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The Description of Hell and Those Who will enter into it

Allah the Exalted says,

﴿ وُ

(and) meaning, `and We have prepared,'

﴿ لِلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ بِرَبِّہِمۡ عَذَابُ جَهَنَّمَ‌ۖ وَبِئۡسَ ٱلۡمَصِيرُ

(for those who disbelieve in their Lord is the torment of Hell, and worst indeed is that destination.) This means that this will be the worst end and a terrible destiny.

﴿ إِذَآ أُلۡقُواْ فِيہَا سَمِعُواْ لَهَا شَہِيقً۬ا

(When they are cast therein, they will hear its Shahiq) Ibn Jarir said, "This means the sound of shouting.''

﴿ وَهِىَ تَفُورُ

(while it is simmering.) Ath-Thawri said, "It will boil them just as a small number of seeds are boiled in a lot of water.'' Then Allah says,

﴿ تَكَادُ تَمَيَّزُ مِنَ ٱلۡغَيۡظِ‌ۖ

(It almost bursts up with fury.) meaning, some parts of it almost break apart from other parts due to the severity of its rage and anger with them.

﴿ تَكَادُ تَمَيَّزُ مِنَ ٱلۡغَيۡظِ‌ۖ كُلَّمَآ أُلۡقِىَ فِيہَا فَوۡجٌ۬ سَأَلَهُمۡ خَزَنَتُہَآ أَلَمۡ يَأۡتِكُمۡ نَذِيرٌ۬ قَالُواْ بَلَىٰ قَدۡ جَآءَنَا نَذِيرٌ۬ فَكَذَّبۡنَا وَقُلۡنَا مَا نَزَّلَ ٱللَّهُ مِن شَىۡءٍ إِنۡ أَنتُمۡ إِلَّا فِى ضَلَـٰلٍ۬ كَبِيرٍ۬

(Every time a group is cast therein, its keepers will ask: "Did no warner come to you'' They will say: "Yes, indeed a warner did come to us, but we rejected him and said: `Allah never sent down anything; you are only in great error.''') In these Ayat Allah reminds of His justice in dealing with His creatures and that He does not punish anyone until the proof has been established against them and a Messenger has been sent to them. This is similar to Allah's statement,

﴿ وَمَا كُنَّا مُعَذِّبِينَ حَتَّىٰ نَبۡعَثَ رَسُولاً۬

(And We never punish until We have sent a Messenger.) (17:15) Allah also says,

﴿ حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَا جَآءُوهَا فُتِحَتۡ أَبۡوَٲبُهَا وَقَالَ لَهُمۡ خَزَنَتُہَآ أَلَمۡ يَأۡتِكُمۡ رُسُلٌ۬ مِّنكُمۡ يَتۡلُونَ عَلَيۡكُمۡ ءَايَـٰتِ رَبِّكُمۡ وَيُنذِرُونَكُمۡ لِقَآءَ يَوۡمِكُمۡ هَـٰذَا‌ۚ قَالُواْ بَلَىٰ وَلَـٰكِنۡ حَقَّتۡ كَلِمَةُ ٱلۡعَذَابِ عَلَى ٱلۡكَـٰفِرِينَ

(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!'') (39:71) Thus, they have no recourse but to blame themselves and they will feel remorseful when such remorse will be of no benefit to them. They will say,

﴿ لَوۡ كُنَّا نَسۡمَعُ أَوۡ نَعۡقِلُ مَا كُنَّا فِىٓ أَصۡحَـٰبِ ٱلسَّعِيرِ

(Had we but listened or used our intelligence, we would not have been among the dwellers of the blazing Fire!) meaning, `if we would have benefited from our intellects or listened to the truth that Allah revealed, we would not have been disbelieving in Allah and misguided about Him. But we did not have understanding to comprehend what the Messengers came with, and we did not have the intelligence to guide us to following them.' Allah then says,

﴿ فَٱعۡتَرَفُواْ بِذَنۢبِہِمۡ فَسُحۡقً۬ا لِّأَصۡحَـٰبِ ٱلسَّعِيرِ

(Then they will confess their sin. So, away with the dwellers of the blazing Fire!) Imam Ahmad recorded from Abu Al-Bakhtari At-Ta'i that he heard from one of the Companions that the Messenger of Allah said,

« لَنْ يَهْلِكَ النَّاسُ حَتْى يُعْذِرُوا مِنْ أَنْفُسِهِم »

(The people will not be destroyed until they themselves confess their guilt.)

﴿ إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ يَخۡشَوۡنَ رَبَّهُم بِٱلۡغَيۡبِ لَهُم مَّغۡفِرَةٌ۬ وَأَجۡرٌ۬ كَبِيرٌ۬ وَأَسِرُّواْ قَوۡلَكُمۡ أَوِ ٱجۡهَرُواْ بِهِۦۤ‌ۖ إِنَّهُ ۥ عَلِيمُۢ بِذَاتِ ٱلصُّدُورِ أَلَا يَعۡلَمُ مَنۡ خَلَقَ وَهُوَ ٱللَّطِيفُ ٱلۡخَبِيرُ هُوَ ٱلَّذِى جَعَلَ لَكُمُ ٱلۡأَرۡضَ ذَلُولاً۬ فَٱمۡشُواْ فِى مَنَاكِبِہَا وَكُلُواْ مِن رِّزۡقِهِۦ‌ۖ وَإِلَيۡهِ ٱلنُّشُورُ

(12. Verily, those who fear their Lord unseen, theirs will be forgiveness and a great reward.) (13. And whether you keep your talk secret or disclose it, verily, He is the All-Knower of what is in the breasts.) (14. Should not He Who has created know And He is the Most Kind and Courteous, All-Aware.) (15. He it is Who has made the earth subservient to you; so walk in the paths thereof and eat of His provision. And to Him will be the resurrection.)

The Reward of those Who fear their Lord unseen

Allah informs of he who fears standing before his Lord, being frightened about matters between himself and Allah when he is not in the presence of other people. So he refrains from disobedience and he performs acts of obedience when no one sees him except Allah. Allah mentions that this person will have forgiveness and a great reward. This means that his sins will be remitted and he will be rewarded abundantly. This is similar to what has been confirmed in the Two Sahihs,

« سَبْعَةٌ يُظِلُّهُمُ اللهُ تَعَالى فِي ظِلِّ عَرْشِهِ يَوْمَ لَا ظِلَّ إِلَّا ظِلُّه »

(There are seven people whom Allah the Exalted will shade in the shade of His Throne on the Day when there will be no shade except its shade.) Then he mentioned that among those people are:

« دَعَتْهُ امْرَأَةٌ ذَاتُ مَنْصِبٍ وَجَمَالٍ فَقَالَ: إِنِّي أَخَافُ اللهَ، وَرَجُلًا تَصَدَّقَ بِصَدَقَةٍ فَأَخْفَاهَا حَتْى لَا تَعْلَمَ شِمَالُهُ مَا تُنْفِقُ يَمِينُه »

(A man who is tempted by a beautiful woman of high social status, but he says: `Verily, I fear Allah.' Another person from among them is a man who gives charity and he conceals it so that his left hand does not know what his right hand spent.) Then He says, while informing that He is aware of the innermost conscience and secrets,

﴿ وَأَسِرُّواْ قَوۡلَكُمۡ أَوِ ٱجۡهَرُواْ بِهِۦۤ‌ۖ إِنَّهُ ۥ عَلِيمُۢ بِذَاتِ ٱلصُّدُورِ

(And whether you keep your talk secret or disclose it, verily, He is the All-Knower of what is in the breasts.) meaning, that which occurs in the hearts (ideas, thoughts, etc.).

﴿ أَلَا يَعۡلَمُ مَنۡ خَلَقَ

(Should not He Who has created know) This means, `doesn't the Creator know'

﴿ وَهُوَ ٱللَّطِيفُ ٱلۡخَبِيرُ

(And He is the Most Kind and Courteous, All-Aware (of everything).)

Allah's Favor of subjugating the Earth to His Servants

Then Allah mentions His favor to His creation in subjugating the earth to them, and making it subservient to them. This is by His making it a stable abode and dwelling place. He placed in it mountains and caused water springs to gush forth from it. He fashioned pathways, and placed useful things in it and places fertile for the growth of fruit and vegetation. Allah says,

﴿ هُوَ ٱلَّذِى جَعَلَ لَكُمُ ٱلۡأَرۡضَ ذَلُولاً۬ فَٱمۡشُواْ فِى مَنَاكِبِہَا

(He it is Who has made the earth subservient to you; so walk in the paths thereof) meaning, travel wherever you wish throughout its regions and frequent its countrysides and all the areas of its domain in your various journeys to seek earnings and trade. And know that your efforts will not benefit you anything unless Allah makes matters easy for you. Allah continues to say,

﴿ وَكُلُواْ مِن رِّزۡقِهِۦ‌ۖ

(and eat of His provision.) Thus, striving by using the means (to attain something) does not negate the necessity of depending upon Allah (At-Tawakkul). This is similar to what Imam Ahmad recorded from `Umar bin Al-Khattab, that he heard the Messenger of Allah say,

« لَوْأَنَّكُمْ تَتَوَكَّلُونَ عَلَى اللهِ حَقَّ تَوَكُّلِهِ، لَرَزَقَكُمْ كَمَا يَرْزُقُ الطَّيْرَ، تَغْدُو خِمَاصًا وَتَرُوحُ بِطَانًا »

(If you would trust in Allah as He truly should be trusted in, He would surely provide for you as He provides for the birds. They set out in the morning with empty stomachs and return in the evening with full stomachs.) At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah all recorded this Hadith. At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Sahih.'' So this confirms that the bird searches morning and evening for its sustenance while depending upon Allah. For He is the Subduer, the Controller and the One Who causes everything.

﴿ وَإِلَيۡهِ ٱلنُّشُورُ

(And to Him will be the resurrection.) meaning, the place of return on the Day of Judgment. Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, As-Suddi and Qatadah all said that Manakibiha (its paths) means its outermost borders, its roads and its regions.

﴿ ءَأَمِنتُم مَّن فِى ٱلسَّمَآءِ أَن يَخۡسِفَ بِكُمُ ٱلۡأَرۡضَ فَإِذَا هِىَ تَمُورُ أَمۡ أَمِنتُم مَّن فِى ٱلسَّمَآءِ أَن يُرۡسِلَ عَلَيۡكُمۡ حَاصِبً۬ا‌ۖ فَسَتَعۡلَمُونَ كَيۡفَ نَذِيرِ وَلَقَدۡ كَذَّبَ ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبۡلِهِمۡ فَكَيۡفَ كَانَ نَكِيرِ أَوَلَمۡ يَرَوۡاْ إِلَى ٱلطَّيۡرِ فَوۡقَهُمۡ صَـٰٓفَّـٰتٍ۬ وَيَقۡبِضۡنَ‌ۚ مَا يُمۡسِكُهُنَّ إِلَّا ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنُ‌ۚ إِنَّهُ ۥ بِكُلِّ شَىۡءِۭ بَصِيرٌ

(16. Do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven, will not cause the earth to sink with you, and then it should quake) (17. Or do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven, will not send against you a Hasib Then you shall know how has been My warning.) (18. And indeed those before them rejected, then how terrible was My reproach) (19. Do they not see the birds above them, spreading out their wings and folding them in? None upholds them except the Most Gracious. Verily, He is the All-Seer of everything.)

How can You feel Secure against the Punishment of Allah while He is Able to seize You however He wills

This is another indication of His gentleness and His mercy with His creatures. He is able to punish them because some of them disbelieve in Him and worship others besides Him, yet He is forbearing, He pardons, and He gives respite for an appointed time without hastening. This is as He says,

﴿ وَلَوۡ يُؤَاخِذُ ٱللَّهُ ٱلنَّاسَ بِمَا ڪَسَبُواْ مَا تَرَكَ عَلَىٰ ظَهۡرِهَا مِن دَآبَّةٍ۬ وَلَـٰڪِن يُؤَخِّرُهُمۡ إِلَىٰٓ أَجَلٍ۬ مُّسَمًّ۬ىۖ فَإِذَا جَآءَ أَجَلُهُمۡ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ كَانَ بِعِبَادِهِۦ بَصِيرَۢا

(And if Allah were to punish men for that which they earned, He would not leave a moving creature on the surface of the earth; but He gives them respite to an appointed term: and when their term comes, then verily, Allah is Ever All-Seer of His servants.) ﴿35:45 Here Allah says,

﴿ ءَأَمِنتُم مَّن فِى ٱلسَّمَآءِ أَن يَخۡسِفَ بِكُمُ ٱلۡأَرۡضَ فَإِذَا هِىَ تَمُورُ

(Do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven, will not cause the earth to sink with you, and then it should quake) meaning, that it would move back and forth, and be disrupted.

﴿ أَمۡ أَمِنتُم مَّن فِى ٱلسَّمَآءِ أَن يُرۡسِلَ عَلَيۡكُمۡ حَاصِبً۬ا‌ۖ

(Or do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven, will not send against you a Hasib) meaning, a wind containing gravel that will strike you, as Allah says in another Ayah,

﴿ أَفَأَمِنتُمۡ أَن يَخۡسِفَ بِكُمۡ جَانِبَ ٱلۡبَرِّ أَوۡ يُرۡسِلَ عَلَيۡڪُمۡ حَاصِبً۬ا ثُمَّ لَا تَجِدُواْ لَكُمۡ وَڪِيلاً

(Do you then feel secure that He will not cause a side of the land to swallow you up, or that He will not send against you a violent sandstorm Then, you shall find no trustee.) (17:68) And similarly, here Allah threatens them with His statement,

﴿ فَسَتَعۡلَمُونَ كَيۡفَ نَذِيرِ

(Then you shall know how has been My warning.) meaning, `how is My admonition and what will happen to those who disregard and reject it.' Then Allah says,

﴿ وَلَقَدۡ كَذَّبَ ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبۡلِهِمۡ

(And indeed those before them rejected,) meaning, from the previous nations and the old generations that have passed. Then Allah says,

﴿ فَكَيۡفَ كَانَ نَكِيرِ

(then how terrible was My reproach) meaning, `how was My rebuke of them and my punishment of them.' Meaning, it was great, severe and painful.

The flight of Birds is by the Power of Allah and it is a Proof that He sees everything small and large

Allah says,

﴿ أَوَلَمۡ يَرَوۡاْ إِلَى ٱلطَّيۡرِ فَوۡقَهُمۡ صَـٰٓفَّـٰتٍ۬ وَيَقۡبِضۡنَ‌ۚ

(Do they not see the birds above them, spreading out their wings and folding them in) meaning, sometimes they spread their wings out in the wind (gliding) and other times they gather and spread (flapping) the wings in flight

﴿ مَا يُمۡسِكُهُنَّ

(None upholds them) meaning, in the air,

﴿ إِلَّا ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنُ‌ۚ

(except the Most Gracious.) meaning, Allah holds them up in the air by subjecting the air to them out of His mercy and His gentleness.

﴿ إِنَّهُ ۥ بِكُلِّ شَىۡءِۭ بَصِيرٌ

(Verily, He is the All-Seer of everything.) means, with what is beneficial and suitable for all of His creatures. This is similar to His statement,

﴿ أَلَمۡ يَرَوۡاْ إِلَى ٱلطَّيۡرِ مُسَخَّرَٲتٍ۬ فِى جَوِّ ٱلسَّمَآءِ مَا يُمۡسِكُهُنَّ إِلَّا ٱللَّهُ‌ۗ إِنَّ فِى ذَٲلِكَ لَأَيَـٰتٍ۬ لِّقَوۡمٍ۬ يُؤۡمِنُونَ

(Do they not see the birds held in the midst of the sky? None upholds them but Allah. Verily, in this are clear Ayat for people who believe.)(24:79)

﴿ أَمَّنۡ هَـٰذَا ٱلَّذِى هُوَ جُندٌ۬ لَّكُمۡ يَنصُرُكُم مِّن دُونِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ‌ۚ إِنِ ٱلۡكَـٰفِرُونَ إِلَّا فِى غُرُورٍ أَمَّنۡ هَـٰذَا ٱلَّذِى يَرۡزُقُكُمۡ إِنۡ أَمۡسَكَ رِزۡقَهُ ۥ‌ۚ بَل لَّجُّواْ فِى عُتُوٍّ۬ وَنُفُورٍ أَفَمَن يَمۡشِى مُكِبًّا عَلَىٰ وَجۡهِهِۦۤ أَهۡدَىٰٓ أَمَّن يَمۡشِى سَوِيًّا عَلَىٰ صِرَٲطٍ۬ مُّسۡتَقِيمٍ۬ قُلۡ هُوَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَنشَأَكُمۡ وَجَعَلَ لَكُمُ ٱلسَّمۡعَ وَٱلۡأَبۡصَـٰرَ وَٱلۡأَفۡـِٔدَةَ‌ۖ قَلِيلاً۬ مَّا تَشۡكُرُونَ قُلۡ هُوَ ٱلَّذِى ذَرَأَكُمۡ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَإِلَيۡهِ تُحۡشَرُونَ وَيَقُولُونَ مَتَىٰ هَـٰذَا ٱلۡوَعۡدُ إِن كُنتُمۡ صَـٰدِقِينَ قُلۡ إِنَّمَا ٱلۡعِلۡمُ عِندَ ٱللَّهِ وَإِنَّمَآ أَنَا۟ نَذِيرٌ۬ مُّبِينٌ۬ فَلَمَّا رَأَوۡهُ زُلۡفَةً۬ سِيٓـَٔتۡ وُجُوهُ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ وَقِيلَ هَـٰذَا ٱلَّذِى كُنتُم بِهِۦ تَدَّعُونَ

(20. Who is it besides the Most Gracious that can be an army to you to help you The disbelievers are in nothing but delusion.) (21. Who is it that can provide for you if He should withhold His provision Nay, but they continue to be in pride, and flee.) (22. Is he who walks prone on his face, more rightly guided, or he who walks upright on a straight path) (23. Say: "It is He Who has created you, and endowed you with hearing and seeing, and hearts. Little thanks you give.'') (24. Say: "It is He Who has created you on the earth, and to Him shall you be gathered.'') (25. They say: "When will this promise come to pass, if you are telling the truth'') (26. Say: "The knowledge is with Allah only, and I am only a plain warner.'') (27. But when they will see it approaching, the faces of those who disbelieve will be sad and grievous, and it will be said: "This is what you were calling for!'')