Hell

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No matter how bad your life is, no matter how long you live, there is hope.  Hope of change; hope of victory and at the very least, hope in the finite duration of your suffering.  Some day you know you will die and it will stop.  But Hell offers no hope.  Upon seeing its gates and knowing that it is your destination, all hope dies an eternal death.  That death begins on the day of judgement.

1        The Day of Judgement

On the Day the blast [of the Horn] will convulse [creation], there will follow it the subsequent [one].  Hearts (of people), that Day, will throb, their eyes humbled.  They are [presently] saying, "Will we indeed be returned to [our] former state [of life], even if we should be decayed bones?  They say, "That, then, would be a losing return."  Indeed, it will be but one shout, and suddenly they will be awake.

(79:6-14)

 

What a day to wake up.  On a day when with certainty it is known that all power is with Allah.  One stands among the masses of humanity, some in momentary disbelief that they have returned, and quickly in dread at its acceptance.

 

But when there comes the Deafening Blast, on the Day a man will flee from his brother, and his mother and his father, and his wife and his children.  For every man, that Day, will be a matter adequate for him.

(80:33-37)

 

Panic, fear, terror, dread…  All considerations other than one’s own evil fate become as nothing. 

 

If only you could see when they are made to stand before the Fire and will say, "Oh, would that we could be returned [to life on earth] and not deny the signs/verses of our Lord and be among the believers."

But what they concealed before has [now] appeared to them.  And even if they were returned, they would return to that which they were forbidden; and indeed, they are liars. 

And they say, "There is none but our worldly life, and we will not be resurrected."  If only you could see when they will be made to stand before their Lord.  He will say, "Is this not the truth?”  They will say, "Yes, by our Lord.”  He will [then] say, "So taste the punishment because you used to disbelieve."  Those will have lost who deny the meeting with Allah, until when the Hour [of resurrection] comes upon them unexpectedly, they will say, "Oh, [how great is] our regret over what we neglected concerning it," while they bear their burdens on their backs.  Unquestionably, evil is that which they bear.

(6:27-31)

 

That Day We will display Hell in its totality to the disbelievers.

(18:100)

 

Regret.  Complete, pure and heart crushing regret.  Undeniable truth and inescapable consequence have converged on those described above.  They now admit the truth and beg for an escape or another turn at life.  But there is no escaping the judgement; their reward is Hell and it is laid out before them so they see clearly the horror to which they must go.

 

Those who disbelieve will be driven to Hell in companies and when they arrive there and its gates are opened, its custodians will say to them, ‘Did Messengers from yourselves not come to you, reciting your Lord’s verses to you and warning you of the meeting on this Day of yours?’  They will say, ‘Indeed they did, but the decree of punishment is justly carried out against the disbelievers.’

(39:71)

 

It (Hell) all but bursts with rage.  Each time a group is flung into it, its custodians will question them: ‘Did no warner come to you?’  They will say, ‘Yes indeed, a warner did come to us but we denied him and said, "Allah has sent nothing down.  You are just greatly misguided.”  They will say, ‘If only we had really listened and used our intellect, we would not have been Companions of the Blaze.’  Then they will acknowledge their wrong actions.  Away with the Companions of the Blaze!

(67:8-11)

 

And who is more unjust than one who invents about Allah a lie or denies His verses?  Those will attain their portion of the decree until when Our messengers come to them to take them in death, they will say, "Where are those you used to invoke besides Allah?”  They will say, "They have departed from us," and will bear witness against themselves that they were disbelievers.

[Allah] will say, "Enter among nations which had passed on before you of jinn and mankind into the Fire.”  Every time a nation enters, it will curse its sister until, when they have all overtaken one another therein, the last of them will say about the first of them "Our Lord, these had misled us, so give them a double punishment of the Fire.  He will say, "For each is double, but you do not know.”  (7:37-38)

 

The guarding angels of Hell give you no respite, rather they make you appreciate that it is by your own efforts that you come to this.  As you enter your final doom, you feel eternal and hopeless regret as well as hatred of yourself and any who were part of your fall.  But these are just feelings; they can do nothing to avert your doom.

2        Hints of Hell

Beyond the feelings of dread, regret and sorrow which consume those herded to the gates of Hell, is a worse reality upon their entry to Hell. 

2.1      Burning Alive

Relentless and deadly flame burns you constantly to a death that does not come and with an intensity that will never reduce.  Your body and face with roast, your lips will burn away to your skull…  But as soon at that happens, your skin is renewed and the roasting continues forever.  You will never lose consciousness, never sleep, never rest and never escape the pain however much you may want to.  Mentally and physically you are chained to your abiding destruction.

 

As for those who come to their Lord as evildoers, they will have Hell where they will neither die nor stay alive.

(20:74)

 

As for those who reject Our Signs, We will roast them in a Fire.  Every time their skins are burned off, We will replace them with new skins so that they can taste the punishment.  Allah is Almighty, All-Wise.

(4:56)

 

On the Day it (wealth) is heated up in the fire of Hell and their foreheads, sides and backs are branded with it: ‘This is what you hoarded for yourselves, so taste what you were hoarding!’

(9:35)

 

Those whose scales are heavy, they are the successful. Those whose scales are light, they are the losers of their selves, remaining in Hell timelessly, for ever. The Fire will sear their faces, making them grimace horribly in it, their lips drawn back from their teeth. Were My Signs not recited to you and did you not deny them?’ They will say, ‘Our Lord, our miserable destiny overpowered us. We were misguided people. Our Lord, remove us from it! Then if we revert again, we will definitely be wrongdoers.’  He will say, ‘Slink away into it and do not speak to Me.’

(23:102-108)

 

We have made ready for the disbelievers shackles and chains and a Searing Blaze.

(76:4)

2.2      Hunger and Thirst

It is a part of the terrible punishment of Hell that all your senses and needs remain timelessly, you feel pain, hunger, thirst, you want to escape, and you want to die and you want all that you wanted when comfortable and alive in the illusory world. 

 

All there is to satiate thirst is boiling, festering liquid that even in your unquenchable thirst is disgusting to drink and keep down.  It does not satiate, but your thirst drives you to try anyway.

 

You hunger has only the bitter thorny bushes of Hell to eat; they taste horrible and tear at your insides but do not nourish or satisfy.

 

The Companions of the Fire will call out to the Companions of the Garden, ‘Throw down some water to us or some of what Allah has given you as provision.’

(7:50)

 

Say: ‘It is the truth from your Lord; so let whoever wishes believe and whoever wishes disbelieve.’  We have prepared for the wrongdoers a Fire whose billowing walls of smoke will hem them in.  If they call for help, they will be helped with water like seething molten brass, frying their faces.  What a noxious drink!  What an evil repose!

(18:29)

 

And beyond him is Hell where he will be given festering/purulent liquid to drink.  He gulps at it but can hardly swallow it down.  Death comes at him from every side but he does not die.  And beyond him is relentless punishment.

(14:16-17)

 

Some faces on that Day will be downcast, labouring, toiling endlessly, roasting in a red-hot Fire, drinking from a boiling spring. They have no food but a bitter thorny bush which neither nourishes nor satisfies.

(88:2-7)

 

They will go back and forth between fire and scalding water.

(55:44)

2.3      No Escape and No Respite

Chained and hemmed in by columns of smoke and fire, they seek escape, whether by death or mercy.  There is no escape.

 

Every time they want to come out of it, because of their suffering, they will be driven back into it: ‘Taste the punishment of the Burning!’

(22:22)

 

When they are flung into a narrow place in it, shackled together in chains, they will cry out there for destruction. ‘Do not cry out today for just one destruction, cry out for many destructions!’ Say: ‘Is that better, or the Garden of Eternal Life which has been promised to those who guard against evil? That is their recompense and destination.’

(25:13-15)

 

(The servants of the All-Merciful are) those who say, ‘Our Lord, avert from us the punishment of Hell, its punishment is inescapable pain.’

(25:65)

 

They will shout out in it, ‘Our Lord!  Take us out!  We will act rightly, differently from the way we used to act!’  Did We not let you live long enough for anyone who was going to pay heed to pay heed?  And did not the warner come to you?  Taste it then!  There is no helper for the wrongdoers.

(35:37)

 

Those in the Fire will say to the custodians of Hell, ‘Call on your Lord to make the punishment less for us for just one day.’  They will say, "Did there not come to you your messengers with clear proofs?" They will say, "Yes." They will reply, "Then supplicate [yourselves], but the supplication of the disbelievers is not except in error."

(40:49-50)

2.4      Constant Reminder

In addition to all that Hell has in store for its inhabitant is the reminder of what could have been, heaven.  Those who were mighty, wretched, wicked, evil, careless etc. who used to laugh and mock the believers must now forever see who it is that was the higher; truly regret and sorrow reach their zenith in Hell.

 

And the companions of the Fire will call to the companions of Paradise, "Pour upon us some water or from whatever Allah has provided you." They will say, "Indeed, Allah has forbidden them both to the disbelievers."

(7:50)

3        Who is Going There

This is a topic that needs an in-depth treatment, however below is some guidance from the Qur’an on this topic.  Suffice it to say that none are safe that deny the clear guidance of Allah, whether it is an atheist, a polytheist or one who calls him/herself a Muslim.  Those who add the guidance of mankind to that of Allah are held guilty just as those who reject all guidance.  No one is safe unless they earnestly follow the guidance of Allah or are justifiably unaware of it and yet act as best they can in remembrance of their creator.

 

As for anyone who kills a believer deliberately, his repayment is Hell, remaining in it timelessly, for ever.  Allah is angry with him and has cursed him, and has prepared for him a terrible punishment.  (4:93)

 

But if anyone opposes the Messenger after the guidance has become clear to him, and follows other than the path of the believers, We will hand him over to whatever he has turned to, and We will roast him in Hell.  What an evil destination!

(4:115)

 

Anyone who turns his back on them that day, unless he is withdrawing to re-join the fight or withdrawing to support another group, brings Allah’s anger down upon himself. His refuge is Hell. What an evil destination!

(8:16)

 

Who could do greater wrong than someone who invents lies against Allah or denies the truth when it comes to him?  Is there not shelter in Hell for the disbelievers?

(29:68)

 

And who is more unjust than one who invents about Allah a lie or denies His verses?  Those will attain their portion of the decree until when Our messengers come to them to take them in death, they will say, "Where are those you used to invoke besides Allah?”  They will say, "They have departed from us," and will bear witness against themselves that they were disbelievers.

[Allah] will say, "Enter among nations which had passed on before you of jinn and mankind into the Fire.”  Every time a nation enters, it will curse its sister until, when they have all overtaken one another therein, the last of them will say about the first of them "Our Lord, these had misled us, so give them a double punishment of the Fire.  He will say, "For each is double, but you do not know.”  (7:37-38)

 

Indeed, Allah has cursed the disbelievers and prepared for them a Blaze.  Abiding therein forever, they will not find a protector or a helper.  The Day their faces will be turned about in the Fire, they will say, "How we wish we had obeyed Allah and obeyed the Messenger."  And they will say, "Our Lord, indeed we obeyed our masters and our dignitaries, and they led us astray from the [right] way.  Our Lord, give them double the punishment and curse them with a great curse."

(33:64-68)

 

And so that He might punish the men and women of the hypocrites and the men and women of the polytheists–those who think bad thoughts about Allah.  They will suffer an evil turn of fate.  Allah is angry with them, and has cursed them and prepared Hell for them.  What an evil destination!

(48:6)

 

And We have certainly created for Hell many of the jinn and mankind.  They have hearts (minds) with which they do not understand, they have eyes with which they do not see, and they have ears with which they do not hear. Those are like livestock; rather, they are more astray.  It is they who are the heedless.

(7:179)

4        The Eternal Death of Hope

To never sleep again, to always be starving and thirsty, to always experience deadly pain and torment, to experience pure sorrow and regret; that is what Hell promises.  The years turn to centuries, the centuries to millennia, the millennia to millions and billions of years… to forever.  Reflect on Hell and despair of it as a consequence.

 

Allah has promised the men and women of the hypocrites and disbelievers the Fire of Hell, remaining in it timelessly, for ever.  It will suffice them.  Allah has cursed them.  They will have everlasting punishment.

(9:68)

 

They will shout out in it, ‘Our Lord!  Take us out!  We will act rightly, differently from the way we used to act!’  Did We not let you live long enough for anyone who was going to pay heed to pay heed?  And did not the warner come to you?  Taste it then!  There is no helper for the wrongdoers.

(35:37)

 

They will be told, ‘Enter the gates of Hell and stay there timelessly, for ever.  How evil is the abode of the arrogant!’

(39:72)

 

(Deniers will be told,) ‘Enter the gates of Hell, remaining in it timelessly, for ever. How evil is the abode of the arrogant!’

(40:76)

 

The evildoers will remain timelessly, for ever, in the punishment of Hell.

(43:74)

 

The Day they are shoved roughly into the Fire of Hell: (deniers will be told,) ‘This is the Fire which you denied!  So is this magic?  Or is it that you do not see?  Roast in it!  And bear it patiently or do not bear it patiently.  It makes no difference either way.  You are simply being repaid for what you did.’

(52:13-16)

 

Say: ‘No one can protect me from Allah and I will never find any refuge apart from Him–only in transmitting from Allah and His Messages.  As for him who disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he will have the Fire of Hell, remaining in it timelessly, for ever and ever.’

(72:22-23)

 

There is no hope of escape, no hope for rest, no hope for comfort, no hope for mercy, no hope…  Really think about this.  What temptation and/or what threat can this world offer in comparison to Hell?

5        The End

The moment you die is the end point of your time to earn mercy; your death is as the day of judgement in that regard.  Do not waste your life so that one day you will wake up to realise that the certainty has come, and that in your selfish desire you wasted that most fleeting and precious of gifts, time.

 

It will be, on the Day they see it (day of judgement), as though they had not remained [in the world] except for an afternoon or a morning thereof.

(79:46)

 

Eternal hunger, thirst, pain and regret; do not allow these to be your doom on the day of judgement.  It is easy to have the mercy of your Lord, especially when you contextualise the briefness of life in the eternal scheme of things.  Your evil inclinations and the efforts of Satan, work to make you worship your desires and be fooled by the illusion of this worldly life.  The guidance of the Qur’an is the only tool you need to navigate the straight path and to resist that which calls you to an inescapable doom.

 

If only you could see when they are made to stand before the Fire and will say, "Oh, would that we could be returned [to life on earth] and not deny the signs/verses of our Lord and be among the believers."

(6:27)

 

You cannot see it now, but you can imagine it and think about it.  Let the horror of that scene be only a warning in your mind, not an inescapable reality.

 

We have warned you of an imminent punishment on the Day when a man will see what he has done, and the disbeliever will say, ‘Oh, if only I were dust!’

(78:40)

 

Take heed.