1. The People Who Will Abide Therein Forever
The people of Hell who will abide therein forever, never leaving it and never dying, are the disbelievers and polytheists. Allah (swt) says:
“But those who reject Allah, for them will be the Fire of Hell. No term shall be determined for them, so they should die, nor shall its penalty be lightened for them”. (35:36)
“But those who reject Faith and belie Our Signs, they shall be companions [or dwellers] of the Fire; they shall abide therein”. (2:39)
“Verily those who reject faith and die rejecting – on them is Allah’s Curse and the Curse of the Angels and of all mankind. They will abide therein: their penalty will not be lightened, nor will respite be their lot.” (2:161-162)
“Know they not that for those who oppose Allah and His Messenger is the Fire of Hell – wherein they shall dwell? That is the supreme disgrace”. (9:63)
“It is not for such as join gods with Allah to visit or maintain the Mosques of Allah while they witness against their own souls to infidelity [or disbelief]. The works of such bear no fruit: In Fire shall they dwell.” (9:17)
Because they will abide therein forever, Allah (swt) described the torment of Hell as a lasting torment, one that will never end, one that is eternal:
“Their wish will be to get out of the Fire, but never will they get out therefrom: their Penalty will be one that endures”. (5:37)
“At length it will be said to the wrongdoers: “Taste you the enduring punishment! You get but the recompense of what you earned!” (10:52)
Death will be slaughtered, as is stated in the hadith narration from Ibn ‘Umar by al-Bukhaari and in Muslim from Abu Sa’eed who said:
“The Messenger of Allah of Allah (saw) said: “Death will be brought like a horned ram, and will be made to stand between Paradise and Hell”. It will be said, “O people of Paradise, do you know what this is?” They will raise their heads and look, and will say, “Yes, this is death”. It will be said, “O people of Hell, do you know what this is?” They will raise their heads and look, and will say, “Yes, this is death”. Then the command will be given for death to be slaughtered. Then it will be said, “O people of Paradise, it is eternal, there is no death. O people of Hell, it is eternal, there is no death”. Then the Messenger of Allah (saw) recited:
“And warn them of the Day of Grief and regrets when the case has been decided, while [now] they are in a state of carelessness, and they believe not”. (19:39)
and in the narration of at-Tirmidhi, Abu Sa’eed al-Khudree added: “If any were to die of joy it would be the people of Paradise and if any were to die of despair, it would be the people of Hell”. (at-Tirmidhi, said “This is a sahih hasan hadith”).
2. Hell will be the Dwelling Place of the Kuffar and Mushrikeen
Because the disbelievers and polytheists will remain in Hell forever, it is considered to be their abode or dwelling place, just as Paradise is the abode of the believers:
“Their abode will be the Fire; and evil is the home of the wrongdoers” (3:151)
“Their abode is the Fire, because of the [evil] they earned”. (10:8)
“Is there not a home in Hell for those who reject Faith?” (29:68)
Hell is abode that they deserve:
“Your abode is the Fire: that is the proper place to claim you…” (57:15)
Hell is the worst abode and destination:
“But for the wrongdoers will be an evil place of [final] Return! – they will burn therein – an evil bed [indeed to lie on]!” (38:55-56)
3. Those Who Call Others to Hell
Those who follow misguided beliefs and ideologies that contradict the laws of Allah (Swt) and those who believe in their false causes, these are the ones who call others to Hell:
“Those [unbelievers] do [but] beckon you to the Fire..” (2:221)
“And We made them [but] leaders inviting to the Fire; and on the Day of Judgement no help shall they find”. (28:41)
One of them is Shaytaan:
“..[would they do so] even if it is Shaytaan beckoning them to the Penalty of the [Blazing] Fire?” (31:21)
“He [Shaytaan} only invites his adherents that they may become Companions of the blazing Fire” (35:6)
Those who call others to the Fire in this world will lead their people and their followers to the Fire in the Hereafter. An example is Pharaoh:
“He will go before his people on the Day of Judgement, and lead them into the Fire.” (11:98)
All evil leaders who call people to their belief systems that go against Islaam are in fact calling people to the Fire of Hell, because the only way to escape the Fire of Hell and enter Paradise is to follow the path of Faith:
“And O my people! [strange] it is for me to call you to salvation while you call me to the Fire!” (40:41)
This man’s people were calling him to the kufr and shirk of Pharaoh while he was calling them to Tawheed and faith in Allah (swt). Because the kuffaar invite people to the Fire, Allah (swt) forbade believing men to marry mushrik women, just as He forbade believing women to marry mushrik men:
“And do not marry unbelieving (literally, polytheist) women until they believe. A slave woman who believes is better than a [free] unbelieving woman, even though she allures you. Nor marry [your girls] to unbelievers until they believer; a male slave who believes is better than a [free] unbeliever, even though he allures you. Those [unbelievers] do [but] beckon you to the Fire, but Allah invites by His Grace to the Garden [of Bliss] and forgiveness, and makes His Signs clear to mankind that they may receive admonition” (2:221)
`Abdullah ibn `Abbaas reported that the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) saw a gold ring on a man’s hand. He took it off and threw it aside, saying, “Would any of you take a burning coal and hold it in his hand?” When the Messenger of Allah (salla llahu alayhi wa sallam) had gone away, someone said to the man, “Take your ring and benefit from it (i.e., sell it).” He said, “No, by Allah, I will not take it after the Messenger of Allah (salla llahu alayhi wa sallam) has thrown it away.” (reported by Muslim, no. 2090).
`Abdullah ibn `Amr ibn al’Aas reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said: “Whoever of my ummah wears gold and dies wearing it, Allah will deny him the gold of Paradise. Whoever of my ummah wears silk and dies wearing it, Allah will deny him the silk of Paradise.” (Reported by Imaam Ahmad).
This prohibition applies to men only, not to women, as `Ali, radiyallahu anhu, reported that the Prophet of Allah(sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) took a piece of silk in his right hand and a piece of gold in his left, and said: “These are forbidden for the males of my ummah.” (reported by al-Nisaa’i and Abu Dawud).
The Prophet (salla llahua alayhi wa sallam) also said: “Wearing silk and gold is permitted for the women of my ummah and prohibited for the males.” (Reported by Imaam Ahmad)
A Muslim is to be keen to get closer to Allah and draw nearer to Him all the time. Such keenness gains more weight and significance during blessed occasions and times. One of these occasions in which a Muslim should exert more effort and show more keenness is the month of Muharram.
To shed more light on the significance of worship in this blessed month we would like to cite for you the following:
Indeed, the sacred month of Muharram is a blessed and important month. It is the first month of the Hijri calendar and is one of the four sacred months concerning which Allah says, “Verily, the number of months with Allah is twelve months (in a year), so it was ordained by Allah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them, four are sacred. That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein” (At-Tawbah 9: 36)
Abu Bakrah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Time has come back to its original state which it had when Allah created the Heavens and the Earth; the year is twelve months, four of which are sacred. Three of them are in succession: Dhul-Qa`da, Dhul-Hijja and Al-Muharram, and (the fourth being) Rajab Mudar (named after the tribe of Mudar as they used to respect this month) which stands between Jumad (ath-Thani) and Sha`ban.”
Muharram is called so because it is a sacred (muharram) month and to confirm its sanctity. Allah Almighty says, “so wrong not yourselves therein”, which means do not wrong yourselves in these sacred months, because sin in these months is worse than in other months.
It was reported that Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said regarding the above verse that these four months were singled out and made sacred. Sins in these months are more serious and good deeds bring a greater reward.
Qatadah (may Allah be pleased with him) said concerning this phrase (so wrong not yourselves therein) that wrongdoing during the sacred months is more serious and more sinful than wrongdoing at any other time. Wrongdoing at any time is a serious matter, but Allah gives more weight to whichever of His commands He will. Allah has chosen certain ones of His Creation. He has chosen from among the angels Messengers and from among mankind Messengers. He chose from among speech His remembrance or dhikr. He chose from among the earth the mosques, from among the months Ramadan and the sacred months, from among the days Friday and from among the nights laylat al-qadr, so venerate that which Allah has told us to venerate. People of understanding and wisdom venerate the things that Allah has told us to venerate.
(Summarized from the Tafseer of Ibn Kathir, may Allah have mercy on him. Tafseer of Surat at-Tawbah, verse 36).
The children of the Believers who die before reaching the age of puberty will be in Paradise, In Sha Allah, by the Grace and Mercy of Allah. He (swt) says:
“And those who believe and whose offspring follow them in faith – to them shall We join their offspring, and We shall not decrease the reward of their deeds in anything. Every person is a pledge for that which he has earned” [52:21]
‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib understood this aayah – “Every person is a pledge for what he has earned” [74:38] – to indicate that the children of the believers would be in Paradise, because they did not earn anything for which they would be considered a pledge. [at-Tadkhirah, p. 511]
al-Bukhaari included a chapter in his Saheeh entitled “The virtue of one whose child dies and he bears it with patience for the sake of Allah”, in which he quoted the hadith of Anas who said that, “A Muslim whose three children die before reaching the age of puberty will be admitted to Paradise by Allah out of Mercy towards them.”
According to a hadith narrated by Abu Sa’eed the women asked the Prophet (Saw) “Set aside a day for us”. So he preached to them and said, “Any woman whose three children die will be shielded from the Fire by them.” A woman asked, “What about two?” He said, “And if two [die].” [Saheeh al-Bukhaari, Kitaab al-Janaa’iz, Baab fadl man mata lahu walad fa ahtasaba, Fath al-Baari, 3/118]
According to a hadith narrated by al-Baraa’ (saw), “When [the Prophet’s son] Ibraaheem, died, the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “There is a wet nurse for him in Paradise””. [Saheeh al-Bukhaari, Kitaab al-Janaa’iz, Baab ma qila fi awlaad al-Muslimeen, Fath al-Baari, 3/244]
The conclusion that may be drawn from this hadith is that the children of the believers will be in Paradise as Ibn Hajar says, “The one who is the reason for his parents being shielded from the Fire should be protected himself, because he is the means and cause of mercy”. [Fath al-Baari, 3/244]
A number of reports clearly indicate this for example, “The Muslims and the children will be in Paradise” [narrated by ‘Ali, quoted by ‘Abdullaah ibn Ahmad in Ziyaadat al-Musnad]
“A Muslim couple whose three children die before reaching the age of puberty will be admitted by Allah to paradise, they and their children, by His Grace and Mercy” [Fath al-Baari, 2/245]
From Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said: “Their little ones are the pageboys of Paradise. One of them will meet his father – or his parents – and take hold of his clothes – or his hand – just as I am taking hold of the hem of your garment, and he will not let go” Or he said,” And he will not let go until Allah admits him to Paradise.” [Silsilat al-Hadith as-Saheehah, 1/184, no. 342]
“The children of the believers will be in Paradise, being cared for by Ibraaheem and Sarah until they give them back to their parents on the Day of Resurrection”. [narrated by Abu Na’eem, ad-Daylami and Ibn ‘Asaakir from Abu Hurayrah – Silsilat al-Hadith as-Saheehah, 3/451 no. 1467; see also 2/156 no. 603 narrated by Ahmad, Ibn Hibbaan, al-Haakim]
an-Nawawi referred to the ijmaa” of reliable Muslim scholars that any Muslim child who dies will be in Paradise. [Fath al-Baari, 3/244]. al-Qurtubee stated that Hammaad ibn Zayd, Hammad ibn Salamah and Ishaaq ibn Rahawayh refrained from giving an opinion [at-Tadhkirah, p.511]. an-Nawawi said, “Some of them refrained from giving an opinion because of the hadith of ‘Aaishah which was reported by Muslim with the wording, “A boy of the Ansaar died, and I said, “It is good for him, because he did not do or know any evil”. The Prophet (saw) said, “You should not say that because Allah (swt) has created its own people for Paradise..” The response to that is that he was most likely rebuking her for hastening to say something so decisive with no proof, or else he said that before he knew that the children of the Muslims would be in Paradise.” [Fath al-Baari, 3/244].
I suggest that the best opinion is that this hadith indicates that it is not permitted to state definitely that any one particular person is one of the people of Paradise, even if we know that in general they will be in Paradise.
The second point is that we should not be hasty in such matters, so that people will not dare to do what happens so often nowadays, when the bereaved claim that their departed loved one is in Paradise, even though he was the worst of people.
The Arabic word for repentance is Taubah which translated literally means “to return”. Repentance means to leave what Allah has prohibited and to return to what he has commanded.
Allah has encouraged the believers to repent with sincere repentance.
O you who believe! Turn to Allah with sincere repentance!
[Surah At-Tahrim Ayah: 8]
In another ayah Allah has said
But as for him who repented (from polytheism and sins, etc.), believed (in the Oneness of Allah, and in His Messenger Muhammad saws), and did righteous deeds (in the life of this world), then he will be among those who are successful.
[Surah Al-Qasas Ayah:67]
So we should repent to Allah and submit before him. Indeed even the Prophet (saws) used to ask Allah for his forgiveness even though he was the Prophet and was sinless. We see that despite this he used to repent to Allah more than 70 times a day.
“O people, make tawbah to Allah. By Allah, I make tawbah to Him more than seventy times each day.”
Even though the Prophet (saws) was never displeasing to Allah he asked Allah for His forgiveness, how much more so should the sinners?
The Prophet (saws) encouraged everyone to repent to Allah as a means of purification from the sins. The Prophet (saws) used to say every morning he used to ask Allah for forgiveness at least 100 times.
Abdullah ibn `Umar said: We counted in a single sitting the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu alaihi wa sallam, saying one hundred times: (My Lord, forgive me and accept my repentance, verily you are Acceptor of Repentance, Oft-Forgiving.)
[Ahmad, Abu Dawood, Ibn Maajah]
And the best time for repentance is in the morning and the night, in that we may start our day with repentance and end our day with repentance.
The Prophet (saws) has said
Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, stretches out His Hand during the night so that the people repent for the fault committed from dawn till dusk and He stretches out His Hand during the day so that the people may repent for the fault committed from dusk to dawn (He would accept repentance) before the sun rises in the west (before the Day of Resurrection).
So we should endeavor to keep our hearts pure and our tongues moist with repentance to Allah in that he may forgive us our sins.
Shaddad Ibn ‘Aus (RA) narrated, the Prophet (PBUH) said:
“The most superior way of asking help (forgiveness) from Allah is to say:
What translated in English means,
O Allah, Thou are my Lord! There is no god but Thee, It is Thee Who created me, and I am Thy servant, I am faithful to my covenant and my promise to Thee to my best ability, I seek refuge with Thee from all the evil I have done, I acknowledge before Thee all the blessings Thou have bestowed upon me, and I confess to Thee to forgive my sins, for nobody can forgive sins but Thee.
The Prophet (PBUH) then added:
If somebody recites it during the day with firm faith in it, and dies on the same day before the evening, he will be from the people of Paradise; and if somebody recites it at night with firm faith in it, and dies before the morning, he will be from the people of the Paradise.”
Thus the Prophet (saws) advised us to repent to Allah and also to ask Him for his forgiveness.
Allah has encouraged and ordered us to repent to Allah, surrendering to him completely before we face him on the day of judgement. Thus we need to repent and seek Allah’s forgiveness before we face death for at the time of death repentance will be of no benefit to us.
Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:
The Prophet (saws) said, “Amongst the men of Bani Israel there was a man who had murdered ninety-nine persons. Then he set out asking (whether his repentance could be accepted or not). He came upon a monk and asked him if his repentance could be accepted. The monk replied in the negative and so the man killed him. He kept on asking till a man advised to go to such and such village. (So he left for it) but death overtook him on the way. While dying, he turned his chest towards that village (where he had hoped his repentance would be accepted), and so the angels of mercy and the angels of punishment quarreled amongst themselves regarding him. Allah ordered the village (towards which he was going) to come closer to him, and ordered the village (whence he had come), to go far away, and then He ordered the angels to measure the distances between his body and the two villages. So he was found to be one span closer to the village (he was going to). So he was for given.”
There are numerous hadith abound with stories of the sahabah before they became Muslims who used to fight against Allah and his Messenger (saws), and after accepting Islam we see that they went on to become leaders of the Muslims. Rather, we should repent to Allah because as is mentioned in the hadith above that Allah opens his hand during the day for the sinners of the night to repent to him and he opens his hand during the day for the sinners of the day to repent to him.
O Allah grant us the sincere repentance and accept is from us, verily You are the All Hearing, the All Knowing. Ameen.
It was narrated that in the days that Musa (peace be upon him) wandered with Bani Israel in the desert, an intense drought befell them. Together, they raised their hands towards the heavens praying for the blessed rain to come. Then, to the astonishment of Musa and all those watching, the few scattered clouds that were in the sky vanished, the heat poured down, and the drought intensified.
It was revealed to Musa that there was a sinner amongst the tribe of Bani Israel who had disobeyed Allah for more than 40 years of his life. “Let him separate himself from the congregation,” Allah told Musa. “Only then shall I shower you all with rain.”
Musa (peace be upon him) called out to the throngs of humanity, “There is a person amongst us who has disobeyed Allah for 40 years. Let him separate himself from the congregation and only then shall we be rescued from the drought.”
That man waited, looking left and right, hoping that someone else would step forward, but no one did. Sweat poured forth from his brow and he knew that he was the one. The man knew that if he stayed amongst the congregation all would die of thirst and that if he stepped forward he would be humiliated for all eternity.
He raised his hands with a sincerity he had never known before, with humility he had never tasted, and as tears poured down on both cheeks he said, “O Allah, have mercy on me! O Allah, hide my sins! O Allah, forgive me!”
As Musa (peace be upon him) and the people of Bani Israel waited for the sinner to step forward, the clouds hugged the sky and the rain poured. Musa asked Allah, “O Allah, you blessed us with rain even though the sinner did not come forward.”
And Allah replied, “O Musa, it is for the repentance of that very person that I blessed all of Bani Israel with water.”
Musa (peace be upon him), wanting to know who this blessed man was, asked, “Show him to me O Allah!”
Allah replied, “O Musa, I hid his sins for 40 years, do you think that after his repentance I shall expose him?”
– Muhammad Al-Shareef is director of Al-Maghrib Institute in Canada