What are the evidences that make remaining in Hell forever certain?

The Details of the Question
- Are there clear evidences stating that not all people will enter Paradise by being forgiven in the hereafter after a while?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

It is stated that unbelievers will remain in Hell eternally. Eternally means forever. It is certain by verses thatunbelievers will remain in Hell eternally:

"So enter the gates of Hell, to dwell therein. Thus evil indeed is the abode of the arrogant." (an-Nahl, 16/29)

"But those whose balance is light, will be those who have lost their souls, in Hell will they abide." (al-Mu'minun, 23/103)

"(To them) will be said: ‘Enter ye the gates of Hell, to dwell therein: and evil is (this) Abode of the Arrogant!’" (az-Zumar, 39/72)

"Enter ye the gates of Hell, to dwell therein: and evil is (this) abode of the arrogant!" (al-Mu'min, 40/76)

"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." (al-A'raf, 7/40)


It is certain that for those who reject Our signs (verses), who try to reject our evidences and signs that show the good and the evil, the truth and the wrong, the results of the past and the necessities of the present and the future clearly, and who treat them with arrogance, who regard themselves superior and do not want to condescend to take them into consideration, no opening will there be of the gates of heaven; their spirits cannot ascend; they cannot penetrate into high places even if they jump up; they cannot attain the secrets of angels; they will fall down and their prayers will be rejected. Blessing and abundance will not come to them; they cannot enter Paradise until the camel can pass through the eye of the needle.

With another meaning: "Until the rope can pass through the eye of the needle." For, as it is known, along with “camel”, the word (al-jamal) also means rope and it is also pronounced as (jummal), (jumal), (juml) and (jumul). Some tafsir scholar prefer the meaning rope since rope resembles thread and is more related to the needle than the camel while the majority of tafsir scholars prefer the meaning camel. For, it is an idiom in both senses; it expresses the impossibility of something like the saying “when pigs fly”. From this viewpoint, the former meaning is more appropriate.  

For, ”the eye of the needle” is used as a symbol for smallness and “the camel” for bigness. When we want to exaggerate the smallness or thinness of something, we say, "like the eye of the needle". When we want to exaggerate the bigness of something we say, "like a camel". This is used a lot in Arabic. "The rope" can be used for a simile but it is not as common as the camel. It is definitely more appropriate to use the camel, which is a symbol of bigness, passing through the eye of a needle, which is a symbol of thinness, in order to express something that is impossible to happen.

Besides, a camel itself goes where it wants to enter. However, it is necessary for a person to put the rope into something. In addition to the bigness of the camel, it is a living and moving being; and when its neck, hunch, feet and body structure with crookedness are taken into consideration, the impossibility of its passing through the eye of the needle is much more impressive than the rope.  

To sum up, in both cases, the meaning is not the limitation of unbelievers entering into Paradise for a certain period but expressing its impossibility with a clear simile. Therefore, there is no need to discuss in vain whether it is possible for the camel to pass through the eye of a needle or not like some deniers do.   

(Elmalılı Muhammed YAZIR, Hak Dini Kur'an Dili)

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