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The Punishment of the People of Hell will vary in degree

April 25, 2015 6 comments

 

As Hell has various levels, in some of which the torment and horror is greater than in others, so the people of Hell will be given different levels of punishment. According to a hadith narrated by Muslim and Ahmad from Samurah, the Prophet (ﷺ) said, concerning the people of Hell:

“There are some whom the Fire will take up to their ankles, others up to their knees, others up to their waists, and others up to their collarbones”.

According to another report, “up to their necks”

(Muslim in Kitaab al-Jannah wa Sifaat Na’imihaa, Baab Shiddat Harr an-Naar, 4/2185)

 

The Messenger of Allaah (ﷺ) has told us about those who will receive the lightest punishment in Hell. al- Bukhari reports from al-Nu’maan ibn Basheer who said:
“I heard the Messenger of Allaah (ﷺ) say,

“The person who will have the least punishment among the people of Hell on the Day of Resurrection will be a man under the arch of whose feet will be placed a smouldering ember, and his brains will boil because of it.”

 

In another report also narrated by al-Bukhari from an-Nu’maan ibn Basheer, the Prophet (ﷺ) said,

“The person who will have the least punishment among the people of Hell on the Day of Resurrection will be a man under the arch of whose feet will be placed two smouldering embers, because of which his brains will boil like water boils in a mirjal [copper vessel] or qumqum [narrow necked vessel].”

(al-Bukhaari in Sahih, Kitaab ar-Raqaaq, Baab Sifaat al-Jannah wan-Naar, Fath al-Baari, 11/417, and Muslim in his Sahih, Kitaab al-Imaan, 1/196, no. 363)

 

According to a report narrated from an-Nu’man ibn Basheer by Muslim, the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

“The person who will have the least punishment among the people of Hell on the Day of Resurrection is a man who will be given shoes and laces of fire, because of which his brains will boil like water in a mirjal (copper vessel). He will not think that anyone could be more severely punished than himself, yet he will be the one with the lightest punishment”.

(Sahih Muslim, Kitaab al-Imaan, 1/196, no. 364; Muslim also reports from Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri in the same chapter, no. 361)

 

al-Bukhari and Muslim both narrate from Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri that he heard the Messenger of Allaah (saw) say, when his uncle Abu Talib was mentioned:

“Maybe my intercession will help him on the Day of Resurrection, so that he may be put in a shallow part of Hell, with fire reaching to his ankles and causing his brain to boil”.

(al-Bukhaari in Kitaab ar-Riqaaq, Baab Sifaat al-Jannah wan-Naar, Fath al- Baari, 11/417 and Muslim in Kitaab al-Imaam, Baab Shifa’at an-Nabi (saw), ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib, 1/195, hadith no. 360)

 

Many ayat confirm the different levels of punishment that will be given to the people of Hell:

 
“The hypocrites will be in the lowest depths of the Fire..” (4:145)

 
“..and [the Sentence will be] on the Day that Judgement will be established [it will be said to the angels]: “Cast the people of Pharaoh into the severest Penalty!” (40:46)

 
“Those who reject Allaah and hinder [men] from the Path of Allaah, for them will We add penalty to penalty, for that they used to spread mischief [or corruption]”. (16:88)

 

al-Qurtubi said,

“This topic indicates that the kufr of the person who simply disbelieves is not like the kufr of a person who oppresses, disbelieves, rebels and disobeys. There is no doubt that the kuffaar will suffer different levels of punishment in hell, as is known from Qur’an and Sunnah. We know for certain that the punishment of those who oppressed and killed the Prophets and Muslims, and spread corruption and disbelief on earth, will not be the same as the punishment of those who simply disbelieved, but treated the Prophets and Muslims well.

 

Do you not see Abu Talib, how the Prophet (ﷺ) will bring him up to a shallow level of Hell, because he helped him, protected him and treated him well? The hadith narrated by Muslim from Samurah may be interpreted as referring to the kuffar, as there is a hadith about Abu Talib, or it may be interpreted as referring to those monotheists who will be punished”.

(at-Tadhkirah, p. 409)

 

 

Ibn Rajab said,

“Know that the different levels of punishment suffered by the people of Hell will be according to the levels of their deeds for which they entered Hell”.

Then he quotes the evidence for that, such as the words of Ibn ‘Abbas,

“The punishment of those who were extreme in their disbelief and spread corruption on earth, calling others to kufr, will not be like the punishment of those who did not do such things”.

Then Ibn Rajab says,

“Similarly, the punishments of the monotheists in Hell will be at different levels, according to their deeds. The punishment of those who were guilty of major sins (kabaa’ir) will not be like that of those who were guilty of minor sins (saghaa’ir). The punishment may be reduced for some of them because of other good deeds, or for whatever reason Allaah wills. Hence some of them may die in the Fire”.

(at- Takhweef min an-Naar, p. 142-143)

 

[Source: al-Jannah wa an-Naar by Dr. Umar Sulaiman al-Ashqar, pg 38-39]

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