Why is a person who dies as an unbeliever (kafir) punished by staying in Hell eternally? Is it a just punishment?
One of the explanations of Badiuzzaman Said Nursi related to the issue of why a person who dies as an unbeliever needs to stay in Hell eternally is as follows:
"Question: The sin of unbelief persists a short time but its punishment is eternal and unending; how is this conformable with divine justice? And if one does accept this, how is it consistent with pre-eternal wisdom? And if one accepts this even, how does dominical compassion permit it?
Answer: If one accepts that the penalty is infinite, it is established that unbelief perpetrated in finite time is, in six respects, a crime of infinite proportions:
Firstly: The person who dies an unbeliever will remain as such even if he lives to all eternity, for he has corrupted the very substance of his spirit. And his corrupted heart has the propensity to commit infinite crimes. Therefore, his punishment is not contrary to justice.
Secondly: Even if unbelief occurs in finite time, it is an infinite crime and gives the lie to infinity; it denies the whole universe, which testifies to divine unity.
Thirdly: Since unbelief is ingratitude for infinite bounties, it is an infinite murder.
Fourthly: Unbelief is a crime against infinity; that is, the divine essence and attributes.
Fifthly: The human conscience is, in regard to its outer face, limited and finite, but by virtue of its reality, the roots of its inner face spread and extend to eternity. In this respect, therefore, it is infinite. Unbelief, however, sullies it and it dwindles away.
Sixthly: Although opposites stubbornly resist each other, they are similar in many instances. Thus, on the one hand, belief yields the fruits of the delights of Paradise, and on the other, unbelief produces everlasting suffering and pain. It may be concluded therefore if one puts these six aspects together that infinite punishment fits the infinite crime and is pure justice." (see Nursi, İşaratü'l-İcaz)
- How can it be justice for unbelievers to remain in Hell eternally? Why should torture in Hell be eternal? Why did Allah create Hell though His compassion is more than that of a mother?
- Will you explain the eternity of life in the hereafter, Paradise and Hell with verses of the Quran and hadiths?
- Why is Hell eternal for unbelievers?
- How should we answer those who allege that Paradise and Hell are not eternal, and that after a while (God forbid), Allah will feel bored and destroy Paradise and Hell?
- Do we not have the right to perish forever after we die? Why do we have to exist forever?
- Does committing a major sin make a person an unbeliever?
- How can man be responsible for his action eternally?
- Are there any sins that cause man to remain in Hell forever?
- Third Truth: The proofs of wisdom and justice in this world and the indication of the names of Wise and Just to the hereafter.
- What is Murted? Who is called an apostate; ex-Muslim? Can a Muslim be addressed as kafir (unbeliever)?