Why is Hell eternal for unbelievers?
Submitted by on Thu, 08/04/2021 - 16:31
Dear Brother / Sister,
We see some so-called theologians on television; they say,
“Unbelievers will not remain in Hell forever. They will exit Hell after remaining there for a while…”
We will prove how wrong that idea is through the verses of the Quran inshallah.
Then, we will answer the so-called evidences of those who deny that Hell is eternal inshallah.
Quranic verses stating that Hell is eternal for unbelievers:
- THE FIRST EVIDENCE: “Nor will there be a way for them (unbelievers) out of the Fire.” (al-Baqara, 2/167)
“Nor will there be a way for them out of the Fire.” (al-Baqara, 2/167)
Our first evidence related to Hell’s being eternal for unbelievers is verse 167 of the chapter of al-Baqara. In the verse, our Lord expresses the regret of the unbelievers in the hereafter first and then states the following at the end of the verse:
وَمَا هُمْ بِخَارِجِينَ مِنَ النَّارِ Nor will there be a way for them out of the Fire. (al-Baqara, 2/167)
See how clearly the verse expresses it: “Nor will there be a way for them out of the Fire.”
The same meaning is mentioned in verse 37 of the chapter of al-Maida:
يُرِيدُونَ أَنْ يَخْرُجُوا مِنَ النَّارِ Their wish will be to get out of the Fire. وَمَا هُمْ بِخَارِجِينَ مِنْهَا But never will they get out therefrom. (al-Maida, 5/37)
Now we want to ask this:
What do you understand from the statement “Nor will there be a way for them (unbelievers) out of the Fire”? What you will understand is that unbelievers will not be able to exit fire and that they will remain in Hell forever. There is no need to be a scholar or a mufassir to understand it. A sane person will understand from the statement “Nor will there be a way for them (unbelievers) out of the Fire” that Hell is eternal and that unbelievers will remain in Hell forever.
Are those who say that unbelievers will exit Hell not regarded to have slandered the Quran though the meaning of the verse is so clear? The Quran says, “Their wish will be to get out of the Fire, but never will they get out therefrom.” However, they say, “No, they will exit...”
Whom shall we believe? The clear expression of the Quran or their statement? Alhamdulillah, we believe in the Quranic verse.
We would like to state the following parenthetically:
What word of a person who cannot understand that Hell is eternal despite such clear verses can you trust in terms of religion? We leave it to your conscience.
- THE SECOND EVIDENCE: “For them (unbelievers) is an enduring punishment.” (at-Tawba, 9/68)
“For them is an enduring punishment.” (at-Tawba, 9/68)
Our second evidence related to unbelievers’ remaining in Hell forever is verse 68 of the chapter of at-Tawba. Our Lord states the following in that verse:
وَعَدَ اللهُ الْمُنَافِقِينَ وَالْمُنَافِقَاتِ وَالْكُفَّارَ نَارَ جَهَنَّمَ Allah hath promised the Hypocrites men and women, and the rejecters, of Faith, the fire of Hell. خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا Therein shall they dwell: هِيَ حَسْبُهُمْ Sufficient is it for them: وَلَعَنَهُمُ اللَّهُ And for them is the curse of Allah. وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ مُقِيمٌ And an enduring punishment
The part we will deal with in the verse above is the phrase وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ مُقِيمٌ “And an enduring punishment.” The part عَذَابٌ مُقِيمٌ is an adjectival phrase. The word عَذَابٌ is the word that is modified and the word مُقِيمٌ is an adjective. God Almighty modifies the word عَذَابٌ with the adjective مُقِيمٌ.
What is the meaning of the word مُقِيمٌ? The word مُقِيمٌ means “continuous, enduring, unending, everlasting”. It means there is a continuous, enduring, unending, everlasting punishment for unbelievers. We want to ask you a question now:
- What does a punishment’s being continuous, enduring and unending, mean? Does it not mean that Hell is eternal and that unbelievers will remain in it forever?
Or, let us ask it in a different way:
- If unbelievers were to exit Hell, would the word “punishment” be modified with continuity, everlastingness and unendingness? Would the following be stated: “For them is an enduring punishment”? Definitely not.
The phrase عَذَابٌ مُقِيمٌ “enduring punishment” is mentioned in five places in the Quran. It is mentioned as وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ مُقِيمٌ for them is an enduring punishment in verse 68 of the chapter of at-Tawba and verse 37 of the chapter of al-Maida. It is mentioned as follows in verse 45 of the chapter of ash-Shura:أَلاَ إِنَّ الظَّالِمِينَ فِي عَذَابٍ مُقِيمٍ Behold! Truly the Wrong-doers are in a lasting Penalty!
It is mentioned as follows in verse 39 of the chapter of Hud: فَسَوْفَ تَعْلَمُونَ مَنْ يَأْتِيهِ عَذَابٌ يُخْزِيهِ But soon will ye know who it is on whom will descend a penalty that will cover them with shame,- on whom will be unloosed a penalty lasting; and as follows in verse 40 of the chapter of az-Zumar: وَيَحِلُّ عَلَيْهِ عَذَابٌ مُقِيمٌ and on whom descends a Penalty that abides.
Those five verses of the Quran state that punishment is continuous and lasting for unbelievers and that it will not end. Although that is what the verses state, some people say, “No, punishment is not continuous. Unbelievers will exit Hell after a while.”
Now, we ask them:
- In the five verses we have mentioned above, Allah Almighty modifies the word penalty with the adjective مُقِيمٌ; the word مُقِيم means “continuous, lasting, unending, everlasting”; all tafsir scholars explain it like that. Have you discovered a new dictionary? Or, do you interpret words as you wish? Then, tell us: If the word مُقِيمٌ does not mean “continuous”, what does it mean?
- THE THIRD EVIDENCE: “To dwell therein (Fire) for ever: no protector will they (unbelievers) find, nor helper.” (al-Ahzab, 33/65)
“To dwell therein (Fire) for ever: no protector will they (unbelievers) find, nor helper.” (al-Ahzab, 33/65)
We will analyze the phrase خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا أَبَدًا in our third evidence about unbelievers’ remaining in Hell forever. We will present the following evidence:
God Almighty states with the phrase خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا ”Therein shall they dwell” in 34 places in the Quran that unbelievers will remain in Hell forever. The word خَالِدِينَ mentioned in the verse means “those remaining forever”.
If we presented that evidence, those who say that Hell is not forever could give the following answer:
The word “khulud” does not always express endlessness. That word is also used in the sense of remaining somewhere for many years. Therefore, خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا does not mean “they will remain there forever” but “they will remain there for a long timer”.
If the phrase خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا only were used for the people of Hell, we would not be able to answer that statement and we would have to keep silent because the word “khulud” also means “remaining for many years”. However, there is something that they overlook. In 3 of those 34 places, the word أَبَدًا forever is added to the phrase خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا and the phrase is in the form ofخَالِدِينَ فِيهَا أَبَدًا.
Let us suppose that خَالِدِينَ means remaining for many years. What about the word أَبَدًا? The word أَبَدًا expresses endlessness. It proves that Hell is endless, that is, forever, for unbelievers.
Somebody who does not accept that Hell is eternal for unbelievers states the following: “Do not take the word أَبَدًا into account; take the word خَالِدِينَ into account. He means the word أَبَدًا is used unnecessarily...”
What a claim it is! Can there be a word that is used unnecessarily in the Quran? Did Allah include the word أَبَدًا in the verse without attributing any meaning to it? Does that word mean nothing?
When he is addressed like that, he states the following:
Besides, the word أَبَدًا does not mean infinite time. That word is also used for worldly affairs in the Quran. For instance, in verse 24 of the chapter of al-Maida, the nation of Hz. Musa (Moses) says, إِنَّا لَنْ نَدْخُلَهَا أَبَدًا “Never shall we be able to enter it”. Again, in verse 84 of the chapter of at-Tawba, the following is stated about the dead bodies of unbelievers: وَلاَ تُصَلِّ عَلَى أَحَدٍ مِنْهُمْ مَاتَ أَبَدًا ”Nor do thou ever pray for any of them that dies.” In those verses, the word أَبَدًا expresses a long time, not infinite time. In that case, the word أَبَدًا in the phrase خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا أَبَدًا expresses a long time, not infinite time.
That is what that person says. The common characteristic of those people is as follows:
They read the verses of the Quran one after another. If the person listening to them does not know the Quran, they try to give the impression that they know the Quran very well with relevant and irrelevant verses. Believe me that what they say is meaningless. Now we will prove how wrong what they say about the word أَبَدًا so that those who listen to them should give up listening to them.
In Arabic, some words have different meanings based on the structure of the sentences in which they are used. The word أَبَدًا is among those words. The word أَبَدًا is normally an adverb of time and it expresses infinite time. However, if it is used in negative sentences, it is not used as an adverb of time but in order to confirm negativeness and it means “never”. The statement إِنَّا لَنْ نَدْخُلَهَا أَبَدًا “Never shall we be able to enter it” uttered by the nation of Hz. Musa does not mean “We will not enter it forever.” In that verse, the word أَبَدًا means never.
The verse وَلاَ تُصَلِّ عَلَى أَحَدٍ مِنْهُمْ مَاتَ أَبَدًا ”Nor do thou ever pray for any of them that dies” about the dead bodies of the unbelievers means “Never pray for any of them that dies.”
In all negative sentences like the ones above, the word أَبَدًا is used in order to confirm negativeness and it means “never”. If that word is used in affirmative sentences, it becomes an adverb of time and means forever. The word أَبَدًا used in the phrase خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا أَبَدًا both for the people of Paradise and Hell means forever. That is, the people of Paradise will remain in Paradise forever and unbelievers will remain in Hell forever.
That person does not know even about the meaning of the word أَبَدًا in negative sentences. He makes a generalization and uses its meaning in negative statements for affirmative statements too. If he referred to a book of prepositions in Arabic, he would know about it.
To sum up, God Almighty states in 34 places in the Quran that unbelievers will remain in Hell forever by saying خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا “Therein shall they dwell”. The word خَالِدِينَ in the verse can be interpreted as “dwelling there for a long time” but the word أَبَدًا is added to the word خَالِدِينَ in three verses and the phrase خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا أَبَدًا is used, expressing that this period of time is infinite. The meaning of the word أَبَدًا is clear; it means “infinity”. It proves that Hell is infinite imprisonment for unbelievers.
- THE FOURTH EVIDENCE: Which one of the following three ways is possible?
Which one of the following three ways is possible?
In this fourth part of our lesson related to unbelievers’ remaining in Hell forever, we will make the following analysis: One of the following three decrees will be valid for unbelievers:
1. Unbelievers will burn in Hell for a while and then exit Hell to go to Paradise.
2. Unbelievers will burn in Hell and perish.
3. Unbelievers will remain in Hell forever.
If it is proved that the first and second alternatives are impossible, the third alternative will have to be accepted. We will prove through the verses of the Quran that the impossibility of the first and second alternatives. At first, we will prove the impossibility of the first alternative.
THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF THE FIRST ALTERNATIVE
The first possibility is unbelievers’ remaining in Hell for a while and then entering Paradise. Now we will prove through the verses of the Quran that it is impossible.
The following is stated in verse 72 of the chapter of al-Maida:
إِنَّهُ مَنْ يُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ Whoever joins other gods with Allah فَقَدْ حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيهِ الْجَنَّةَ - Allah will forbid him the garden.
It is clearly stated in the verse above that Paradise is forbidden for polytheists (mushriks). That is to say, polytheists will not be able to enter Paradise.
The following is stated in verse 40 of the chapter of al-A’raf:
وَلاَ يَدْخُلُونَ الْجَنَّةَ Nor will they enter the garden, حَتَّى يَلِجَ الْجَمَلُ فِي سَمِّ الْخِيَاطِ until the camel can pass through the eye of the needle.
In the verse above, God Almighty lays the camel’s passing through the eye of the needle as a condition for unbelievers’ entering Paradise. Can a camel pass through the eye of the needle? Definitely not. In that case, unbelievers can never enter Paradise.
The following is stated in verse 77 of the chapter of Aal-i Imran:
لاَ خَلاَقَ لَهُمْ فِي الْآخِرَةِ They shall have no portion in the Hereafter
The word لاَ (no) mentioned in the verse is the “la” of negativeness. That la makes all individuals (types) of the word that comes after it negative. We understand from that la that there is no portion whatsoever for them in the hereafter. The same meaning is indicated as follows in verse 50 of the chapter of al-Araf:
وَنَادَى أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ أَصْحَابَ الْجَنَّةِ The Companions of the Fire will call to the Companions of the Garden: أَنْ أَفِيضُوا عَلَيْنَا مِنَ الْمَاءِ أَوْ مِمَّا رَزَقَكُمُ اللَّهُ Pour down to us water or anything that Allah doth provide for your sustenance. قَالُوا They (people of Paradise) will say إِنَّ اللَّهَ حَرَّمَهُمَا عَلَى الْكَافِرِينَ Both these things hath Allah forbidden to those who rejected Him.
As the verse clearly states, unbelievers will have no portion of water and other boons of paradise. Allah has rendered Paradise haram for them.
There are many more verses that we can quote regarding the issue. There is no need to quote more because the ones that we have quoted prove that unbelievers will not be able to enter Paradise.
We have proved the impossibility of the first alternative for unbelievers; that is, it is impossible for them to exit Hell and enter Paradise. Let us prove the impossibility of the second alternative now.
THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF THE SECOND ALTERNATIVE
The second alternative is unbelievers’ burning in Hell for a while and perishing after that. It is not possible either.
First of all, there is no statement about it in any verse or hadith but there are many verses stating that unbelievers will not perish. For instance,
The following is stated in verse 36 of the chapter of Fatir:
وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لَهُمْ نَارُ جَهَنَّمَ But those who reject (Allah) - for them will be the Fire of Hell: لاَ يُقْضَى عَلَيْهِمْ فَيَمُوتُوا No term shall be determined for them, so they should die, وَلاَ يُخَفَّفُ عَنْهُمْ مِنْ عَذَابِهَا nor shall its Penalty be lightened for them
The statement “No term shall be determined for them, so they should die” in the verse states clearly that they will not die. It means unbelievers will not die in Hell.
The following is stated in verse 77 of the chapter of az-Zukhruf:
نَادَوْا They (people of Hell) will cry: يَا مَالِكُ O Malik! -Malik is the name of the guard of Hell- لِيَقْضِ عَلَيْنَا رَبُّكَ Would that thy Lord put an end to us. قَالَ إِنَّكُمْ مَاكِثُونَ He will say, “Nay, but ye shall abide!”
You can understand from the clear statement of the verse that people of Hell want to perish and that they beg Malik. Malik does not say to them, “You will perish afterwards.” He says, “Nay, but ye shall abide!”
The following is stated in verse 40 of the chapter of an-Naba:
يَقُولُ الْكَافِرُ يَا لَيْتَنِي كُنْتُ تُرَابًا And the Unbeliever will say, “Woe unto me! Would that I were (mere) dust
You can see that unbelievers want to perish that day but their request is not accepted.
The following is stated in verses 13 and 14 of the chapter of al-Furqan:
وَإِذَا أُلْقُوا مِنْهَا مَكَانًا ضَيِّقًا مُقَرَّنِينَ And when they are cast, bound together into a constricted place therein, دَعَوْا هُنَالِكَ ثُبُورًا they will plead for destruction there and then. They will be addressed as follows: لاَ تَدْعُوا الْيَوْمَ ثُبُورًا وَاحِدًا This day plead not for a single destruction; وَادْعُوا ثُبُورًا كَثِيراً plead for destruction oft- repeated!
As the verse puts it, they want to be destroyed but they are not destroyed. They are even mocked with the following statement: “Plead for destruction oft- repeated.”
There are many more verses we can quote regarding the issue. We regard the ones above enough so as not to lengthen the issue. There is no need for more. Let us conclude our analysis:
We have stated that one of the following three decrees must be valid for unbelievers.
1. Unbelievers will burn in Hell for a while and then exit Hell to go to Paradise.
2. Unbelievers will burn in Hell and perish in the end.
3. Unbelievers will remain in Hell forever.
We have proved the impossibility of the first and second alternatives through the verses of the Quran. In that case there is no other way than accepting the third alternative because there is no other alternative.
After that analysis, we address those who deny that Hell is eternal for unbelievers as follows:
You will either accept the third alternative or prove the first or second alternative. Prove if you can. Show us a single verse from the Quran stating that unbelievers will enter Hell or unbelievers will perish. If you cannot do it – you will never be able to do it – you will have to accept that unbelievers will remain in Hell forever.
Answers to the so-called evidences of those who deny that Hell is eternal:
- THEIR FIRST SO-CALLED EVIDENCE: “They will dwell therein for ages.” (an-Naba, 78/23)
The meaning of the verse “They will dwell therein for ages.”
Those who claim that unbelievers will exit Hell state the following:
The following is stated in the chapter of an-Naba: لاَبِثِينَ فِيهَا أَحْقَابًا They will dwell therein (in Hell) for ages. (an-Naba, 78/23) The phrase “for ages” mentioned in the verse is a finite time. No matter how long they are, ages will end one day. It proves that Hell will have an end.
That is what they say. According to them, the statement “They will dwell therein (in Hell) for ages” is an evidence showing that unbelievers will exit Hell. Let us give the correct meaning of the verse and eliminate their doubts.
The verse in question has been interpreted in three different ways:
The first explanation is also preferred by Imam Zajjaj. The summary of it is as follows:
There are various kinds of punishments in the hereafter. One of those punishments is mentioned in the verse and it is stated that it will last for ages. When that punishment ends, another punishment starts. In that case, the verse “They will dwell therein (in Hell) for ages” is considered together with the two verses after it; and the meaning is as follows:
لاَبِثِينَ فِيهَا أَحْقَابًا They will dwell therein (in Hell) for ages. In those ages, لاَ يَذُوقُونَ فِيهَا بَرْدًا nothing cool shall they taste therein وَلاَ شَرَابًا إِلاَّ حَمِيمًا وَغَسَّاقًا nor any drink, save a boiling fluid and a fluid, dark, murky, intensely cold,
That penalty, in which a boiling fluid and a dark murky fluid will be drunk, will last for ages. Then, it will end and another punishment will begin. Thus, the punishment will last forever. Thus, the phrase “They will dwell therein for ages” is not a general expression but an expression related to the time period when a boiling fluid and a dark murky fluid will be drunk. When the ages in which a boiling fluid and a dark murky fluid will be drunk end, punishments do not end; another punishment starts; punishments continue like that forever.
The second explanation of the verse is as follows:
Who is “they” mentioned in the verse “They will dwell therein for ages” is explained as follows in the previous verse:
لِلطَّاغِينَ مَآبًا ”For the transgressors a place of destination.” It is possible that what is meant by the word “transgressors” in the verse is not unbelievers but sinful believers. After burning in Hell for a while, sinful believers will exit Hell. The verse following it, that is, “They will dwell therein for ages” is about sinful believers and it states that they will exit Hell after a while. According to that possibility, the verse has nothing to do with unbelievers.
The third explanation of the verse is as follows:
The verse “They will dwell therein for ages” is about unbelievers and its meaning is as follows: The word “ages (centuries)”, not the word “age” is mentioned in the verse. An age has an end abut ages have no end. When an age ends, another one starts; then, another one starts; it goes on like that forever. Therefore, what is meant by the word “ages” is “eternity”.
We have interpreted the verse “They will dwell therein for ages” in three different ways:
1. The verse expresses the period when a boiling fluid and a dark murky fluid will be drunk.
2. Or, it is about sinful believers.
3. Or, it means punishment will last forever as another age starts when an age ends.
Someone may state the following: Why do I have to understand the verse like that? I want to understand it as unbelievers’ exiting Hell after some ages. What prevents understanding it like that?
Some other verses of the Quran prevent it.
The following is stated in two verses وَمَا هُمْ بِخَارِجِينَ مِنَ النَّارِ “Nor will there be a way for them out of the Fire.” (al-Baqara, 167 and al-Maida, 37) The phrase عَذَابٌ مُقِيمٌ is used in five places where punishment in Hell is mentioned. The word مُقِيمٌ means “continuous, enduring, unending, everlasting”. It means there is a continuous, enduring, unending, everlasting penalty for unbelievers. The phrase خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا أَبَدًا “They will dwell therein (in Hell) forever” is used for unbelievers in three places. That they will not exit Hell is confirmed with the word “abadan (forever)”. The phrase لاَ يُخَفَّفُ عَنْهُمُ الْعَذَابُ “Their penalty will not be lightened” is mentioned in five places.
To put it more concisely, there is clear meaning and indirect meaning.
The clear meaning of the verses “Nor will there be a way for them out of the Fire” and “They will dwell therein (in Hell) forever” is that unbelievers will remain in Hell forever. To conclude that unbelievers will exit from Hell from the verse “They will dwell therein for ages” is indirect meaning because it is stated in the verse that unbelievers will remain in Hell for ages not that they will exit. To conclude from the phrase dwelling for ages that they will exit one day is an indirect meaning.
The rule is as follows: If a clear meaning and an indirect meaning are considered together, the clear meaning is preferred because it has an explicit and direct meaning. The indirect meaning is not clear. Therefore, the clear meaning is preferred to direct meaning. It leads us to the conclusion that unbelievers will remain in Hell forever.
There are other verses like those ones. It is stated in those verses that unbelievers will remain in Hell forever. If we understand the verse “They will dwell therein for ages” as unbelievers will exit Hell, how can we explain those verses? However, it is possible to interpret that verse in one of the three ways we have mentioned. You cannot interpret that verse as you wish by leaving what is possible and by overlooking other verses. If you do so, there will be a contradiction in the Quran. However, as our Lord, states, there is no contradiction in the Quran. That is, no verse is opposite of another verse. It is possible to explain each of them.
Lastly, we will explain the issue with a rule of methodology:
A word indicates a decree in two ways: with clear meaning and indirect meaning. The clear meaning of a verse is its literal meaning; the indirect meaning of the verse is what is implied.
- THEIR SECOND SO-CALLED EVIDENCE: “They will dwell therein (in Hell) for all the time that the heavens and the earth endure.” (Hud, 11/106-107)
The meaning of the verse “They will dwell therein (in Hell) for all the time that the heavens and the earth endure.”
We will answer the following statement of those who claim that unbelievers will exit Hell. They say: The following is stated in the chapter of Hud:
فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ شَقُوا Those who are wretched فَفِي النَّارِ shall be in the Fire لَهُمْ فِيهَا زَفِيرٌ وَشَهِيقٌ There will be for them therein (nothing but) the heaving of sighs and sobs: خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا They will dwell therein مَا دَامَتِ السَّمَاوَاتُ وَالأَرْضُ for all the time that the heavens and the earth endure إِلاَّ مَا شَاءُ رَبُّكَ except as thy Lord willeth (Hud, 11/106-107)
Unbelievers’ remaining in Hell is based on the condition of the endurance of the heavens and the earth. The heavens and the earth are not eternal; they will perish when Doomsday strikes. In that case, Hell must not be eternal.
That is what they say. According to them, the phrase “for all the time that the heavens and the earth endure...” in the verse is an evidence that Hell is not eternal. We answer that claim as follows:
The heavens and the earth mentioned in the verse are not heavens and the earth in this world. They are heavens and the earth in the hereafter. The evidence that there are heavens and the earth in the hereafter is verse 48 of the chapter of Ibrahim. The following is stated in that verse:
يَوْمَ تُبَدَّلُ اْلأَرْضُ غَيْرَ اْلأَرْضِ وَالسَّمَاوَاتُ One day the earth will be changed to a different earth, and so will be the heavens.
The verse above is an evidence that there are heavens and the earth in the hereafter. Besides, the sky (the heavens) is anything that is over our heads and provides us shade. The earth is what we step on. There will definitely be a place to step on in Paradise and a place over that place. The place to step on is called “earth” and the place over it is called “sky”.
Unbelievers’ remaining in Hell is based on the continuity of the earth and heavens in the hereafter. Since the earth and heavens in the hereafter are eternal, unbelievers’ dwelling in Hell will also be eternal.
The second answer regarding the issue is as follows:
The phrase “for all the time that the heavens and the earth endure” mentioned in the verse is a metaphorical expression. Arabs use different phrases to express the continuity and eternity of something. Phrases like “When darkness surrounds at night”, “when flood takes” and “as the night and day change continuously” are used to express eternity by Arabs. The phrase “for all the time that the heavens and the earth endure” is such an expression and it is used for eternity.
God Almighty uses a simile with that expression and expresses the eternity of Hell with a phrase used by Arabs. We should not forget that the Quran was sent in Arabic and that its first addressees are Arabs. Therefore, it is quite natural for the Quran, which was sent in Arabic and that whose first addressees are Arabs, to include similes used by Arabs.
The following question can be asked: Why did God Almighty not say خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا أَبَدًا for eternity instead of the phrase “for all the time that the heavens and the earth endure”?
The reason for it is as follows: The phrase “for all the time that the heavens and the earth endure” includes a fear for the hearts and horror for the reader. That expression also means that the duration of the punishment is too long for the human mind to understand.
That expression is preferred in order to show the importance of the issue and to attract attention to the length of the duration of the punishment.
In the part of the verse after it, attention is attracted to the sinful believers that will exit Hell with the phrase “except as thy Lord willeth”. Yes, Hell is eternal for transgressors but the transgressors who are believers will not remain in Hell forever; they will exit Hell thanks to their belief. What is more, some transgressors who are believers will be forgiven before going to Hell and will go to Paradise directly. It is the grace of our Lord, and attention is attracted to that grace with the phrase “except as thy Lord willeth”.
We will state the following for those who know Arabic:
The reason why the word مَا (which) is used instead of مَنْ (who) is due to the fact that what matters is not individuals but the number.
To sum up: The phrase “for all the time that the heavens and the earth endure...” in the verse bears no indication that unbelievers will exit Hell. The heavens and the earth mentioned in the verse are the heavens and the earth in the hereafter. They are eternal. In that case, Hell must be eternal too. Or, that expression is used metaphorically and what is meant by it is eternity.
We will finish this lesson here. We entrust you to Allah until we see you in the next lesson.
- THEIR THIRD SO-CALLED EVIDENCE: It is Allah who is everlasting. Allah will not give His attribute of everlastingness to a created being.
Will Allah not give His attribute of “everlastingness” to a created being?
One of those who deny that Hell is eternal for unbelievers state the following:
It is Allah who is everlasting. Allah will not give His attribute of everlastingness to a created being. In that case, the people of Hell must not be everlasting.
According to him, Allah will not give His attribute of everlastingness to anybody; therefore, Hell must have an end. Now we ask that person:
According to the same way of thinking, Paradise must have an end too. If, Allah will not give His attribute of “everlastingness” to anybody, He will not give it to people of Hell either. In that case, everybody, including the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), all prophets, saints and friends of Allah, and even Paradise must be eliminated.
Does that person believe it?
If he does not believe it, we ask him,
- If people of Paradise can be everlasting, why can people of Hell not be everlasting?
Let us explain the issue in a more scientific way:
Allah’s attributes are essential. That is, they exist in Him inherently; they do not come from others. However, our attributes are not essential; they are not inherent. That is to say, all our attributes are a grant and grace of Allah; they were given to us afterwards. When an attribute of Allah becomes manifest on a being, that being becomes a mirror, not a sharer, of that attribute. That being becomes a place of manifestation of that attribute.
For instance, Allah is Hayy; that is, He has life. We also have life. However, Allah’s attribute of Hayy is essential and inherent but ours is not inherent. That is to say, we have that attribute because Allah gave it to us. In that case, we are not partners of Allah in terms of the attribute of Hayy; we are mirrors, that is, places of manifestation.
We also have partial knowledge, hearing and sight. Those attributes of us are the manifestations of Allah’s attributes of Alim, Sami and Basir; we are mirrors of those attributes.
A rich person is a mirror of Allah’s name Ghaniyy. A doctor is a mirror of Allah’s name Shafii. A beautiful person is a mirror of Allah’s name Jamil and a strong person is a mirror of Allah’s name Qawiyy. However, none of them is a partner of Allah. Being a mirror is one thing and being a partner is another thing.
The same thing applies to the name Baqi (Everlasting). Both people of Paradise and people of Hell are mirrors of Allah’s name Baqi. Allah’s everlastingness is essential (inherent) but the everlastingness of others is based on Allah’s giving them everlastingness.
Now we want to ask the following question:
Since Allah becomes manifest on His beings with all His names and attributes, why should He not become manifest with His name Baqi? That is to say, since we and all beings become mirrors for one thousand and one names of Allah and since it is permissible, why should it not be permissible for us to become a mirror for the name Baqi?
If it is not possible for the name Baqi to have mirrors, not only the people of Paradise and Hell but also angels must perish.
Now we ask that person:
- Will angels perish in your opinion?
In fact, there are some statements that are not worth even analyzing. That statement of that person is a statement that is not worth analyzing. However, we have explained the issue lest some people should be harmed by it.
Why does an unbeliever deserve eternal punishment in Hell?
- Why does an unbeliever deserve eternal punishment in Hell?
Two questions can come to mind regarding the issue:
- Why will the unbeliever remain in Hell eternally?
- How does Allah’s infinite mercy allow the unbeliever to remain in Hell eternally?
In fact, the answer is very simple. The unbeliever commits endless crimes with his unbelief and, as a result, he is sentenced to endless imprisonment.
Yes, an unbeliever lives for a short time but he commits endless crimes in that short period. The penalty for endless crimes is endless penalty.
We will deal with the crimes that the unbeliever who will enter Hell and remain there eternally commits one by one so that the cruelty and crimes he commits in his short life will be understood and the answer to the question how Allah’s infinite mercy allows infinite mercy to remain in Hell eternally will be clear.
We will try to explain the crimes committed by the unbeliever briefly:
- The First Crime of the Unbeliever: He denies the witnessing of all creatures about the existence of Allah.
The unbeliever accuses all creatures of lying by denying their witnessing about the existence of Allah.
Every being we see in this realm is a witness to the existence and oneness of Allah. An unbeliever who denies Allah commits such a great crime by denying their witnessing that it is impossible to be forgiven; his eternal imprisonment is just and wise.
Let us listen to this witnessing by the creatures first in this lesson so that we will understand better how denying them is a violation of the rights of those creatures.
In this realm, every being declares the existence and oneness of Allah either by the tongue of disposition or by the tongue of speech. Beings speak in two ways: tongue of disposition and tongue of speech. Tongue of disposition means to speak with its appearance/state. That is, to tell the addressee something with its appearance/state. Tongue of speech means to speak by words.
All beings declare the existence and oneness of Allah and witness by the tongue of disposition as well as their words, which we call the tongue of speech. We can understand the witnessing of some of those beings like the witnessing of believers and monotheists. They openly declare and witness that they accept the existence and unity of Allah. We might not understand the witnessing of some of those beings but we believe, as the Quran tells us, that they speak in their own language and mention Allah. They know their owner and witness His existence and oneness.
“We bestowed Grace aforetime on David from ourselves: ‘O ye Mountains! Sing ye back the Praises of Allah with him! and ye birds (also)’.” (Saba, 34/10)
“Whatever is in the heavens and on earth,- let it declare the Praises and Glory of Allah: for He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.” (al-Hadid: 57/1)
“The seven heavens and the earth, and all beings therein, declare His glory: there is not a thing but celebrates His praise; And yet ye understand not how they declare His glory!” (al-Isra, 17/44)
The witnessing of beings by their tongue of disposition
Allah has created man as an intelligent and conscious being, and created beings as a book and a letter written with wisdom and made them witnesses for His existence and oneness. He has also wanted us, as intelligent and conscious beings, to read and meditate on these books written with wisdom.
Those beings declare the existence and oneness of Allah in many languages for those who know how to hear.
Now let us listen to the witnessing of a flower with its tongue of disposition
1. O man! Look at me! Even a flower drawn on a piece of paper proves the existence of the artist who has drawn it; how can real, living and artistic flowers like me be ownerless? I have an owner.
2. Look at the seed, soil, air, water and the sun that caused my existence; and look at me. None of them has life. How can those lifeless causes can be my master? How could they invent me?
3. It is not enough for my owner to have life for me to exist. He must have knowledge, such knowledge as to know both my and other flowers’ programs as well as the realm in whose page I am written. How will you explain my existence (by attributing such knowledge to what cause)?
4. O man! You know that the one that has no power cannot work. So, who is the owner of the power that turns the sun, which I need for my existence, makes it rain, dominate the elements in the earth and invent the air in the way that is suitable for my existence?
5. Look at me carefully! Is my existence, shape, smell, in short, everything, the result of a choice, a will? See the will that prefers my existence, no non-existence, my shape to another shape, my smell to another smell. What cause that claims to own me has this will?
6. Look at my adorned shape and form, and see. How come you do not see my neat shape and the owner of my perfect dress though you attribute the clothes on you to the skill of an artful tailor. Put aside the causes that have not life; if all the tailors came together, could they give me this form and sew this dress?
7. Look at my branches, leaves, seeds and shape! I resemble other flowers created on the earth, and our system is the same. So, whoever has created me created them too.
8. Although my color and shape resemble flowers of the same species, we are not the same; we are different from one another. We resemble one another in terms of our main organs like seeds, branches and leaves but our shapes are different. It is necessary to know all flowers so as not to make me look like millions of other brothers. So, the one who has created me is the one who has created all the flowers on earth.
9. You know that the owner of the field is also the owner of the crop. The one who made the realm of particles an unlimited and vast field is the one that sewed and cultivated billions of creatures like me. I am a crop of this field of the earth. So, my owner is the owner of this earth.
10. I am not related with the earth only; the sun, which you see in the sky, is the biggest reason for my existence. So, whoever has created me created the sun too. Whoever has created the sun definitely created the planets and galaxies in the solar system. In short, my owner is also the owner of the universe.
“Whatever is in the heavens and on earth, doth declare His Praises and Glory.” (al-Hashr, 59/24)
Just like this flower, all creatures, from particles to the suns, exalt Allah with many tongues and declare loudly the existence and oneness of Allah to the whole world. As for the unbeliever, he denies the testimonies of all of the witnesses in the universe and commits a crime as big as the universe and as many crimes as the beings in the universe.
Now let us think about it. An unbeliever leads a short life but let us take into account a minute he spends in unbelief, not his short life. It is still not possible to calculate the magnitude of his crime because there are so many witnesses; it is a cruelty that the mind cannot comprehend to deny all the creatures that lived up to this time from particles to the sun, from animals to plants, from human beings to angels.
No objection of the unbeliever in this regard is valid. He has been given intellect, consciousness and will. And the beings have been presented to him in a way that he will see and read through the seals of monotheism like a book.
If an unbeliever says, ‘what harm will my denial cause?”, we will answer him as follows: If you are denied related to an issue that you know to be true and you are right, you will want the truth to come out and those who call you a liar to be questioned.
Similarly, all creatures feel the same anger as you feel against those who deny you because all beings are honored and valued by being the creatures of Allah and gain a value. When you deny them, you violate and harm the rights of all beings.
“And neither heaven nor earth shed a tear over them: nor were they given a respite (again).” (ad-Dukhan, 44/29)
“And how many Signs in the heavens and the earth do they pass by? Yet they turn (their faces) away from them.” (Yusuf, 12/105)
We address those who do not regard it appropriate for Allah’s wisdom, mercy and justice to punish the unbeliever with eternal penalty.
- The size of the punishment is in accordance with the size of the crime and the eternity of penalty is in accordance with the eternity of the crime. It definitely means to condemn yourself to an eternal punishment to deny a being that introduces Himself you to you through eternal tongues and makes you love and to deny the endless witnesses, which declare His existence to the realm and which He calls ‘My signs’.
- Every being mentions Allah and witnesses His existence but the unbeliever denies all this witnessing with a single word. What will happen to the rights of these beings whose rights are violated and denied? How will Allah’s wisdom, mercy and justice allow it? He did not and will not allow. It means wisdom and justice to imprison him in the prison of Hell eternally; and it is the necessity of His mercy to protect the rights of His creatures that are denied.
- Will those beings who mention and witness Him in this world not demand their rights from that unbeliever as a result of this denial? It definitely means justice to punish the unbeliever with an eternal penalty when the great number of the beings that claim their rights are considered.
- There is no king who will not punish a rebellious subject who does not recognize him, who does not accept his kingship and who denies those who recognize and obey the king in order to protect the honor of his kingship and the rights of his people with a penalty that he deserves. Allah, who is the king of this universe, will definitely impose an eternal penalty on the unbeliever, who does not recognize Him, denies his sovereignty and accuses his creatures of lying, that he deserves; it is a necessity of His justice and wisdom.
- The Second Crime of the Unbeliever: The unbeliever’s debasing the creatures and accusing them of worthlessness
Now we will mention another crime committed by the unbeliever who will enter eternal Hell and remain there eternally so that it will be understood better how he commits great cruelty and crimes by denying Allah and how he condemns himself to remaining in Hell eternally due to his unbelief.
Belief is such a bond that it binds both man and all beings to Allah, who is the creator of all beings. The names of Allah and the embroideries of those names appear on all beings thanks to that bond. All beings attain a different value by being an antique art of Allah, the miracle of His power and a mirror to His names.
Unbelief breaks that bond because all beings are toys in the hands of nature, causes and coincidence in the eye of an unbeliever who denies Allah. They do not have a creator to attain a value by being attributed to Him.
Yes, a work gets its value from its artist. For example, an antique painting is worth 5 cents in terms of its matter but when it is attributed to its artist, it will gain a great value. Think of an antique sword. If we take this sword to a scrap dealer, it will be worth 10 lira in terms of its matter but if it is attributed to its skilled artist or real owner by being taken to the antique market, it will be worth a lot.
Thus, people, animals, plants, mountains, seas, stars, moons, suns, in short, all beings gain value by being Allah’s creature, His art and a miracle of His power.
However, due to his unbelief, an unbeliever commits great injustice by regarding the creatures that Allah has created with great wisdom as a pile of lifeless, soulless and purposeless substances bound to decay. By reducing their value to one from one thousand, he has committed such great injustice and cruelty related to the rights of all beings that the mind is too weak to comprehend the magnitude of this crime.
Yes, every being gains value when they are viewed on behalf of Allah, who is their Creator.
A book written with wisdom cannot be read in darkness; similarly, all the beings that are like books cannot be read in the darkness of unbelief and are accused of worthlessness.
While a flower becomes as valuable as the universe as a work of art of Allah, it falls to the level of something to be thrown away after being smelled in the eye of the unbeliever.
While a bird attains an infinite value by mirroring the names of Allah, it becomes a worthless being formed by chance in the eye of the unbeliever.
While the sun in the sky is a bright mirror of the manifestation of Allah’s education and His name an-Nur (the Light), it is an idle fireball that wanders across the sky in the eye of the unbeliever.
As for man, he becomes such a miracle of power by mirroring all the names of Allah that Allah has made him the vicegerent on the earth and made everything obedient to him. Yes, man is the most perfect fruit of the tree of the Universe but he is a thinking animal that has formed by chance in the eye of the unbeliever.
If a person says, “They have hung these paintings as if they are beautiful; how meaningless, insignificant and ugly they are; paints have probably poured and they have formed spontaneously” by looking at the wonderful paintings painted meticulously by a painter and displayed in the exhibition, he will have insulted the paintings and their painter.
Similarly, when an unbeliever says, “randomly made meaningless things” for the creatures that God Almighty has created with ultimate beauty and art, he insults those beings that are wonders of art. Man gets angry when somebody says meaningless for even a single word coming out of his mouth but he calls the whole universe meaningless, violating the rights of both the universe and the artist.
Now we ask this:
- The rights of how many creatures does an unbeliever who denies them violate by regarding them as worthless?
- The rights of how many beings does he violate by thinking that they are worthless?
Do you think it is possible to calculate the number of the beings who are accused of being worthless? Just think about it. It is great cruelty and crime that cannot be comprehended by the mind to violate the rights of both the beings and the artist by regarding everything from particles to the sun as worthless. Such endless cruelty and crime necessitate an eternal penalty.
Those who cannot understand the reason why an unbeliever remains in Hell eternally are those who cannot comprehend the magnitude of the crime he commits due to his unbelief.
- The Third Crime of the Unbeliever: Denying the worship and glorification of creatures
Now we will mention another crime committed by the unbeliever who will enter Hell and remain there eternally so that it will be understood better what great cruelty and crimes exist in unbelief and how they cause him to remain in Hell eternally.
Every being in this realm glorifies his Lord with its own language and worships Him. An unbeliever who denies Allah commits such a great crime by denying the supreme glorification and worship of all those beings and by violating the rights of all beings that worship that it is impossible to be forgiven; it is just and wise to punish him with eternal penalty.
Now let us see the worship and glorification of the creatures toward Allah:
The natural duties of beings are their worship. For example, if the worship of man is to pray, the worship of a sheep is to give milk. The worship of the bee is to make honey. The worship of the tree is to yield fruit. The worship of the mountains created like stakes is to protect the earth from shocks. Thus, every being worships their Lord as a duty and glorify Him with their own language.
Our Lord states the following in his book:
The seven heavens and the earth, and all beings therein, declare His glory: there is not a thing but celebrates His praise; And yet ye understand not how they declare His glory. (al-Isra, 17/44)
Every being glorifies his Lord with praise and mentions His beautiful names that are manifest on them in their own language.
For example, a bird glorifies Allah with the names Khaliq (Creator), Mubdi (Originator) and Mujid (Inventor) in terms of being created out of nothing, with the names Mujammil (Beautifier) and Muzayyin (Adorner) in terms of its adornments, the names Razzaq (Sustainer), Muqit (Nourisher) and Wahhab (Giver of All) in terms of being fed and its needs being met, the name Mulawwin (Giver of Color) in terms of its color and the name Musawwir (Shaper of Beauty) in terms of its shape. It also has a glorification and duty to say Ya Muhyi (O Giver of Life) with its life and Ya Mumit (O Taker of Life) with its death.
Each being, like this bird, mentions the names of their Lord and worships Him. The earth becomes like a mosque with the glorification and worship of all beings. Every being is a glorifier who glorifies Him, a mentioner who mentions His names and a worshipper who worships Him in that mosque.
The unbeliever enters into the mosque of the universe, insults the glorifiers and worshippers of the mosque by acting as their enemy, makes fun of their worshipping and regards them as idle beings without any duties; thus, he insults, oppresses and slanders them so much that he sentences himself to an eternal penalty due to the greatness of this cruelty and crime.
Now we ask the person who cannot accept the unbeliever’s remaining in Hell eternally:
If someone says to you while you work, “What do you do? You are good for nothing!” by regarding you as a person with no duty and job, you will regard it as cruelty and slander related to your rights.
- Is it not a serious violation of the rights of all beings and spiritual cruelty for a person who cannot tolerate to be called unemployed and without a duty to despise them by regarding them as unimportant beings with no duty though they are at a high level in terms of worshipping and glorification in the mosque of the universe?
Yes, everybody sees the universe through their own viewpoint. A sad, crying person sees the whole world as sad as himself. A very happy and cheerful person sees the whole universe cheerful and smiling. Someone who glorifies Allah with meditation and worship sees all beings worshipping and glorifying like himself.
Similarly, a denier who is far from worshipping sees the whole world and all the beings in it as meaningless and without duty; he violates the rights of those beings spiritually.
Now we ask:
- Does an unbeliever deny the worship and glorification of all creatures by denying Allah?
Yes, he does.
What is the number of beings whose rights are violated?
As the Quran states it, it is as many as the seven skies, the earth and what is in them.
Yes, the mind is incapable of understanding this number.
The unbeliever commits that sin in a short life. If he were given an eternal life, it is certain that he would commit this unbelief forever because the essence of the soul of the unbeliever went corrupt. Therefore, that corrupted heart tends to commit endless crimes.
Since unbelief is a violation of numerous rights, it is definitely unlimited crimes. In that case, it deserves unlimited penalty.
A fifteen-year sentence, which equals to about eight million minutes, is given for a crime that takes only one minute. They accept this imprisonment as human justice and regard it to be in accordance with wisdom and public interest.
We will make a calculation now. In order to understand the issue, we will accept one minute of unbelief as killing a thousand men, in fact, it is necessary to multiply one minute of unbelief with the number of creatures. However, we will not be able to comprehend the figures in that case; therefore, we will accept one minute of unbelief as killing a thousand men.
According to this calculation,
If 1 minute of unbelief => 1.000 murders
1 minute of unbelief => 15.000 (Fifteen thousand) years of imprisonment.
1 hour of unbelief => 900.000 (Nine hundred thousand) years of imprisonment.
A person who lives 1 day as an unbeliever deserves => 21.600.000 (21 million 600 thousand) years of imprisonment
A person who lives 1 years as an unbeliever deserves => 7.884.000.000 (7 Billion 884 million) years of imprisonment.
A person who lives 60 years as an unbeliever deserves => 473.040.000.000 (473 billion 40 million ) years of imprisonment according to human justice.
We found this number by accepting one minute of unbelief as one thousand murders. In fact, it is necessary to multiply one minute of unbelief with the number of creatures. Then, we will understand the punishment of unbelief with eternal penalty better.
- The Fourth Crime of the Unbeliever: The unbeliever denies Allah’s names and attributes the manifestation of those names to causes
Now we will mention another crime committed by the unbeliever who will enter Hell and remain there eternally so that it will be understood better what great cruelty and crimes he commits due to his unbelief and how he condemns himself to Hell.
This realm and everything in it are mirrors to the manifestation of the names of Allah. Our Lord has manifested Himself in the mirrors of creatures with His names and attributes and introduced Himself to us with those names and attributes. In this respect, every being is a divine letter and book written by our Lord. Man, whose purpose of creation is to know Allah, will serve his purpose of creation by reading the names manifested in those divine books.
However, the unbeliever denies those beautiful names manifested in the world because of his unbelief; what is more, he violates the rights of Allah so much by attributing the manifestation of those names to causes that the mind is incapable of comprehending the magnitude of this cruelty and crime.
Yes, attributing the manifestation of those names to causes by disregarding those divine names means ignoring the purpose of creation. It is such a great crime that it is not possible to forgive it; it means justice and wisdom to punish it with eternal penalty.
Let us now contemplate on the realm and try to read those beings, each of which is a divine letter and a book, and the names and attributes manifested on them. Then, let us try to see the magnitude of the crime committed against those names and attributes by denying Allah.
As every owner of beauty and perfection wants to see and show his own beauty, our Lord also wanted to see and show His endless beauty and perfection and created this realm. He adorned every being with embroideries and showed the manifestations of His beauty and perfection on those beings. He gave the duty and honor of watching them to people. The purpose of the creation of man is to know Allah and to see the names and attributes of Allah on creatures.
For example, every human being becomes a mirror to Allah’s names Khaliq (Creator), Mubdi (originator) and Mujid (Inventor) as he comes to the realm of existence from non-existence. The unbeliever denies the name Khaliq, which is his Creator, the name Mubdi, which originated him, and the name Mubdi, which invented him, by attributing his creation to lifeless and unconscious causes.
While the name Muhyi (Giver of Life) wants to show itself by giving life to the unbeliever, he denies the name Muhyi by attributing his life to causes.
While the names Musawwir (Shaper of Beauty) and Bari (Maker of Order) show themselves by giving him a flawless image, he denies the names Musawwir and Bari by not recognizing Allah.
While the names Razzaq (Sustainer) and Karim (Generous) feed him and offer him treats, he commits a great cruelty and crime by attributing his sustenance lifeless and unconscious causes and by denying the names like Razzaq and Karim, which raise and feed him.
While the name Wahhab (Giver of All) generously offers and grants him treats, he attributes those treats to causes and violates the rights of the name Wahhab by denying Allah.
While the recording and preserving of all the events that have happened in his tiny memory are a manifestation of Allah’s name Hafiz (Preserver), he commits a great cruelty and crime and violates the rights of this name by attributing all these things to the cells and neurons in his brain and denying the great manifestation of the name Hafiz on him.
While the preservation of his brain with a sound skull and his body with a gentle dress called the skin, his heart and lungs with the rib cage, his eyes with eyelids are the manifestations of the name Hafiz, he commits great cruelty with ingratitude by attributing them to unconscious causes and coincidence/chance.
Although he sees the circulatory system, respiratory system, digestive system, excretory system, nervous system, etc. in the body and although system is the name of the order and balance, he denies many names like Alim (Knower of All), Murid (the One Who Wills) and Qadir (All-Powerful) manifested on these magnificent systems by attributing the attributes of knowledge, will, power and many others to coincidence and causes.
The face, fingerprints and even DNAs of each living being are not similar to one another. It is necessary to know them all to prevent them from looking alike. So, Allah’s names Wahid (Unique), Ahad (One) and Fard (Single) are manifested on all faces, fingerprints and DNAs. Allah has stamped the seals of His existence and oneness on every being clearly but the unbeliever does not accept Allah and rejects the names Wahid, Ahad and Fard, committing a great cruelty by violating the rights of those names.
Yes, we have tried to read only some of the names and attributes manifested on the human body. You can compare it to all beings. Every one of them will tell us in so many languages about Allah with His beautiful names and introduce Him to us. This is the purpose of the creation of man. As man serves this purpose, he will recognize his Lord and become a real man.
Yes, Allah has created this realm and everything in it like a book with His a thousand and one names and has made His beautiful names manifest on them but the unbeliever attributes those manifestations to causes, coincidence and nature, despises those names, ignores and denies them let alone reading them.
Besides, Allah has created this world with the great purpose of introducing Himself. However, the unbeliever denies Allah and hence violates the purpose of creation and the rights of all beings that serve this purpose, commits an eternal crime, as many crimes as the names that become manifest on those beings, condemning himself to an eternal penalty.
Now just think: There are so much cruelty and so many crimes in a minute of denial and unbelief while those names are manifested with all their beauty everywhere and on everything any time. Do you think it is possible to calculate the manifestations of the names that become manifested on the realm from particles to suns? Can the mind comprehend this number? Definitely not. Imagine that this sin is committed for a lifetime, not in a minute. It is not possible to calculate the manifestations of the names that become manifested during this time.
Thus, the unbeliever denies all the names and the manifestations of those names that become manifest on the world in every second of his life. Therefore, the magnitude of the crime committed by the unbeliever is equal to the number of the manifestations of Allah’s names manifested on the realm.
The quality of the penalty depends on the quality of the crime. When the crime committed is infinite like that, the penalty must also be infinite so that justice will be manifested. Thus, the unbeliever rejects and opposes the glory of the divinity by denying the beautiful names and their manifestations that become manifested every moment on the world and by attributing them to causes. Therefore, he condemns himself to eternal penalty by committing a cruelty and crime that will shake the universe.
If those who consider the short life of the unbeliever in his punishment with an eternal penalty look at the cruelty and crimes he commits in his short life, they will regard the unbeliever’s remaining in Hell eternally as absolute justice and will not ask the question of how Allah’s eternal mercy allows the unbeliever to remain in Hell eternally.
- The Fifth Crime of the Unbeliever: The unbeliever accuses beings, each of which is like a divine book and an ode, of meaninglessness
Now we will mention another crime committed by the unbeliever who will enter Hell and remain there eternally so that it will be understood better what great cruelty and crimes he commits due to his unbelief and how he condemns himself to Hell.
Our Lord created every being in the realm like a divine book and an ode of deep meanings with His infinite wisdom. He created man with the ability to read the words, lines and pages of those books and sent him to this world. He made man develop himself through the mind, heart and soul. With this nature, man surpassed this universe spiritually. Now every being is a book, and man is a reader of them. He is to read the divine books and contemplate the deep meanings in them and recognize his Lord.
Now let us read one of those divine books together and contemplate those meanings.
Let us look at the book of the Sun, which is the most brilliant divine book written with ink in the sea of the sky. Let us try to read a piece from the lines of that divine book.
The sun says,
‘O man! Look at me! Even my picture drawn on a piece of paper proves the existence of the artist who draws it; how can the real, artistic suns drawn in the sea of the sky, like me, can be without an owner? I have an owner too.’
Look at helium and hydrogen, which caused my existence, and look at me. Neither of them has life. How can those lifeless causes be my master? How could they create me?
Besides, it is not enough for my owner to have life for my existence. My owner must have knowledge, such knowledge as to know both me and the other stars that swim with me in the sea of the sky as well as the creatures that will benefit from me. To what cause will you attribute such knowledge and explain my existence?
O man! You know that a being without power cannot work. Who is the owner of the eternal power that makes me a stove and lamp that is 1 million 300 thousand times larger than your world and makes me turn in my orbit at a speed of 720 thousand km/h?
How can you attribute the regular movements of billions of stars like me to chance/coincidence though you attribute the regular movements of a car on a straight road to a driver? Who is the owner of the order that makes me turn regularly in my orbit?
Look at me carefully! Is my existence not the result of a will, a preference? See the will that prefers my existence to non-existence and my shape to another shape. Which cause that claims to own me has that will?
O man! You get warm with my heat and you are enlightened with my light. However, know that I am not the one that has mercy on you and that gives you treats. I do not have those attributes. The one that has mercy on you is the Lord, who is the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate and the Most generous. I am only a cause of the mercy sent to you.
And look at me! I pull all the planets toward myself due to the great gravitational force I have, and they are saved from the gravitational force thanks to the centrifugal force of their rotation. Who can the one that arranges the speed of rotation of the planets that are billions of years away as moderate, not as fast or slow, according to my gravitational force and makes those planets a part of the system be but Allah, who has endless power and knowledge?
I resemble the other stars and suns created in the sea of the sky, and our system is the same. So, whoever has created me also created them.
You know that the owner of the field is also the owner of the crop. The one who made the sea of the sky an unlimited and vast field is the one that sewed and cultivated billions of stars like me. I am a crop of this sea of the sky. So, my owner is the owner of this sky.
You also know that the order/system emerges from one hand. If other hands intervene, it will be messed up. We swim in the Milky Way galaxy, in the sea of sky together with billions of stars. So, whoever has created me created other stars too. We are all managed by the same hand. In short, my owner is the owner of the universe.
Every being in the realm, like the sun, is a divine book and teaches many things to sane people who know how to read, and also makes them read its owner with His many names and attributes.
However, the unbeliever regards those books, which were written to be read, as meaningless pieces of rags by denying Allah, let alone regarding them as books. Yes, the sun is an idle fireball that wanders across the sky in the eye of the unbeliever. Is it not a great cruelty committed by man against the rights of those beings to regard all beings, each of which is like a divine book, as meaningless though he himself cannot tolerate it even when a sentence he has written is qualified as meaningless?
Thus, the unbeliever commits a cruelty as big as the universe by denying the writer of those divine books and by violating the rights of those beings since he regards those books meaningless.
Now let us try to see the magnitude of this crime. Is it possible to calculate the number of beings on earth written as a divine book and ode? Is it possible to know this number in this realm where each species has millions of members?
The unbeliever regards so many beings as meaningless in one second of unbelief. Yes, the unbeliever who commits as many cruelties as the number of the created beings in one second commits such a great crime by continuing his unbelief not for an hour, or a day, or a year, but throughout his life that the mind is incapable of comprehending the magnitude of that cruelty.
While our Lord wants to introduce Himself with those divine books and while every being says, ‘look at me and read me’ the unbeliever denies the books and the writer of those books by doing the opposite. The unbeliever commits great cruelty and crimes against the rights of all beings by accusing the beings that are like divine books and odes of meaninglessness.
When the crime that is committed is infinite like that, the punishment must also be infinite so that justice becomes manifest. Thus, the unbeliever commits a cruelty and crime that will shake the universe and condemns himself to eternal penalty with his unbelief by accusing the beings that are like divine books and odes of meaninglessness.
Yes, the unbeliever who commits an eternal crime in a short life will not be called to account based on the shortness of his life but the magnitude of the crime he commits.
- The Sixth Crime of the Unbeliever: He denies the boundless boons granted to him.
Now we will mention another crime committed by the unbeliever who will enter Hell. We will see what big cruel deeds and crimes the unbeliever commits and condemns himself to eternal Hell due to denying the unlimited boons bestowed upon him.
We did not exist. We came to the realm of existence out of nothing; we became living beings, not inanimate beings like stones and soil among beings; we became human beings among living beings instead of becoming trees or animals
The earth became a dwelling for man; the sun became a lamp and a stove, and the moon became a lamp for that dwelling. Endless boons were offered to us from unexpected places on that table of the earth. The spring season was placed on that table like a bunch of roses. All beings were made submissive to man. Thus, man became a vicegerent on the earth.
The stomach demands sustenance; similarly, man’s faculties and feelings such as the heart, spirit, mind, eye, ear, and mouth need sustenance peculiar to them; and the sustenance they deserve is bestowed upon them separately.
The fact that man’s Lord, who is Generous, equips man with several organs and feelings that will taste and recognize each of His blessings shows that the most important deed that our Lord wants from us is thanking Him. Therefore, the Quran asks man to thank Allah very seriously and shows ingratitude as denying the boons; it threatens those who show ingratitude with its verses in a severe and dreadful manner.
Yes, one of the most important purposes of the creation of man is to know Allah and always to be grateful to him. As the unbeliever denies Allah, he also rejects His divinity; he also opposes the purpose of his creation by showing ingratitude to His boons and commits a big cruelty and crime that will make the universe tremble.
He attributes his existence out of nothing to causes, not to Allah; he benefits from every boon of Allah on earth, but does not even regard those boons as blessings, let alone being grateful. Man, who thanks others very much even for a cup of coffee, travels on the earth, drinks water and eats food provided by Allah, breathes the air He gives but he responds to all those blessings with ingratitude. He turns those blessings that are like diamonds into coal even though he is equipped with many organs and feelings that can taste each one of those blessings.
Although he can know and find Allah with the mind given by Him, he denies Him; he ignores the evidences of creation with the eye given by Allah instead of seeing them; he declares his unbelief with the tongue given by Allah instead of declaring His existence; thus, he commits infinite major sins and cruel deeds in his short life.
Now we ask: How many boons has Allah given man?
Let the Quran answer that question:
”If ye would count up the favors of Allah, never would ye be able to number them.” (an-Nahl, 16/18)
So, man has been given too many boons to count.
- How many boons does an unbeliever deny by denying Allah?
As the verse puts it, he denies “so many boons that are impossible to number by counting”. Yes, it is not possible to count his cruel deeds and to calculate the magnitude of that cruelty.
It is impossible to know the number of all blessings that are denied, insulted and ignored; it is infinite. Since the crimes committed by the unbeliever are infinite, he must definitely be punished with an infinite penalty.
That is to say, if we look at the infinite cruel deeds and crimes that the unbeliever commits in that short life, not at his short life, his punishment with an eternal penalty will be regarded as complete justice and wisdom.
- The Seventh Crime of the Unbeliever: The unbeliever states the following with his tongue of disposition: “O Allah! I do not believe in you. Your strength is not enough to resurrect me after death and throw me into Hell eternally ...”.
Now we will mention a horrible crime committed by the unbeliever who will enter eternal Hell. It is such a big cruelty and crime that it is complete justice that its consequence will be eternal Hell:
God Almighty declares, with all of His prophets and all of His heavenly books, that the unbeliever will stay in Hell eternally. If a person is still an unbeliever after that declaration, he states the following with his tongue of disposition:
“O Allah! I do not believe in you. Your strength is not enough to resurrect me after death and throw me into Hell eternally ...”
Before analyzing that statement of the unbeliever, let us remember the endless crimes he has committed:
The unbeliever accuses all creatures of lying by denying the witnessing of all beings regarding the existence of Allah throughout his life.
Then, by denying the high glorification and worship of all those beings, he violates both the dignity of divinity and the rights of all the beings worshipping Allah.
Then, he degrades the beings and accuses them of worthlessness.
Then, he denies the names of Allah and attributes the manifestation of those names to causes, and accuses the beings, each of which is like a divine book and ode, of meaninglessness.
He denies the boundless boons bestowed upon him. As a result of all those endless crimes, Allah condemns him to eternal Hell.
With the tongue of disposition of his unbelief, the unbeliever addresses Allah, who has sentenced him to eternal penalty, as follows: “I have not believed in you; I have denied you. Look! I live as I wish. If you exist, throw me into Your eternal hell. Your strength is not enough to throw me into Hell.”
If a mischievous rebel who violates the law of his people says to the dignified judge of a town, “You cannot put me in jail” by challenging his dignity, and if there is no jail in that town, that judge will definitely build a prison for that mischievous person and put him in jail.
Similarly, it is the necessity of Allah’s dignity and majesty to create an eternal hell for the unbeliever who is already condemned to an eternal punishment due to all the crimes we have mentioned only because of his statement “You cannot throw me into Hell” even if he has not committed those crimes.
We answer the person who says. “How does Allah’s mercy allow the unbeliever to stay in Hell forever?” as follows:
Why should Allah, who has infinity majesty and dignity, not create that eternal Hell and degrade His majesty and dignity, and justify that unbeliever when he challenges His dignity and majesty? Is it ever possible?
Why should He not create Hell and weaken His perfect power in the face of that statement of the unbeliever? Do you think it can ever be possible?
Is it ever possible that Allah will promise that unbeliever eternal Hell in all His heavenly books but then will break His promise by not creating Hell? God forbid, if He does so, He will be a liar who breaks His promise. Is it ever possible to accept it?
That is, by not creating eternal Hell, Allah will turn His dignity to abasement, His infinite power to weakness, and His promise to a lie. Is it possible for the owner of infinite power and dignity to accept such humiliation? God forbid, He will never accept it.
That is to say, not throwing the unbeliever into Hell is an endless persecution of all creatures whose laws are violated, and it is an endless crime against Allah’s infinite dignity and majesty, endless power and divine promise. Therefore, our Lord addresses the unbelievers with His majesty and wrath in His book and condemns them to painful, great and severe punishment forever.
Finally, we would like to remind you the following:
Unbelievers who have not heard the guidance of a prophet are people who are saved from Hell because they are deprived of the knowledge that Allah has prepared an eternal hell for unbelievers. No challenge has occurred due to that deprivation.
However, other unbelievers know about it. Their unbelief means to challenge Allah. The punishment for that challenge is eternal Hell.
May our Lord make this work atonement for our sins! May He make us continue to serve belief! Amin.
Questions on Islam
- 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?
- 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?
- Are Paradise and Hell Eternal? What are the Evidences?
- Is there salvation from hell? How should we understand verse 65 of the chapter of al-Furqan?
- Will you explain the eternity of life in the hereafter, Paradise and Hell with verses of the Quran and hadiths?
- Life in the Grave is True
- According to the following verse, will the believers whose sins are more than their rewards (thawabs) stay in Hell eternally? "But those whose balance is light, will be those who have lost their souls; in Hell will they abide." (al-Mu'minun, 23/103)
- Why is a person who dies as an unbeliever (kafir) punished by staying in Hell eternally? Is it a just punishment?
- Is the creation of hell and the devil not contrary to the understanding of a perfect creator (Allah)?
- Is it possible to exit Hell?