Will there be any trace of Hell on the people who left Hell and entered Paradise?

The Details of the Question

- A person who is punished in Hell will enter Paradise after his punishment ends and he will be cleaned in the pond of Kawthar.
- Will there be any smell or sign of Hell in that person?  
- Will the people of Paradise understand that he is a Muslim who was punished in Hell?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

First of all, Paradise is not a place of distress and sorrow. Even if it is known that those people came from Hell, they will not feel any pain when they enter Paradise. Therefore, they will not be sad.

It is stated in hadiths that those who came out of Paradise will not have any traces of burn remaining from Hell on their bodies.

1. Abu Said narrates: The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,

“The permanent inhabitants of Hell are those who are doomed to it; and verily they will neither die nor live in it. However, there are people whom the Fire will afflict temporarily on account of their sins - or mistakes; the Fire will kill them completely. They will be granted intercession after they are turned into charcoal. Thus, they will be brought in groups and will be spread on the rivers of Paradise Then, it will be said: ‘O inhabitants of Paradise! Pour water over them.’ They will sprout forth like the sprouting of seed in the silt carried by flood. “[Muslim, Iman 306, (185)]

2. Musa Ibn Ismail reports from Wuhayb, who reports from Amr Ibn Yahya, who reports from his father, who reports from Abu Said al-Khudri. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,

“When the people of Paradise enter Paradise, and the people of Hell enter Hell, Allah will say, ‘Take out (of the Fire) whoever has got belief equal to a mustard seed in his heart.’ They will be taken out in the form of burnt coal. Then, they will be thrown into the river of life and they will spring up just as a seed grows on the bank of a rainwater stream.”

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) also said, “Do you not see that the germinating seed comes out yellow and twisted?” (Bukhari, Riqaq, 51)

3. Buhari narrated the hadith above in Kitabul-Iman under the heading “The Superiority of Believers to One Another in Terms of Deeds”:

Ismail Ibn Abi Uways Ibn Abdullah al-Asbahi al-Madani (Imam of Darul-Hijra, son of Imam Malik’s sister) reports from Imam Malik, who reports from Amr Ibn Yahya al-Mazini, who reports from his father: The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,

“The people of Paradise will enter Paradise and the people of Hell will enter Hell. Allah will say, ‘Take out (of the Fire) whoever has got belief equal to a mustard seed in his heart.’ They will be taken out as blackened people. Then, they will be thrown into the river of Haya’ (rain) or Hayat (life) - Imam Malik is in doubt about it. They will spring up just as a seed grows in a rainwater stream. Do you not see that the germinating seed comes out yellow and twisted?” (Bukhari, Iman, 15)

Explanation of the Hadiths:

“Whoever has got belief equal to a mustard seed in his heart...” That is, whoever has belief in the form of good deeds in addition to the belief of oneness (tawhid). Since belief is something immaterial, it cannot be calculated with weight or volume. What is meant in the hadith is deeds. Deeds are represented by ores. Accordingly, the deeds in the scale of good deeds seem in the form of white and bright ores and the deeds in the scale of sins seem in the form of black and dark ores.  

Imam Ghazali deduces the following from the sentence “Take out (of the Fire) whoever has got belief equal to a mustard seed in his heart...”: “Those who understood the reality of belief but who were prevented from uttering kalima ash-shahadah by death will be taken out of Hell.”

Imam Ghazali states the following: However, if a person is able to say kalima ash-shahadah and does not say it until he dies, but believes with his heart, his refraining from saying kalima ash-shahadah is regarded like a person’s refraining from performing prayers. He will not remain in Hell forever. However, the opposite could happen too. Except for Ghazali, the scholars are of the opinion that not saying it with the tongue will cause him to remain in Hell forever. According to that view, the phrase “in his heart” in the hadith needs to be interpreted. Accordingly, the phrase is interpreted as “if he has the power on the condition that he expresses the belief in his heart with his tongue”.

The two possibilities originate from the following: There is a disagreement on the view that expressing belief with the tongue is considered as belief and hence belief will not be complete without doing it. A group of scholars accept that view. Imam Shamsuddin and Fakhrul-Islam are among those who hold that view. Or, the expression of belief with the tongue is essential for the implementation of worldly decrees. That is the opinion of the majority of the investigative scholars. The texts of the hadiths and verses are a bit ambiguous (mutashabih) in this regard. Taftazani is one of those who say so.

Muslim narrated the same hadith in Kitabul-Iman. However, the chain of narrators in Bukhari’s narration is shorter than that of Muslim’s narration. (In other words, the number of narrators in Bukhari’s narration is less, which is called uluww. In that case, the soundness of the hadith increases. -Translator). Nasai also narrated the same hadith.

The hadith shows the falsity of Murjia’s view because it is stated in the hadith that sin will harm a person even if he has belief. (Murjia, on the other hand, defends the view that sin will not be harmful if one has belief). The hadith also shows the falsity of the claim of Mu’tazila, who claim that those who commit major sins will remain in Hell eternally, and those who hold the same view.

4. Suwayd Ibnu Said reports from Hafs Ibn Maysara, who reports from Zayd Ibn Aslam, who reports from Ata Ibn Yasar, who reports from Abu Said al-Khudri:

... Allah will then say, ‘Go back and bring out those in whose hearts you find as much as half a dinar of good.’ They will take out a large number of people. Then, they will say,

‘O our Lord! We have not left anyone who had goodness there.’ Abu Said al-Khudri said, ‘If you do not testify me in this hadith, read the following verse of the Quran:’

“Allah is never unjust in the least degree: If there is any good (done), He doubleth it, and giveth from His own presence a great reward.” After that, Allah will say,

‘The angels have interceded; the prophets have interceded and the believers have interceded; and no one remains but the Most Merciful of the Merciful ones.’ He will then take a handful from Fire and bring out from Hell people who never did any good and who had been turned into charcoal. He will cast them into a river called ‘the river of life’ on the outskirts of Paradise. They will come out as a seed comes cut from the silt carried by flood. Do you not see that the side of the stone or tree exposed to the sun is yellowish or greenish and the side under the shade is white? The people there will say,

‘O Messenger of Allah! It seems as if you had been herding sheep in the desert. (That is, he was describing everything by giving examples from the desert.)’ The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) continued as follows:

They will come forth like pearls with seals on their necks. The inhabitants of Paradise will recognize them. They are those who have been set free by Allah. Allah has admitted them into Paradise without any good deed that they did or any good that they sent in advance. Then, Allah Almighty will address them as follows:

‘Enter Paradise; whatever you see in it is yours.’ They will say, ‘O Lord! You have bestowed upon us what You not have not bestowed upon anyone else in the world.’ He will say, ‘There is with Me for you better than this.’ They will say: ‘O our Lord! What can be better than this?’ He will say, ‘It is My consent. I will never be angry with you from now on.’ (Muslim, Iman, 302)

It is also stated in the hadiths that those who come out of Hell will shine like pearls after bathing in the river of rain or life. There will be no trace of Hell on them.

The narration stating that they will have a khatam on them is “There are seals on their necks.” The author of at-Tahrir states the following: What is meant by seals in the hadith is the things that are hung around their necks for their recognition. They are described as “like pearls” because of their simplicity, cleanliness, and the joy and beauty on their faces because there will be no traces of fire and burns on them anymore. Allah knows best.

“They are those who have been set free by Allah.” That is, those in Paradise state the following related to those people taken out from Hell by Allah’s own grace without the intercession of anyone: “They are those who have been set free by Allah”.

“Allah has admitted them into Paradise without any good deed that they did or any good that they sent in advance.” That is, Allah has put them in Paradise only because of their belief though they have no good deeds other than belief.

“Whatever you see in it is yours.” That is, you own the property of what you see and you have the right to benefit from them. They will see only the blessings reserved for them.

“O Lord! You have bestowed upon us what You not have not bestowed upon anyone else in the world.” That is, You gave us what you did not give to the people of Hell. However, those who entered Paradise before them will definitely have more blessings than them. They will utter that statement based on their own thought because what will be given to them at that moment will seem great to them.

When they hear the statement “There is with Me for you better than this”, they will wonder how a blessing better than what has been given to them can exist. Allah also states that He is pleased with them and that He will never be angry with them again. Allah’s consent is definitely the greatest blessing. As a matter of fact, the following is stated in the Quran: “But the greatest bliss is the good pleasure of Allah. that is the supreme felicity.” (Nawawi Sahih-i Müslim Şerhi).

According to Qastallani’s Hamish (annotation), Imam Muslim states the following in the part entitled “The Proof of Intercession and Taking out the People of Tawhid from Hell” in Vol. 2, p. 128:

Harun ibn Sa’id al-Ayli reports from Abdullah Ibn Wahb, who reports from Malik ibn Anas, who reports from Amr Ibn Yahya Ibn Imara, who reports from his father, who reports from Abu Said al-Khudri that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,

“Allah will make the people of Paradise enter Paradise; He will make those whom He wishes also enter Paradise. He will make the people of Hell enter Hell. Then, He will say, ‘Take out (of Hell) whoever has got belief equal to a mustard seed in his heart.’ They will be taken out as blackened like charcoal. Then, they will be thrown into the river of Life. They will spring up just as a seed grows in a rainwater stream. Do you not see that the germinating seed comes out yellow and twisted?” (Muslim, Iman 304)

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