliever!" [Faatir 35:36]

 

Question is, does falsehood give eternal life?

 

Along with contemplating over this, we should always bear in mind that Allah subhaanahu wa ta'aala carries the Perfect Justice: For those who did good work there will be the best and more. . . As for those who earned evil, they will receive equivalent evil (10:27).

 

And indeed, Allah is the Most Gracious, Most Merciful (and this is reminded to us throughout the Glorious Qur'an)

 

Allah knows best. And may He, the Most Merciful, Most High forgive me if I said anything wrong. Feel free to correct me should I have made any mistake.

 

Perhaps you could look at it from this angle, Allahu a'lam.

 

Salaam

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"O My slaves, I have forbidden Myself oppression and I have made it between you forbidden, so do not oppress one another." Muslim

 

Is it not the greatest oppression to punish a human with an infinite hell (which is the worst torture in existence) for finite/limited sins? Just the concept of eternal punishment is disgusting: sustaining the existence of a creature indefinitely just to make it feel pain.

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Assalaamu 'alaykum brother, Thank you for your input - here's what I can offer by my extensive research.

 

From my limited knowledge, I decided to compare this verse with the story of Prophet Yunus (AS).

 

"But had he not been of those who glorify, he would have stayed in its belly to the day of resurrection." (37: 143-144)

 

Allah sends a great fish, some describe it as a whale, to swallow Yunus whole. Once in its belly, Yunus descends to the bottom of the sea, filled with total despair. How can he possibly survive this disaster? What way out of his situation could there possibly be? He is engulfed by darkness: the darkness of the creature's stomach; the darkness of the deep; and, worst of all, the darkness of despair. Even though he was a religious man, called upon to be a prophet, he experiences doubt, and it is when he is in the depths of despair that things change for him. In the noble Qur'an, we read that Yunus "cried through the darkness." He realized that Almighty Allah, not he, was in control of things. He cries out, "there is no god but You," and asks for help. Allah helped him.

 

Yunus (AS) and the whale are ofcourse mortal creatures and wouldn't live on Earth until the day of ressurection; that being said, if Yunus (AS) didn't die, his destiny would be to stay and die in the whale's belly even though the whale eventually dies as well. If that were the case, the whale is not eternal, rather Yunus (AS)'s ultimate destiny of life would be to stay in the belly eternally (as in, throughout his life). But that didn't happen as he realized and his doubts were cleansed. If you apply this to "eternal punishment of disbelievers" and "eternal Hell", in light of the verse:

 

"The wretched ones will be in the Fire, signing and groaning, there to remain for as long as the heavens and earth endure, unless your Lord wills otherwise: your Lord carries out whatever He wills. As for those who have been blessed, they will be in Paradise, there to remain as long as the heavens and earth endure, unless your Lord will otherwise - an unceasing gift."

 

you'll probably comprehend, with your limited knowledge and reasoning ofcourse, that Hell may cease to exist by Allah's will, leaving only the punishment of Hell eternal. Otherwise, falsehood perishes forever - and it has been said that the inhabitants of Hell neither live nor die, so they may eventually be taken out once cleansed, no? Whereas truth lives on, and it gives life:

 

"O you who believe, respond to God and the messenger when he calls you to that which grants you life. You should know that God in between a man and his heart, and that before Him you will be gathered" (8:24).

 

This suggests that the truth gives life - eternal life, in other words Paradise, as for Hell:

 

"But those who disbelieve (in the Oneness of Allaah), for them will be the Fire of Hell. Neither will it have a complete killing effect on them so that they die, nor shall its torment be lightened for them. Thus do We requite every disbeliever!" [Faatir 35:36]

 

Question is, does falsehood give eternal life?

 

Along with contemplating over this, we should always bear in mind that Allah subhaanahu wa ta'aala carries the Perfect Justice: For those who did good work there will be the best and more. . . As for those who earned evil, they will receive equivalent evil (10:27).

 

And indeed, Allah is the Most Gracious, Most Merciful (and this is reminded to us throughout the Glorious Qur'an)

 

Allah knows best. And may He, the Most Merciful, Most High forgive me if I said anything wrong. Feel free to correct me should I have made any mistake.

 

Perhaps you could look at it from this angle, Allahu a'lam.

 

Salaam

 

I'm sorry sister Aamina, I really really tried to understand what you were trying to say...and I don't know if I got it. So here's what I think you mean:

 

The whale is like Hell, and Yunus is like the people who are in Hell.

 

If Yunus died in the whale and then later the whale died, metaphorically speaking Yunus will be in the whale forever; as their destinies are intertwined.

 

Similarly, those who disbelieved and committed the most outrageous misdeeds, may never be allowed out of Hell (as oppose to Yunus who was released from the whale by God). If God chooses to finish off Hell and so Hell ceases to exist (like the whale finally dying), the people/jinn in Hell will cease to exist also. In this sense, they will be in Hell forever even if Hell doesn't exist forever, because metaphorically speaking, their destinies are intertwined.

 

Is this what you mean?

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